Impression Management Professionals
Personal Message from Anne Warfield

Commitment always means a lot to me. I am still in the age where you don’t promise unless you can deliver so I won’t ask for or do anything unless I am on the path of truly considering it.

I will tell you, though, that is an anomaly in the sales world. I find my clients more often run in to people asking for proposals, analysis or materials when they have no real desire to buy. Instead the “ask” is really a substitute for “no” but masked as being more agreeable.

I believe in ripping off the band aid. If someone doesn’t intend to work with you or buy from you, wouldn’t you rather know that upfront rather than expend a lot of energy on something that will go nowhere?

This application is true for leaders as well as sales. If a person doesn’t intend to work to your corporate values or standards, won’t complete a project, or won’t be a team player, wouldn’t you rather know that upfront rather than spending 6 months of your life trying to get them “onboard” when they have no intention of getting onboard?

As you read this month’s situation, I want you to think of any “energy” holes you have in your department right now. How can you raise the stakes and get a commitment FIRST before you expend any energy?

May you go forth and have a great day filled with success!

PS If you want to find out how to think and speak holistically and strategically join us for our upcoming Managing Your Strategic Message Session for Leaders. Learn More

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Outcome Thinking® Solution

How to gain commitment for a sale

by Anne Warfield

I have a prospect that I am trying to close. I know you said that we need to think and speak like executives in order to be able to sell to them so I tried to be brief with this person and got him to agree that he would let us analyze his current technology process so he could see if we could help him save money.



I sent him the information so he could run the diagnostics on his process and see if we are a fit. Well, I have since been calling him to go through the results and he is not responding. I went ahead and sent a proposal to him based on what I thought he could use based on the results I saw he had. Now I can’t even get him to call me back.

How can I manage this situation better?

Other Person’s Perspective:
In the other person’s mind they have all they need once they have your proposal in hand. They feel that they are best equipped to assess and compare what you offer to what others offer. They want what they believe will be the best deal for the least pain.

Thinking it Through Using Outcome Thinking®:
When a person feels pressure they will find the easiest way out they can so in terms of sales, for the prospect, the easiest way to relieve the sales pressure is to agree to something they have no intent on following up on. Therefore, if you offer a brief step they may say yes they will do it but then will not follow through with you. So any time they say, send me a proposal or send me your information, remember it is a push off not a deal!

Best Handled/Phrased:
It is so easy to fall in to trying to sell. When your brain moves in to that, then it looks for any buy sign and tries to grab hold of it and sail in on it. The problem is that people don’t like to be sold but they do like to buy.

So you have to make sure you don’t send or do ANYTHING until you have a commitment on what they will do with what you send or what you do.

In the above example, instead of offering to send the assessment kit and then say you will follow up, you would actually do the following:

“I would be happy to send you our tool to analyze your current process. In order to do that, we will need to set up a date and time to review the results as they won’t make sense without that. If I sent you the kit today, when would you be able to run the test? (Get answer) Great, based on that let’s look at meeting next Friday to go over the results. What time on Friday works best for you?

If he pushes back that he can’t run the diagnostics yet or he can’t set the appointment, then you back off and say, “Not a problem. It sounds like timing is off. Should I reach back out to you in two weeks and we can see if that is a better time to run the test.”

Bottom line… you do NOT send anything until they commit to following through with it by making an appointment with you.


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“I went through an unprioritized laundry list and focused on what I thought needed to be said before participating in Managing Your Message.

Now that I’ve learned about Outcome Thinking® my communication is a lot more focused. I’ve changed my thinking and ask myself “what does the audience need to hear?” Bringing Outcome Thinking® into your company would be very beneficial. It would save a lot of time in meetings and your meetings would be more effective.”

James Seburg, Operations Service Engineer, Wells Fargo

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