Take the long-term view. Regard every deal as a foundation stone in a business partnership. Cultivate a relationship: be prepared to make small sacrifices for the bigger picture.
Have you got the right person? You can close a deal only with the ultimate decisionmaker; with anyone else you risk losing. So establish early on who the buck stops with and sensitively approach the right person.
Match their style. If you've been negotiating with an aggressive, swearing ball-breaker, be decisive and upfront. If they're of a more intellectual bent, allow them breathing space. Mirror their personality and psychology, and closing should be a cinch.
Close as you go. A deal seldom rests on one dramatic boardroom meeting. Reach agreement on small points until the whole contract is in place. After months of negotiation, an agreed final deadline will dictate closure.
Always qualify a deadline. A false deadline can backfire embarrassingly. Your counterpart will appreciate your honesty on timelines.
Anything unclear? By the time it comes to closing, all parties should be 100% clear on the terms of the deal.
Get it in writing, pronto. Confirm a verbal agreement with a signature as soon as you can. Then indulge in a celebratory lunch to reassure and excite your counterpart about the upcoming project. Champagne all round.