It’s Closing Time: How To Wrap Up A Negotiation

by drjim on May 3, 2013

You need to be able to tell the other side when the negotiation is over

You need to be able to tell the other side when the negotiation is over
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No negotiation has ever been designed to go on and on forever. However, sometimes it sure seems like the negotiation that we are involved in will never end. That’s why one of the skills that every negotiator needs to have is the ability to get the other side of the table to start to wrap things up. The trick is knowing what closing technique to use and when to use it.

3 Ways To Close A Negotiation

Just knowing that you want to get the other side to start to move to wrap up a negotiation is not enough – you need to use your best negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to get them to start to move in that direction. That’s where I think that I can help you out. I’ve got 3 techniques that have served me very well over the years.

The first closing technique takes on a different look & feel depending on if you are playing the role of buyer or seller. If you are the seller, then your goal is going to be to get your prospective buyer to get physically close to the thing that he or she is considering buying. If it is a physical object, then see if you can either put it in their hands or put them into it. If it is a service or a virtual good, then have them imagine what they would be able to do if they already owned it.

If you are playing the role of a buyer, things get even easier. You are going to want to get the seller as close to the money as possible. It can be a signed purchase order that you wave in front of them or a credit card that you hold in your hands. Seeing this is going to make them want to wrap things up as quickly as possible.

Another way to get the other side to start to close a negotiation is to point out to them just how much time you have spent negotiating with them. When you do this, something magical just might happen. Some people start to feel guilty when someone else has invested a great deal of time in trying to reach a deal with them. This guilt can manifest itself as a willingness to close the negotiations and strike a deal with you.

Finally, you can move your current negotiation towards a close if are able to create a sense of fear in the other side of the table. This fear has to be based on what would happen if they were not able to reach a deal with you. The products or services that you are selling would be sold to someone else (maybe their competition) or you would end up buying what you need from someone else (maybe their competition). Studies have shown that people actually fear losing things even more than they desire to gain new things. Use this to wrap your next negotiation up.

What All Of This Means For You

The goal of every negotiation is to reach agreement and then to wrap things up. When you decide that the negotiation is over, your job then becomes to convince the other side of the table that they too need to start to wrap things up.

There are countless ways to go about doing this. One such way is to get the seller close to the money or the buyer close to the product. Alternatively, you can spend a great deal of time working with the other side and make them feel guilty about not reaching an agreement with you. Finally, you can use the fear of losing what is being negotiated to push the other side to close the negotiations.

The good news is that all three of these techniques are still part of a principled negotiation. You are not doing anything underhanded. Instead, you are simply helping the other side to wrap up the negotiations and walk away with a deal that will meet the needs of both sides of the table.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: What do you think is the best way to make the other side start to fear the impact of not reaching a deal with you?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Just exactly what will it take to make your next negotiation a success? Sorry about this, but it’s not going to be the negotiation styles or negotiating techniques that you use. If we keep in mind the cardinal rule of negotiating that each negotiation is just a single step along a path with the other side of the table, we need to ensure that this negotiation leads to a successful next negotiation. How are we going to make this happen?

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