Enabling clients & prospects enthusiastically to say ‘Yes!’ – post 4

In this 4th post in a series of 7 covering the ALIGNED framework we reach ‘Get commitment’ on our journey to enabling people enthusiastically to say ‘Yes!’ to working with us without deploying any sales techniques.

A Assume control
L Learn their situation and desires
I Injuries and pains
G Get commitment
N Nirvana – the Well-Formed Outcome
E Elegant solutions
D Decide or die


Alignment_MandhyanSo far we have assumed control, learned about their situation and desires, and their injuries and pains. It is now time to find out how much your prospective client would like to change their current world of pain. Will they make the sacrifices needed to move from what they have tried in the past to the wonderful world that will exist when they realise their Big Dreams? The sacrifices may be in the form of financial outlay, changes of behaviour or working with different people (including you) in the future.

Be specific when asking how committed they are. Use questions such as: ‘In order to realise your Big Dream of … (use their exact words), how committed are you to absorbing the pain it will take, on a scale of 1 to 10?’ Don’t be judgemental about their rating, but do challenge their responses to reveal their level of passionate commitment. A rating of 7 or less probably means they are not sufficiently committed. If they answer with an 8 or 9, ask them what would be needed to make them change their answer to a 10. If a client answers quickly with a 10 (or 11 or 12), I will mildly challenge with a gentle ‘Really?’ in order test the veracity of it in their minds.

1 to 10Check they have the necessary power to deliver on their commitments, or can get that power. Help them understand what they can control and what is outside their control. But neither of you should assume that they will be limited by the confines of their span of control. Just because something is not within their direct control does not mean that thing cannot be changed in favour of their Big Dream. It depends on the balance between worth and cost.

So now you are at the point where they really, really, really know what they want. They really, really, really know their pains. They really, really, really are committed to the solutions. They just don’t yet know what the solutions are. Nor do you, if you have truly been focused on questioning and listening, and on building rapport and empathy.

Don’t worry if you have had a fleeting thought about the solution which you had to extinguish to get back ‘on task’. The ability to focus on the task is a learnable skill that comes with practice. Even when you are very skilled at staying ‘on task’, the other-than-conscious mind will occasionally fire a random thought about the solution into your conscious mind. Just get your conscious mind to banish it. Stay with this focus on them to the exclusion of any thoughts of solutions. We are still not at the point to think about solutions, so hold your nerve a little longer yet.

subconsciousWe are exactly half-way through the ALIGNED framework. In the next post, we will go through the next step, ‘Nirvana – the Well-Formed Outcome’.

There is greater detail about the ALIGNED framework in the book ‘Dance with the Elephants’ available from http://www.dancewiththeelephants.com