5 Deal Closing Incentives

When negotiating a domain name purchase, I regularly encounter a bit of turbulence. Usually it happens when I make some sort of best and final offer and/or the domain name owner makes a best and final offer and we are left far enough apart that there is a material difference in our positions.

I thought about several ways I have been able  to close deals that I want to share with you. Sometimes, none of these will work, especially when there is a considerable gap between valuations and offers.  In addition, I have found that even smaller concessions can be helpful, especially when it comes to someone who seems to refuse to budge on a number out of principle.

Here are 5 deal closing incentives that I have used to varying degrees of success:

Add a few extra $ – When your offer is fairly close to the seller’s price, it may make sense to offer a bit more money. If the deal is good, a few percentage points won’t likely hurt. I won’t spend more than my comfort level, but I can generally find a bit more money if it means closing a deal.

Promise immediate payment – Although this is always a given for me, I let the seller know that I will pay right away. This may get them to think that other people might not pay right away or would need to line up financing (especially if the domain owner isn’t too familiar with domain name sales). Knowing that they will have a nice wire transfer into their bank account within a day or two can be a powerful incentive to closing a deal.

Offer to cover full escrow fee and provide contract – Escrow fees might not be all that high, but offering to cover them in full can be a small capitulation in a negotiation. In addition, with the potential to spend a significant amount of money on the drafting of a legal agreement, the seller may appreciate that this will not come out of his or her pocket.

Offer a % of profit on future sale – Most sellers know I am a domain investor, and some get hung up on the fact that I might sell a domain name they have owned for years in the future. Nobody wants to sell a domain name for $10k and see it re-sold a month later for $100k. Offering a percentage of the profit on a future sale gives the seller an incentive to do a deal. It’s also only a give back if the domain name is sold for a profit.

Trade another domain name – When dealing with someone else in the domain name business, perhaps they would accept another domain name in trade as part of a deal in lieu of additional monies. This often doesn’t work as a closing tactic, but sometimes when I can tell they value a domain name much higher than I value it, I can offer a domain name I own as part of the deal.

If you can think of other incentives that have worked for you, I invite you to share them in the comment section.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
  1. Curious, how often has a deal been killed when you mention the word Contract? Contracts seem to annoy and prolong a fairly simple process. Do you do a contract on every single sale?

    • I can only recall one deal that was almost killed when I mentioned the purchase agreement. The seller was in Asia, and he didn’t want to use a contract. I ended up doing the deal without a purchase agreement because it was lower value (under $10k), I could clearly track the provenance of the domain name, and I had reached out to buy it from him rather than the other way around.

      I think it is wise to use a contract for every deal, and I would be suspicious if someone took issue with using a contract without a valid reason.

  2. Good tips, Elliot, except for the penultimate.

    Offering a % on a future sale could create many ambiguities and problems. What if someone wishes to lease the domain, provide funding for a site/app build, which becomes popular and the entire site/app gets acquired.

    I’ve tried trading domain names — this has rarely worked, even when I’ve offered to trade domains that have greater valuations that the one I’m seeking, usually because I’ve launched the domain as an app or site, under a .me, or .net, or .io, and now the owner of the .com is aware of this.

    But maybe you’re doing it right, and I’m doing it wrong.


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