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I understand that "Deal breaker" is an expression used for a feature/characteristic that would make one not go for a deal (or terminate a contract), even if the deal's other features are great.

What expression would be the opposite of "Deal Breaker"? I'm looking for an existing expression that would describe a feature that would make one go for the deal, even if there are other not so great characteristics.

The expression could fill the sentence below:

I know this phone carrier has higher rates and everything, but if they are offering free iPhone to us if we switch, that would be a <expression here>! We would totally go for it.

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You're looking for something other than deal-maker? –  cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Apr 2 '12 at 18:40
    
I'm not a native English speaker, so I was unaware of the "deal-maker" expression. Maybe you should post it as an answer. Is it as widely used as its counterpart (Deal breaker)? –  Adrian Apr 2 '12 at 18:46
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The opposite of a deal-breaker isn't the sort of incentive you're talking about; it's simply a requirement. (A deal-breaker is something that, if present, terminates the deal; a requirement is something that, if absent, terminates the deal.) –  chaos Apr 2 '12 at 19:12
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@cornbreadninja you should submit your comment as an answer. –  user14070 Apr 2 '12 at 20:00

5 Answers 5

up vote 42 down vote accepted

That would be the clincher - a fact, argument, or event that settles a matter conclusively.

In OP's case, the matter in question being which deal to sign up for.

EDIT: Since there's been some discussion about "levels of formality" in comments, I'll just say that clincher is far less informal than "we would totally go for it!" in OP's example context, and that a "clinching argument" wouldn't be out of place in the most formal debating society context.

There's also killer feature which "kills off" the competition (cf killer app), but I think this is more popular with ad-men and reviewers than with Joe Public trying to choose between rival products.

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Is "clincher" a widely used expression? How informal is it? I mean, will I look bad (or smug) if I use it in a job interview, for example? Will I be understood if I use it with a salesperson who's trying to make me choose for a car model? –  Adrian Apr 2 '12 at 19:16
    
@Adrian: I suppose clincher itself might be considered a little informal by some, but clinching argument, for example, would be fine in any context. –  FumbleFingers Apr 2 '12 at 19:40
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@Adrian: I would think that "clincher" is about as formal (or informal") as the phrase "deal breaker". If you can use one in a conversation, you should be able to use the other. –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Apr 2 '12 at 20:55
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@FrustratedWithFormsDesigner: It's "as formal" at the very least. I can imagine some people might think deal breaker is informal or "slangy" compared to clincher, but not the other way around. –  FumbleFingers Apr 2 '12 at 21:01

While it is not strictly an opposite, I have heard "no-brainer" used in that context: "Ok, the price is high, but they're giving me an iPhone? That's a no-brainer!" The sense is "I don't have to think about that; of course I'm going to do it".

A less casual phrase would be "automatic win": "This provider, unlike the others, will give me a free iPhone. That's an automatic win."

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Although usable is we change the wording, I'm not not sure this would represent the opposite of "Deal breaker". Then again, I'm not a native speaker so I'll let the community decide :) –  Adrian Apr 2 '12 at 18:58
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I think "no-brainer" in this context would refer to the deal itself, whereas the opposite of "deal breaker" would be applied to the iPhone (or the fact that you are getting an iPhone out of the deal). –  Jim Apr 2 '12 at 19:25

For whatever reason, we normally don't express the concept "there are lots of disadvantages, but this one good thing outweighs them all" in a simple phrase like "deal-maker". We often say that one critical feature seals the deal, but that usually means the other features were still positive, just not overwhelmingly so. (Just now I see FumbleFingers has submitted clincher. That is a nice answer, and serves as the single-word form of "the thing that seals the deal", but it still suffers from the connotation that we had been leaning toward making the deal anyway, and this thing just pushes us over the top.)

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I like the "seals the deal" expression. My question is not really a matter of one feature outweighing all others, but one that would make you certainly make a decision if you are in doubt. +1 –  Adrian Apr 2 '12 at 18:56
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I came to suggest "seals the deal", but you have already done so in a well-reasoned fashion. Have an upvote. –  Zoot Apr 2 '12 at 20:09

As I stated in comment, deal-maker comes to mind most immediately. If you are looking for a single-word answer, look no further than FumbleFingers.

Clincher is to catch as deal-maker is to deal-breaker.

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A deal maker is a person who makes deals. It is not the feature or selling point that seals the deal. –  z7sg Ѫ Apr 2 '12 at 22:27
    
It could be just as easily said that a deal breaker is a person who breaks deals. –  cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Apr 3 '12 at 15:06
    
It could also easily be said that a squirrel is a sea-creature that breathes fire. –  z7sg Ѫ Apr 3 '12 at 15:25

I would say "but if they are offering free iPhone to us if we switch, that would seal the deal!"

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protected by RegDwigнt Apr 2 '12 at 23:05

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