I worked with a construction firm that had a simple rule for all of their new business pitches. At the very end of every pitch, the last person to speak would look at one or more of the key decision-makers and make a “personal commitment statement.”
We’ve laid out a plan for helping you build a hospital that will be a showpiece for your community. We think it’s an excellent plan. But we also know that there are going to be problems and roadblocks that arise as we move forward with this plan. I want to tell you that my colleagues and I want this business. And we want to do a great job for you. And I promise that we are going to do whatever it takes to make you happy. We just want to get started.
I think that these commitment states are very powerful for several reasons. First, they’re rare. The idea of making such a bald, personal appeal is a little corny and old-fashioned. To me they sound like something you might hear on an episode of “Leave it to Beaver”.
“And Beaver, when you interview for the job, be sure to tell Mr. Crabtree that you promise to do an excellent job for him.”
“Sure thing, mom. Thanks for the tip.”
Because they can sound a little corny, most people don’t make those types of commitment statements. That is exactly why you should make them. No one else will. It differentiates you.
More important, I think you should make these commitment statements because they work. Commitment statements impress people if they seem genuine. People want to work with others who are passionate about their work, and those who will do what it takes to succeed.
Finally, I think such statements are actually a compliment to your prospect. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Someone spent time examining your business and came up with a solution to a key business problem. Now they’re looking at you in the eye and telling you how badly they want to work with you, that they’re committed to doing their best work for you, and that they want to get started right away. That prospect’s thought process will be something like, “Wow, these people really are impressed with us and our organization and they really want to work with us. That makes me feel good.”
Thursday, December 11th, 2008