Closing the Deal
Sometimes deals don't seem to close even when the parties are more or less in agreement on all the important issues. Sometimes this happens because someone in the room is being difficult. This takes all forms:
Pushing past these problems involves pushing the pause button hard. Take breaks as often as necessary so everyone has a chance to regroup. You are not the only person in the room who is affected by these people.
Sometime deals get hung up because of the other side's tactics. You probably can list them as well as anyone: a constant change of position, playing good cop/bad cop, having to check with an invisible partner. When you run into one of these behaviors, push the pause button. When you're on a break, analyze your opponent's tactics, and when you return to the negotiating table, ask specific questions of the other side. Listen carefully to get around the obstruction.
It's the point where everything comes together, when two parties mutually agree on the terms of the deal. But how soon is too soon to close? The answer: It's never too soon to close. You want to start closing as quickly and efficiently as possible - under reasonable parameters, of course. You don't have to close the whole deal right away. You can close a piece of it by agreeing tentatively and moving on to other issues.
Closing the deal isn't always a smooth process. Sometimes you are dealing with someone who fears making a bad deal or is afraid of his or her boss who never likes a result no matter how good it is and how hard everyone worked. Again, ask a lot of questions to find out what is going on, and then help this person with his or her problem. A good negotiator is often just someone who helps the other side understand all the good points of his or her proposal and gives the other person the tools and arguments to sell the proposal to whoever needs to be sold.