Years ago I used to lecture on Closing Techniques. However, when I worked with people who had substantial technical skills ( engineers, scientists, supervisors, service technicians), I soon began to realize that expressions like Closing Techniques could well be a turnoff. On the other hand, when I used expressions like Obtaining Commitment, the participants in the seminar were extremely receptive.
However, it seems that in completing all the steps necessary to fulfill your advocacy, Obtaining Commitment is probably the most difficult skill to make instinctive. Obviously, certain things have to come first. Your proposal has to meet and fulfill the
needs of the prospect. And, of course, that individual needs to understand that the benefits do accomplish those needs. And then he needs some form of confirmation, or proof, that what you propose has, in fact, been accomplished numerous times already.
You should now be ready to obtain commitment. Now is not the time to make the prospect stop and give heavy consideration to whether he wants to accept or buy your proposal. Instead, offer a choice of how to proceed. As an example, in my case, when it came to obtaining commitment on proceeding to book a seminar, I would never say––“can I have a purchase order”. A better technique would be to say “we have an opening the 3rd week of November or the 2nd week in December, which would fit your schedule better”.
Another example might be “do you have adequate facilities in your office to run the seminar, or do you think it would make more sense to conduct the seminar in a local hotel?” And yes, an objection might come out and need to be addressed. But a choice close is far better than asking for a yes or no. As you can readily understand, getting involved and wrapping up the details of how to get the seminar started does imply an acceptance or commitment by the listener.
Of course, my task is to furnish my students with tools to make them more productive. I cannot guarantee it, and I am not responsible for when someone chooses to use the technique. This is illustrated very clearly in chapter 15 in my book––a twenty-something young man came up to me after the program and said, “ Garf, let me see if Iʼve got this right. When Iʼm out on a date with a young lady, Iʼm not supposed to say, “Do you want to do it?” Instead, what I should say is, ”Where would you be more comfortable, your place or mine?” And then we discuss where rather than yes or no”.