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Chapter 8. Implement > Closing Constructively

Closing Constructively

Just as salespeople focus attention on closing a sale, you need to concern yourself with the final steps in translating your differences into agreement. Here are some helpful guidelines.

  1. DOCUMENT YOUR ARGUMENT.

    Even personal agreements between parents and children are more effective when written. A carefully typed statement demonstrates commitment and provides a reference for the future when memories get hazy.

  2. DRAFT YOUR AGREEMENT AS DISCUSSIONS PROGRESS.

    As you search for how to phrase your agreement, the intentions of both parties will be clarified. Participants also will see what issues, terms and conditions remain on the agenda to be resolved.

  3. DECIDE HOW RESULTS WILL BE MONITORED.

    What will be measured? How? By whom? For how long? What will constitute a successful outcome? Get commitments from individuals for deadlines to complete specific responsibilities.

  4. DISCUSS WHAT HAPPENS IF…

    A big “if” to consider is the possibility of nonperformance. Whether a legally binding contract or a note taped on the refrigerator door to distribute household chores, the consequences of not living up to the agreement should be agreed upon in advance.

  5. HELP THE OTHER PERSON SELL THE AGREEMENT “BACK HOME.”

    Determine if your disputant needs further approval or ratification. If so, strengthen his or her hand by rehearsing arguments helpful in persuading others to go along.

  6. SET A REALISTIC DEADLINE.

    Is timely closure important to you? If so, indicate why. Perhaps if you don’t resolve your differences by next Tuesday, you can’t guarantee delivery, hold the interest rate, or assure approval. Deadlines stir action.


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