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I always hate negotiating a financial deal with one type of person. I refer, of course, to men who wear gel in their hair. If you can, avoid negotiating with these greasy haired individuals. Why? They always spend an inordinate amount of time running their hands through their hair, setting up a slippery slope handshake at the outset, undermining this key initial meeting. When the gel guy extends his hand to firmly grasp your hand, you try so hard to hang on to keep the shake going. Ultimately, your hand simply slides from side to side of his hand until it completely slides off, leaving him shaking nothing but air. This is not a propitious start to a tense and serious negotiation. Too, your hand is now slimy, and it might be rude to ask for a wipe (‘Monk’ comes to mind), a paper towel, or even toilet tissue if there is nothing else available. By the way, toilet rolls on the negotiating table are not conducive to a solid discussion I have found.

So, since it is almost impossible to avoid the gel guy from time to time, you need to have a plan, a backup plan. When the deal is done, and it is a great deal favorable to both the customer and your company, be prepared for the end of the negotiation with a handshake to cement the deal properly. However, this time, instead of offering your hand to his, offer both of your hands, one to shake his hand and the other to hold his hand firmly in your grasp. Do not allow any wiggling, twitching or movement except for a strong clasp of hands with smiles all around. Give the handshake its due, do not rush through it, but once it is done, move quickly to the wipes stored strategically out of sight. You see, with a good backup plan, everyone can handle, so to speak, the gel guy.

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