If you play poker, you’ve probably heard the term “play the man, not the odds”. Well, that saying also works in business. Let me explain…
Would you rather use logic or emotions to win a deal? Logic, right? To some extent you are right, but logic won’t get you the best deal. If you want to come on top from a deal you need to use both logic and emotions.
Over the last 10 years I went from being able to closing 4 figure deals to closing 7 figure deals. It took me a long time because no one taught me to play the man (using emotions) instead of playing the odds (using logic).
Here is a step by step approach that will help you to play the man and not the odds:
Step #1: Make them nervous
When someone gets nervous it throws them off guard and they are unsure of what to do. And do you know how the best way to do this is? It’s to show how you are the alpha male of the group (amog). And while some people may claim to hate amog’s, people still drawn to them, as they want to be associated with them.
So how can you amog a potential customer or partner?
- Be direct – people are used to others cutting to the chase. It shows that you don’t care.
- Be assertive – don’t be passive with your tone of voice.Â People want to do business with people who have confidence.
- Cut people off – this may sound rude, but if people ramble, cut them off. It shows that you are controlling the conversation.
It doesn’t take much more than that to be an amog. Just practice with friends and family first, and let them know what you are doing of course, because it takes some finesse for it to work.
Step #2: Show your value
Now that people know you are the amog, you have to show your value. Make it clear what you can bring to the table because people don’t make deals based off of emotions, they also use logic. So this is where you use both.
Prove your points as quickly and efficiently as possible, while answering any questions the other party may have. It’s also important that during this step you explain what you are going to do for the other party.
Step #3: Get an amount
Not every business deal is a cash transaction, but there is usually a financial transaction involved. Whether it is figuring out terms for a partnership or getting equity in a company, there is something that tends to be traded.
Once you both have a clear understanding what each party is looking for (cash for work, or equity for a work…), you need to ask what they feel is a reasonable deal.
In most cases they will respond with that they are unsure. And when they do this, make sure you don’t throw out an amount as that is the worst thing you can do in a negotiation.
Instead give them an extreme example, such as:
Well we know it wouldn’t be a dollar as that amount wouldn’t be worth it for me and we know it wouldn’t be a million dollars as that amount just isn’t worth it for you. There must be an amount in between that will work for both of us, if you don’t know of the amount, give me a rough range on where you think the amount should fall into.
By saying that you will typically get a range for a potential customer. This will give you a ballpark on where you have to be.
Step #4: Swing for the fences
If you want money, equity or whatever you want, you have to explain why you want it and how the amount you are asking for is reasonable.
The easiest way to do this is to explain how you are going to make them more money. And once you explain it, show them. You can do so through case studies and examples, or even walk them through what steps you are going to take with their business to achieve those results.
If you can’t make a pitch based on how much money you are going to make them, talk about how much you are going to save them. But don’t talk about savings unless you can’t make a solid case on how you will make them more money.
Step #5: Ask them what they think
It’s not all about you! You need to get a good understanding of what the other party thinks. You can do so by simply asking:
What do you think?
If you did the previous steps above, they will typically want to work with you. If you didn’t, they will either say no or that they are going to have to think about it.
Step #6: Cut it short
After you get their feedback and how they ideally want to work with you, don’t keep on rambing by continuing the conversation. Try to wrap things up by transitioning the conversation into a closure.
And when wrapping it up, make sure you let them know that you are going to follow up with them in 3 or 4 days on if you want to work together or not.
By keeping things short it shows that you are busy and high in demand. Plus by saying that you are going to “think about working together” you’ve just turned the tables and physiologically they will want to work with you.
Step #7: Follow up
In 3 to 4 days follow up by email and request either a phone call or an in person meeting. You don’t want to tell people an answer of working together over email, as it’s hard to read a person over email. Emotions don’t come across the same way in email as they would over the phone or in person.
Step #8: Close the deal
Wrap things up and let them know when you will start. Dictate the terms, and get the documents signed. They may have questions at this point, but they should be good to go.
If they are hesitant to proceed you need to go back and repeat the process as you probably messed up on step #1, which is the most difficult. If you don’t show how you are the amog, you will have a tough time closing deal for the price you want.
By playing the man and not the odds you are taking emotions into account when closing. Remember people don’t just purely make decisions based off of logic, emotions also go into decision making.
A good example of this is the movie Pursuit of Happiness, in which the main character Chris goes for a job interview at a finance company. And he gets the job by the use of emotions even though he wasn’t dressed appropriately for the interview.
If you can learn to play the people in the room, with the steps above, and not just use logic to close deals, you’ll drastically increase your odds of closing a deal.