On Monday, I took my wife and two older kids to Ringling’s Barnum & Bailey Circus here in Denver. To get to the Denver Coliseum, we first had to drop off our youngest with my mother-in-law, then drive for 40 minutes north through downtown.
We parked, hiked in a few blocks, picked up our tickets at Will Call, and finally found our seats ringside on the lower level.
Which leads me to concessions.
During intermission, guys were walking up and down the rows hawking sno-cones, cotton candy, and light-up doo-dads.
My daughter asked if we could get some cotton candy. Normally, I say “no” to such requests. Then I thought: “This is probably the one time we’ll be at a circus for the next two or three years. Why not?”
And so I decided I’d get her some cotton candy. I handed her a $5 bill and flagged down the cotton candy man.
“How much?” I asked.
“$12,” he said.
At this point, a normal, sane person would politely decline. After all, $12 for a wimpy little bag of cotton candy is practically theft.
But momentum was not moving in my favor.
You see, as I’ve explained, we had spent more than an hour just getting to the Denver Coliseum… we had already spent $44 on tickets and $5 on parking… I had given my daughter $5 to buy the cotton candy… and I had just flagged down this guy to help us.
I couldn’t back out now, could I?
So I pulled out a $10 bill, combined it with the $5, and turned over the cash. We got our cotton candy, and my daughter proclaimed it was “the best day of her life.”
As I sat there thinking about what had happened, I knew exactly why I’d spent $12 on cotton candy.
It was commitment and consistency in action.
After taking so many steps in one direction, I didn’t want to change course. To do so would have been inconsistent with all the steps I had already taken.
The principles of commitment and consistency are what drive back-of-the-room sales after people have gone to great lengths to attend a seminar. And they are the same principles that take people from opting in to a list… to ultimately becoming customers.
How can you use commitment and consistency to ethically boost sales in your business?
-Ryan M. Healy
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