The closing stages of any negotiation are vital to the overall success of the final deal. There will come a time when both parties can sense an outcome is possible, and each negotiator needs to be careful not to be too eager to close or else the other party will be tempted to hold back for further concessions.
Once a likely outcome is seen, either party may define outstanding issues, compare arguments and objections, review the position to date and agree a deadline for agreement. If one side avoids making these decisions, the other must probe to find out the reason and deal with it effectively. Negotiators must be careful at this stage to identify tactical delay which deliberately attempts to force further concessions.
The best solution to aim for always, is one where both parties feel they have done well despite having to concede on certain issues. This is called a "win-win" solution. Once either side feels they have arrived at the final deal, it is important to signal this to the other party.
Body language can say as much about what you are thinking as speech. If you have made your final offer, look as if it is your final offer. Simply gathering up your papers, looking at the other side directly in the eye and saying "That is my final offer", can do this, and silence can be a powerful tool in convincing them you mean what you say.
Be wary of "splitting the difference": If you offer to split the difference, you have, in effect, given the other side a concession that is one-sided. You have said you are prepared to move without asking for commitment in return.
The final consideration is when you have done the deal and both parties are in agreement. Record the details and agree with the other parties involved that your interpretation of events matches theirs. That way there will be no unexpected comeback in the inevitable post-negotiation period when either side reviews how well or badly he has done. Again, this will be minimised if the solution you have
arrived at benefits both parties.
A Final Word Of Caution:
The closing stages need to be approached with caution. It has been shown that the majority of concessions are given or traded in the last 5% of the time allocated for negotiation. That means if you negotiate for one hour, the last three minutes are when you are most vulnerable.
You may also enjoy reading: "How To Structure A Negotiation" or you can do even better than that - if you sign up for the FREE JF Journal, you can download my E-book, "Negotiating To Win" with my compliments - sign up here
Today's News: Yesterday I promised to compensate you for providing no news, so here we go: First up, a great post by Dave Stein - "Would You Pay To Read A Blog?"
I expected visitor numbers to dip in July, just as they have done for the past two years, but amazingly, we have just recorded record numbers for all our ventures - so thankyou!! We really appreciate your support
Tomorrow: As I am still in the UK, I will be meeting up with two of my children and enjoying the weather. Have a great w/e wherever you are, and be sure to make it back here next week - JF
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