Dealmaking – “Hot Buttons”

Blog Article

Date: 29 March 2018, Blog >>

By: Kim Meredith (Chief Executive Officer of The Dealmaker Company)

Dealmaking – Hot Buttons: What Makes The Other Person Tick

Deals should be won based on business needs but this rarely tends to happen. As people are not one-dimensional, factors other than logic and objectivity influence the way in which they make decisions about deals. They do deals with people they like, or don’t do a deal because of a personal issue with the other party. They pay more when they could get something for less, or walk away from good deals for reasons known only to themselves.

A fundamental truth about dealmaking: personal Wants spill over into deals. Whether the other person’s Wants or Hot Buttons are to reduce their stress-levels, look good in the eyes of their colleagues, get recognition or a promotion, or be seen as a thought leader, your role as a dealmaker is not to judge – it is to facilitate. How does your deal give them what they want at a personal level?

Wants or Hot Buttons differ widely from person to person. They are more a factor of character than the role someone is playing in a Decision Centre. So, while the business needs of a group might be collective, the personal wants are individual.

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.

How do you find out what is important to someone at a personal level? You could of course ask, but they will not always be prepared to tell you. Why not, you wonder? People don’t disclose their Wants or Hot Buttons for fear of looking shallow or selfish.

There is a fine art to pressing Hot Buttons. People are sensitive about their private drivers. They prefer not to acknowledge that they have self-interest. Their immediate reaction to a question like “Why did you buy that car?” is more likely to be “Because it retains its resale value like no other” rather than “Because I think I look smoking hot in it”

When dealing with people’s humanness, it is better to be subtle. Gently test the water. You might want to comment on the appeal of the car, or how you would feel driving it. Sharing a personal view or experience encourages the other person to be more open. Whatever you do, avoid being insincere. Most people can spot a phoney.

Another way to discover someone’s Hot Buttons is to ask someone else – this might be their personal assistant or a colleague in the same company. Best not to ask “Why does Patrick have such a bling watch?” You might rather ask, “What motivates Patrick?” or “What are Patrick’s hobbies or passions?”

If you can understand someone’s underlying personal motivators and show them how this will be addressed by choosing your deal, you are actually serving them. Give people what they want at a business and a personal level. This is what makes expert dealmakers successful.