Closure Phase

Closure is an important part of negotiations. At the close of a negotiation, you and the other party have

either come to an agreement on the terms, or one party has decided that the final offer is unacceptable

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and therefore must be walked away from. Most negotiators assume that if their best offer has been

rejected, there’s nothing left to do. You made your best offer and that’s the best you can do. The savviest of

negotiators, however, see the rejection as an opportunity to learn. “What would it have taken for us to

reach an agreement?”

Recently, a CEO had been in negotiations with a customer. After learning the customer decided to go with

the competition, the CEO decided to inquire as to why negotiations had fallen through. With nothing left

to lose, the CEO placed a call to the prospect’s vice president and asked why the offer had been rejected,

explaining that the answer would help improve future offerings. Surprisingly, the VP explained the deal

was given to the competitor because, despite charging more, the competitor offered after-sales service on

the product. The CEO was taken by surprise, originally assuming that the VP was most interested in

obtaining the lowest price possible. In order accommodate a very low price, various extras such as after-

sales service had been cut from the offer. Having learned that the VP was seeking service, not the lowest

cost, the CEO said, “Knowing what I know now, I’m confident that I could have beaten the competitor’s

bid. Would you accept a revised offer?” The VP agreed, and a week later the CEO had a signed contract. [6]


Sometimes at the end of negotiations, it’s clear why a deal was not reached. But if you’re confused about

why a deal did not happen, consider making a follow-up call. Even though you may not win the deal back

in the end, you might learn something that’s useful for future negotiations. What’s more, the other party

may be more willing to disclose the information if they don’t think you’re in a “selling” mode.

Should You Negotiate for a Higher Salary? Yes! According to a survey conducted by, 58 percent of hiring managers say they leave

some negotiating room when extending initial job offers. The survey also found that many of the hiring

managers agree to a candidate’s request for a higher salary. “Salary negotiation has become a growing

opportunity in the job acquisition process,” says Bill Hawkins, president and CEO of the Hawkins

Company, a full-service executive search firm with offices in Los Angeles and Atlanta. “Candidates who

fail to make a counteroffer could forfeit significant income.”