If I had called him back that afternoon to answer his question, and he had said, “Oh, Lenann, the general counsel needs to see that agreement!” I would have said:
“Not a problem, Fred, I’ll fax a copy over to you.”
And if he had then said, “He needs the original,” I’d have said: “Oh Fred, I put that in processing.”
Now, let’s think about that for a moment. First off, if this man wants to get out of the agreement, there are a million ways for him to do that. My company is never going to force him to take delivery on a bunch of equipment if he really doesn’t want it.
But the underlying issue is commitment. Did I force this man to sign his name to the agreement? Of course not! I can’t make him sign. He chose to sign, at that moment, because, at that moment, he wanted the computer system. Now he’s second-guessing himself, as humans often do.
By leaving—by closing and, upon achieving my objective, getting out—I am assisting him in sticking with the decision he made for himself.
Can he get out of it? Of course, but it’s harder to do so if he has to swallow his ego and reverse his decision.
Many of my clients and friends, especially those in Europe and some in Asia, say that after a contract is signed, they stay to celebrate with their new clients. That’s easy to do—and, as sellers, we’re feeling grateful to this person who just allowed us to be successful in our business development efforts, so it can feel natural.
Nonetheless, I see that day in that camera manufacturer’s office in my mind’s eye—returning to my prospect a document worth thousands of commission dollars to me. And most of the time, when I have achieved my objective I leave, usually saying “My goodness, Fred, it’s 10:45 (or it’s 2:15 ... or it’s 4:30)!” Notice that I don’t say I have to be somewhere else, I just say the time, and bustle about leaving.