Whether you are in a sales scenario, dealing with a peer or subordinate, customer or vendor, you must include Commitment and Urgency in the equation.

The dictionary defines commitment as: “The state of being bound emotionally or intellectually to a course of action or to another person or persons.”

My personal definition or what I call a “Mancusoism” is:  “An agreement to do something….anything… or nothing at all.”

So many times in my consulting assignments I’ve had managers tell me that their employees aren’t performing to his/her expectations.  But when I question the process of dealing effectively with other people, most of the time the “commitment” is extensively missing from within the blueprint of a successful path of respectable achievement.

They will say:  “I’ve told them many times what I want done” or “I’ve shown them many times on how to do it” but they just don’t seem to get it.  And I ask, “….Did you confirm that they GOT IT?”  Did you verbally get them to say, “I GOT IT AND I CAN/WILL GET THIS DONE?”    I’ve advocated in many of my weekly newsletters that you must get employees to take ownership of the process, the result of their actions and their words in general.  A commitment is an agreement herein to “do it” or “get it done” or “follow up” or say, “I can’t, won’t or just don’t understand!”  You as the manager/leader need to know, feel and believe the commitment or lack thereof!

This is no different in the sales process.  You must get a commitment from the client.  The commitment might be a date certain to come back and continue or it might be a commitment to never come back again.  But there must be an agreement to do something.  And by the way, this commitment concept works both ways.  Don’t just be one who gives the orders but one who demonstrates professionalism by giving your commitment to get theirs.

Now let’s move onto value of Urgency.

Dictionary:  “The Quality or condition of being urgent, pressing importance.”
Mancusoism:  “Setting the listeners hair on fire!” 

If your team, employee or prospective clients’ “hair is on fire” and he/she should be looking for a way to eliminate the pain. If you happen to be the fire extinguisher sales person and the sales person next to you sells gasoline, which one will he/she choose?  Which one would you choose if your “hair was on fire”?  Logic, common sense and urgency demands the pain reliever and not fuel for the fire.

Ask the questions in a proper order; Ask the right questions that provide you with the details of the customers need to relieve the pain (fire); Become one with the buyer; Clarify the understanding of the pain; THEN you will be able to effectively explain the VALUE of YOUR pain reliever (fire extinguisher) and affect the outcome of the sale or project.

This works exactly the same in dealing with employees.  It amazes me how “busy” a manager can get that he/she forgets to include the employee in the process.  Once you become “one” with the employee, your manager job becomes easier.  You become the leader the employees want and look up to and respect.  Remember, just because you are a manager, does not guarantee you are a leader.  Leadership is an earned level of achievement when dealing with people at any level and that includes sales, customer service, managing a process, division or a company.   People follow leaders because they WANT to.

I always look forward to hearing from the people who receive this newsletter every week, because I too learn how to help put the fires out.  If you have any comments, questions or suggestions for upcoming newsletter, I welcome any and all. 

And finally I’d like to say thank you to all of you who have forwarded my weekly brief newsletters on to colleagues, friends and family with a suggestion they to sign up for our weekly discussions.  I continue to be available for public speaking events and growth consultant engagements for qualified companies.

George F. Mancuso, President
Client Growth Consultants
Grinnell, Iowa

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