If I had it to do over again, I would never have taken my briefcase into the meeting, just the leather portfolio, and upon receiving the signed agreement, I would have slid it into the portfolio and said, “Thanks, Fred. And I’ll get that equipment ordered right now!”
And I would have left.
If Fred had called after me, as I was leaving, that he had a question, I would have said, “Fred, it’s 10:45 (or whatever time it is). Let me call you this afternoon about that, okay?” And I’d have left immediately.
Of course I would have called him back this afternoon, but my departure would have been immediate.
Does that seem abrupt?
Here’s a man who just arranged to have many commission dollars put into my pocket, and I can’t even stay around to answer his questions—does that seem odd?
The psychologists call it “cognitive dissonance.” Non-psychologists might say “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” Whatever you call it, the point is this: when we humans make a decision about anything, we immediately see all the benefits of the road not taken.
Have you ever bought a new car? Let’s say you bought a new red Chrysler. Imagine yourself at the automobile dealership, completing all the paperwork, writing your check, and finally being handed the keys to your new red Chrysler. You walk out the door, get into your new car, and drive to the edge of the parking lot—but there’s so much traffic, you can’t get out onto the street.
So you wait there, at the edge of the parking lot, for the traffic to clear. And out of the corner of your eye, you spot a sleek, black Chrysler. And you look at it and say, “Wow! I really like that sleek, black Chrysler!”
Why does the black Chrysler look so good to you, right at that moment?
Because you own the red Chrysler. And as soon as you drive ten feet onto the road, it will be worth half what it’s worth right now, because it will be a used car. That’s why the black Chrysler looks so good to you right now— because you’re locked into the red one!
It’s human nature. As soon as we decide anything, we see the benefit of the road not taken.
As salespeople, we somehow don’t really have a commitment yet, if the signed agreement is right there in the room. Our new client can simply reclaim the signed agreement by asking for it—as happened to me.
On the other hand, if I had observed Closing Rule Number Three and simply left after obtaining the signature, it would likely have seemed more like a commitment to my prospect/client.