Sales Coach Christine Harrington

Could Commitment Be Causing Poor Sales Results?

Commitments seem to be a subject that so many people run from. I’m talking about commitment on a business level, but this article can pertain to personal relationships as well. It’s sensitive, serious and can cause poor sales results.  I’m writing about it today, because honestly, it’s been my elusive butterfly. So I decided to delve into this subject to find out just why it’s elusive to me. Here’s what I discovered. I know it will help you too. So ask yourself Could Commitment Be Causing Poor Sales Results?

I’m sure you have a good handle on the definition of commitment. For curiosity I looked it up and here are some of the words that were included….

Commitment (noun)

  • Pledging or engaging oneself
  • Obligation
  • Involvement

Commit (verb)

  • To give in trust or charge
  • To consign for preservation
  • To do, perform, perpetrate
Could Commitment Be Causing Poor Sales Results?

Many people think in terms of making and keeping commitments to a spouse, a child, a client, a friend or a boss. However, did you know if you routinely break commitments to yourself it’s harder to keep commitments to others?

This time…It all starts with you and it’s all about you when it comes down to keeping and making commitments.

In Neil Ducoff’s article Commitments: Easy to make – Hard to keep says:

“Commitments are more than “soft” promises. Commitments are an expression and an extension of your character and honoring what you have given your word to do. Most often, commitments are made with the best intentions.”

Commitments to You:

How many times do you break a commitment you’ve made to yourself? Let’s see if you answer yes to any of these questions.

  • Are you known as being late all the time?
  • Do you miss scheduled phone calls or often make a scheduled phone call 5-10 minutes late.
  • Are you frequently adjusting your schedule during the week because you don’t feel good, or feel rushed or not prepared?

Examine your time-based activities and see if you’ve become comfortable with breaking such commitments. If you see a pattern, this has everything to do with your behavior.

Can’t stick to a diet? Can’t keep the workout schedule going? Can’t seem to be consistent in holding sales appointments?

All these patterns of behavior point to a problem with being comfortable in breaking commitments to your self.

If you’re 100% committed to the diet, or to your sales goals, it’s a done deal. HOWEVER, if you’re 99.9% committed, you’ve left yourself a backdoor that’s opened .1%….wide enough to let you out!

If you don’t keep commitments to yourself, chances are you’ll break commitments with others. That’s the behavior pattern.

Commitments to Others:

When you make a commitment to others, do you see it as a binding contract or obligation? Do you see it as your word; a promised that’s golden? You might think to yourself, breaking a small commitment is harmless. I don’t often break my commitments.

Over time, those small breaks in promises will start to add up and be noticed. Trust and respect will start to chip away at your character.

Personal Story: Years ago I worked with a woman who struggled with many issues but commitment was a major issue with her. She was a very sweet and kind woman, which made it even harder on the rest of the team because no one wanted to tell her the truth.

She was habitually late. She was constantly changing her sales appointments and her calendar. No one really knew where she was or when she’d been in the office. We’d have clients calling in saying she missed a third appointment in a row. Judy (not her real name) always seemed to have a viable reason. And because she was sooooo sweet…everyone gave her a pass. She underplayed the commitment by saying things like…”well the last two times I had an appointment with him, he stood me up, so I thought he’d probably do it again.” Or “I called and told them I was running late from my last appointment and they said to reschedule.”

You get the idea…she always seemed to have a plausible reason. Business in her territory began to cancel; move and new business came to a screeching halt. Finally, the boss stepped in and let her go.

This may seem like an extreme example, and it was, but it’s a true story. I ran into her a few years later and she still had no idea why she was fired. I’m sure the boss told her, but if you can’t face your own lack of commitment to yourself, chances are you can’t face those commitments you break to others.

Here are a Few Tips to Help You Keep Commitments to Yourself and Others.
  • Don’t make casual commitments.
  • Don’t make commitments that will be hard for you to fulfill.
  • Don’t make commitments when your plate is already full.
  • Don’t make commitments that are impossible.
  • Don’t make commitments that you have no intention to follow through on just to appease the other person.
  • Don’t implement procedures that you don’t intend to follow.

Bottom line…fulfill the contract or don’t make it at all! And this has been my biggest lesson in writing this article, because I discovered I “over commit” with too many causal commitments. If you find yourself doing the same thing, just pause and think about it before you jump in with a “yes”.

Commit to Your Commitments:

When someone tells you they “don’t trust you”, it hurts. It hurts even more when you look in the mirror and say it to the eyes staring back at you. Breaking your commitments to yourself and others will lead to losing the capacity to lead, losing to be taken seriously and losing as a trusted advisor. Ultimately, you lose your self-respect.

Now, we’ve all broken commitments. Also, we all have a choice…. to make them, keep them or break them. Before making your next commitment, take a step back. Consider why you’re making it. Is it wise to make it? Can you fulfill it?

Could Commitment Be Causing Poor Sales Results?

Make a commitment to stop breaking commitments. Make commitments a no compromise, no back door open, 100% commitment. If you can’t do that, then don’t commit.

I’ll leave you with this quote by Zig Ziglar:

It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.  

Now it’s your turn! Share below your secrets for keeping commitments with your self.




2 thoughts on “Could Commitment Be Causing Poor Sales Results?

  1. This article has smacked me over the head with a 2×4 “guilty as charged” on most accounts. There are a handful of articles in all my readings over the past 30 years that stung like this one Christine. Great lesson and a humbling one at that thank you for making me squirm in the “pew” 🙂 it’s AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Oh my Ray! Well, you know awareness is half the battle! (laughing) I’m glad you found the article helpful. And I’ll tell you a secret…I wrote this article for me because I discovered I’ve been wrestling with commitment too.

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