Building Commitment: Assume Less, Agree More

In past columns I have described selling behaviors that increase sales and profitability. But how do you motivate salespeople to discard old behaviors in order to adopt new ones that work better? Over the years, I've learned that those who manage by agreement—rather than expectations or assumptions—are best able to encourage others and build their business through them. One definition of the word agreement is “the reaching or sharing of the same opinion that somebody else or others hold.” This contrasts with managing by an expectation or assumption that often reflects a one-way command rather than a two-way agreement. Repeatedly, I've found that those who manage by agreement achieve greater results while experiencing fewer performance disappointments. APPRAISING THE SITUATION Answer the following questions to evaluate how well you're managing by agreement: Are

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