At the moment of closure, a negotiator is not in an enviable position.  He or she is torn between the choice of accepting “the bird in hand or the two that may be in the bush.” You can, however, take physical actions that will push the other side to accept the bird in hand.

I have seen salespeople move a hesitant buyer into placing the order by starting to write the sales order. Some buyers get a seller to accept a lower price by acting as though the seller has already accepted it.  The buyer gives the seller a purchase order number, stands up, shakes hands, and escorts the salesperson out the door with a big smile and a word of congratulation.

Taking out the champagne and pouring drinks can help close a deal that isn’t quite there.  So can making reservations at a good restaurant to celebrate the closure of the deal.  Many negotiators end the final give and take by simply writing up the memo of agreement on their lap-top computer.  They may even bring the computer to the restaurant to maintain closing momentum.

One of the most graceful closure actions I’ve seen occurred when I bought a car.  I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to settle or not.  The car salesman, sensing my indecision, asked to borrow my pen.  I gave it to him.  He proceeded to write the order.  I watched.  Then I signed and returned the pen to him.  I never saw that pen again.

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