Date: 1 March 2018, Blog >>
By: Kim Meredith (Chief Executive Officer of The Dealmaker Company)
Five Dealmaking Tips
What is the cost of poor dealmaking to your company? If you could add 10% to your profitability, revenue or market share, what impact would this have on your business?
There are certain key elements that contribute to the success of business deals – the ability to plan, having the right information, knowing how to listen, and knowing what makes the other person tick are a couple of those factors.
1. The Power of Planning
One of the biggest threats to you deal is neglecting to plan for the deal. Even if you are just gathering information, plan what you want from the face-to-face encounter. Planning allows dealmakers, even those with very few dealmaking skills or the weakest imaginable positions, to find power. It is the actual process of planning that creates the awareness of your potential strengths or weaknesses – factors that are vital to your dealmaking success. If you don’t know where to begin, a SWOT analysis is a good place to start.
2. Information is Power
Having meaningful information and knowing how to use it will help you to facilitate and close the deal more quickly. How do you get information? Ask questions! Ensure that you ask quality questions that are well thought out and prepared beforehand though, as poor questions will only result in vague and unclear answers. There are also other ways of getting information such as the internet, newspapers, reports, periodicals, magazines, and social media of course. Never use information to compromise the other party or create win-lose situations in your favour though, as no one will want to share information or make deals with you going forward.
3. The Art of Listening
One of the key aspects of dealmaking is listening – not just to what is being said but also to what is not being said. Watch the other person’s facial expressions and body language like hand gestures and eye movements. When we really listen, we pick up on clues and signals that we need to be able to assess the other party’s flexibility and issues in the deal. Never underestimate the power of silence. TIP: Ask a question, then keep quiet for five seconds. The other person will start talking mostly – because they are uncomfortable with the silence – pouring forth all the information that you need.
4. Hot Buttons – What Makes The Other Person Tick
Deals are most often closed on factors other than logic and objectivity. Personal motivators influence our decisions. You are more likely to get the deal if you can show the other person how your deal can address their needs – not only on a business, but at a personal level. To do this, you must understand the other person’s Hot Buttons – what makes them tick. One way of finding someone’s Hot Buttons is to look for clues – do they have family pictures in their office? What kind of car do they drive? What kind of a watch are they wearing? Do they do charity work?
5. Make The First Proposal?
Who should make the first proposal in a deal? Why, you of course! When the other person makes the first move, they make it on their terms and ask for what they want. The first offer on the table becomes the actual starting point of the deal and always suits the person putting the proposal on the table. And it’s difficult to move someone up from a low opening position. Your offer may be rejected if you go first, but at least it will be from the base point you set.