What are the secrets to masterful deal making? Arthur Wylie continues his advice in this second offering. Add these basic steps to becoming an ace dealmaker. Read Part I which was posted on December 7, 2011.
• Key # 4: Be humble. You have to be humble, but firm, to effectively broker a deal. There’s a fine line between the two, particularly when you’re dealing with people who have already attained a measure of success. Always respect the positions of the other people involved in your negotiations no matter how badly, or not, you want the deal. It’s important to be fair and honest about the negotiation and to keep your intentions pure. You need to let people know you have the ability and desire to perform the task with which you’re charged. You also need to showcase with quantifiable examples that you put 100 percent effort behind everything you do. At the same time, you must express genuine respect and appreciation for what the other parties, what they have done and who they are—even if they’re, well, jerks. Even a jerk can grow to appreciate, respect and ultimately benefit you, and once that two-way street is established negotiations can ensure and deals can be made. Humility with backbone. It’s a tricky combination to maintain but one that’s absolutely mission critical.
• Key # 5: Finesse. No matter how large or small, almost every deal takes finesse, which is where skill and natural ability meet. This is where you get to have fun and allow your personality to shine. It means being able to explore different angles and try the somewhat weird and wacky—maybe even a bit of the fearless and crazy. It’s problem solving with a twist. It’s poise and diplomacy. It’s art. In the end, when finesse comes into play, the parties genuinely like each other and all sides look for ways to make sure the deal becomes a reality. For the best wheeler-dealers, finesse comes naturally; they don’t even know they’re doing it. If you’re lucky, it works that way for you as well. If not, develop it, let it flow and have fun trying it. Before you know it, you’ll be finessing your deals, too.
• Key # 6: Swagger. Swagger is an attitude you implement through finesse; it uses finesse as a tool. If finesse is about problem solving and outside-the-box thinking, then swagger is about having commanding and authoritative disposition and demeanor but without being pretentious or arrogant. It’s about knowing how good you are and hinting at what you are capable of but without being braggadocios. Swagger is a spirited characteristic that you possess and radiate without ever compromising your integrity or sacrificing your general likability. In a deal-making situation, your swagger should exude confidence, success and fearlessness. Hit the right notes with your swagger, and you’ll walk away with what you want. Just one more step in perfecting your life-wealth plan.
Master the six steps outlined above and you’ll be ready for some high stakes deal making. Remember, though, that Rome wasn’t built in a day, so conquering negotiating skills isn’t going to happen that quickly either. Start small before attempting to hit the Big Leagues. You may have to stumble a few times, but just get back up and go at it again. Along the way, keep both your successes and your failures in perspective, remembering that they are just stepping-stones along your lifetime of deal adventures. Once you’ve mastered the art, aim high—just like those seemingly crazy and fearless billionaires.
Internationally-regarded investing and entertainment mogul Arthur Wylie is the author of “Only the Crazy and Fearless Win BIG!: The Surprising Secrets to Success in Business and in Life” (http://www.crazyandfearless.com/) and serves as CEO of Arthur Wylie Enterprises – a brand with diverse practice areas, including include business consulting, real estate, investing, speaking, entertainment/film production, book publishing and philanthropy.