Date: 15 March 2018, Blog >>
By: Kim Meredith (Chief Executive Officer of The Dealmaker Company)
The Power of Information
In an earlier article, I mentioned that having meaningful information and knowing how to use it would help you to facilitate and close the deal more quickly. But how do you obtain this information?
Asking intelligent, well-prepared questions was one of the ways in which to obtain that information. If you know how to ask questions correctly, there is very little the other person won’t tell you. But what if you are asking for sensitive information in a deal? The skill is in how you ask the question. The way to do it:
- Ensure that your question is absolutely clear
- Keep it down to a single sentence
- Use direct, plain language and do not clarify, expand or explain
- Look the person directly in the eye when you ask the question
- Give them up to one minute to answer
- Don’t look away or fidget while you are waiting
- If they don’t answer, repeat the question and wait another minute
- Thank them once they have answered
- Move immediately onto the next subject, but choose something that is less contentious
If the other person declines to answer the question, respect this decision and do not interrogate them.
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 then.
Being able to give information in a deal is as important as the ability to get information. Disclosing information (what to say, how to say it and how much to say) is an art and what applies to one deal may not be appropriate for another.
Some tips when giving information:
- Make a conscious decision about the kind of information you are going to give
- Don’t invent information. If the other person discovers that you have lied, you will lose all your credibility and the other party will distrust everything you say or have said. No one respects a liar.
- Use your information to set your expectations. When you set expectations, you get the other person to think the way you want them to.
- The giving of information can range from direct, clear and to the point statements to subtle hints and suggestions.
What do you do if the other party asks for information you don’t want to give? Do you simply say “I’m not prepared to share that”? Unfortunately, such statements are considered unhelpful, so here’s a better solution. Ask them a question in return. Classic questions could include the following:
- Why do you need to know that?
- Why is this information important to you?
- What is your reason for asking the question?
Remember though, that every deal will be different when it comes to giving information, but it is within your power to consciously choose what kind of information you want to give and how to give it.