Small Yes, the right way to get micro-commitments in sales


When the lead gives small positive responses throughout the sales process, the idea is to increase the trust he has in you and the authority he sees.

The purpose of the Small Yes technique is exactly this: to ensure that the lead is being positive with you so that, in the end, he/she arrives more confident in closing the deal.

So how do you subtly convince the lead to buy your solution?

Browse the content

  1. video transcript
  2. The 3 Types of Sins
  3. How not to do it?
  4. How to get the lead micro-commitments?
  5. NO is sometimes better than YES!

video transcript

Speak guys! Welcome to another Flipchart Friday. Today we’re going to talk about Small Yes, the right way to get micro-commitments in sales.

There is a certain logic behind convincing someone.

If that person is saying little yeses along the way, it is easier to reach a yes at the end. This is a proven fact from the point of view of how to convince someone studied around and even by NLP.

But, like any good sales technique that is replicated multiple times, it loses efficiency over time and becomes saturated.

The great thing is that you can take your lead along concurrency paths all along the funnel. However, if you do it wrong, it could backfire.

The 3 Types of Sins

According to Never Split The Difference, a book by Chris Voss that we’ve quoted several times here, there are 3 types of sins:

  • The Confirmation YES: when the answer is too obvious and you are basically prompting the yes;
  • The Fake SIM: It is called an escape yes because it occurs when you want to escape from some situations;
  • The Commitment YES: it is the internalized YES, in which the person says yes to himself and is really agreeing with something.

That last one, the YES of appointment, is the YES you have to look for.

At the end of the day, consultative selling isn’t just about convincing a person to do something, it’s about showing the way for the person themselves to be convinced that they need to act to change their status quo.

Aspira himself always talks in some content around here about the lead buying journey, in which the seller will only guide the lead, not convince him to buy.

The salesperson only convinces the lead that their solution is one of the possibilities. However, in the end, it is the lead who will decide whether to buy or not.

How not to do it?

Using YES just as a mental consistency trigger doesn’t really work. You make the lead answer YES so that when he says NO, you say:

A-ha, you had said YES to me.

The internalized YES is the YES we want to seek. At the top of the funnel, right at the start of a conversation, this type of question breaks rapport.

André himself, our Project Manager, has already explained in another Flipchart Friday that rapport is based on trust and empathy.

If I’m trying to push a YES too hard early on in the conversation, I break trust and empathy, I break authority.

It’s very common to see some famous tactics in telemarketing, who want to use the SIM just to continue the conversation, a strategy with the SIM of counterfeiting.

I saw that you are a sales manager, is selling more a priority for you today? Does it make sense for you to sell more?

That’s a question that doesn’t have a clue. You’re inducing a YES that, of course, is going to be too obvious or it’s going to become an overt escape.

Beware of confirmation SINS!

They may convey a bias that you’re actually managing to engage with a lead, but it’s actually too obvious and doesn’t generate value.

Or the lead itself is saying YES because it doesn’t have a better argument, then it becomes a counterfeit YES and he is just wanting to escape.

Trust me: if you do it that way you won’t get the ultimate SIM on your lead.

How to get the lead micro-commitments?

A good salesperson has the lead buying journey very well mapped :

  1. He knows that the lead, before buying, goes through a stage of awareness about the problem he has;
  2. He knows that then the lead moves on to an education stage and understands what the possible solutions are;
  3. He knows that, ultimately, he makes the decision on who will be his supplier, or what solution he will hire.

Basically, we have 3 micro- commitment moments where you understand exactly what the commitment is in transitioning between these steps.

When the lead becomes aware of a problem and goes through an education stage, he is committed to the problem, he is committed to solving it.

Seller: Lead, do you believe these are the actions you need to take to resolve this issue?

Lead: YES!

Here you have a solution commitment. Finally, you can even ask:

Lead, would you like to have Reev help you solve this problem?

Lead, do you trust Reev to be the ideal platform for you to solve your problem?

These are straightforward questions where you are really trying to look for the internalized YES.

What do the best sellers do?

The best sellers do this search for the internalized SIM in a slightly different way.

Instead of asking a closed, objective YES or NO question, they ask an open-ended question to let the lead answer themselves.

This gives you a better thermometer that the YES is internalized and, even more, you know if the lead is really polite about what you just said.

Instead of asking:

Is this issue a priority for you?

You can ask:

Given what we’ve talked about, which issue do you think is a priority for you?

If the lead tells you exactly the problem you had mapped out and educated, you ensure that the lead actually internalized that problem commitment.

He said a YES, but he said it in one sentence. This is very powerful. That’s the right way, that’s what the best do.

Instead of asking:

Would you like to have Reev?

Seller may ask:

In your opinion, what is the best solution for you right now, given what we talked about?

If the lead responds:

Look, I think the best solution now is to hire Reev.

That means you had a really well-made final commitment. The YES to sign the contract and put the commission in your pocket is already on its way.

NO is sometimes better than YES!

I’ll leave a bonus here: NO is sometimes better than YES.

It is very common to be afraid of NO because we always think that it closes barriers.

But the NO, as a counterpoint to the negotiation, makes the lead more comfortable to make the decision and even to negotiate with you. What do I mean by this?

Chris Voss says that, at any given time, the lead has the ability to say NO, and he doesn’t need to justify that NO.

You can try to convince him with all the arguments in the world, but if he wants to say NO, he will say NO.

John Barrows himself, another guru we adore, says you can talk to the lead:

Lead, if during the course of our negotiation you don’t agree with something, are you comfortable telling me a NO?

This way, you guarantee that the lead is really comfortable in the negotiation and that you are really making him follow a path, a purchase trajectory from him.

Remember: if NO doesn’t appear along the funnel, it will likely appear at the end at decision time!

Getting a NO along the funnel is related to objections that might appear. Your role is to be able to override objections and ensure alignment with the lead.

When the lead agrees too much and is very sure he needs your solution without being really polite, believe me, he is saving the NO for the end of the negotiation.