Commitment point is to a service relationship as “price point” is to a product on a store shelf. When we talk about professional services, cost is not the only, or even the most important consideration for many clients. As a business coach, I ask a prospective client to commit not only their dollars, but also their time and personal energy to the process of professional development. The client absolutely must trust me, believe the process will work for them, and be prepared to commit many hours of concentrated time and effort to our work together. The same could be said of a patient’s commitment to work with a doctor to treat his cancer, or a client’s commitment to work through an estate plan with her attorney.
A box of cookies on a store shelf carries a low commitment point. I can throw it into my grocery cart, pay a few dollars, and consume it at my leisure. A cell phone has a slightly higher commitment point. I have to learn how to use a particular phone’s features, pay a higher price, and typically enter into a multi-year contract. Most of the services being provided by readers of this book will likely have a high commitment point, involving potentially thousands of dollars of financial investment as well as significant time and effort on the part of the client. A sales process that will work at the “box of cookies” commitment point, will probably not be sufficient to persuade a client at the “estate plan” or “cancer treatment” commitment point.
And now you'll know what I'm talking about in my next post!