Chapter 20

Closing, or The Gentle Kill

Even if you beat me, I'm still the best.

—Fast Eddie, The Hustler


A skillful closer has the ability to identify the best time, even the precise moment, to distill all the elements of a negotiation into a clear choice for the customer between “Yes” and “No.” All the knowledge you gathered and the insights it yielded, the information that let you customize your offer to this client, now contributes to the Street-Smart seller's ability to identify this critical moment when it comes and to maneuver through it skillfully. In fact, our clients are so juiced for the problem-solving deal we've outlined and the clear benefits of working with a Street-Smart seller, they're more motivated to sign than other customers.

That said, before moving in for the gentle kill—that is, a signature—take a split second to remind yourself that not everything rides on this deal. Street-Smart sellers cultivate the confidence to responsibly rely on an inner calm consistent with their well-founded belief that there will be other opportunities, maybe even with this same customer, no matter what happens right now. Believe me, future-focused confidence makes a tremendously positive impression on customers, and more often than not delivers the winning hand. A person in control of his or her destiny, with a credible willingness to walk away from the proceedings, is almost irresistibly impressive.

It takes real nerve to walk that line; I won't deny it. But the Street-Smart ...

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