The person who can approve the deal is absent: “We need to ask Joe for approval, but he is not here.” Or, the decision-maker may send a powerless emissary.
“Mr. Big is unavailable. I am the delegate to Mr. Big.”
To handle this, cut it off before it happens. Insist decision-makers are at the table or that any delegates are authorized to advance the negotiation. Obtain contact information and know the persons required for approval. If this does happen, lock down the deal by going through deal points. Get approval to submit and ensure they close all objections. Ask a “yes sequence,” where you ask questions to which you know the answer is yes, to finalize the deal as fully as possible. Close with, “We have a deal. Mr. Big can initial the final copies.”