7 Lessons learned from a Multimillion Dollar Deal Maker
These lessons are learned from a savvy business man I met in Los Angeles. They are not a sacrament of behavior or a guide to a happy life, simply techniques he implemented to improve his business success. For his anonymity, I will refer to him by the alias Dealmaker.
His lessons are principles of human behavior, but Dealmaker has no formal training in psychology. Los Angeles is his teacher. His sample size was the hundreds of deals he crafted. Deal Maker is a compulsive moneymaker; a man who understands the business of relationships.
Deal Maker came to Los Angeles for a chance at the good life. He came with only a vision for himself, a little money, and an opportunity to work on only commission of what he sold. Dealmaker was thrust into survival mode. He needed to become an expert on selling and he did. He then slowly but surely moved into selling himself, and crafting 6 and 7 figure deals.
I only spent a limited time with Dealmaker and there are surely many other techniques that he used. Do not think of these principles as a guide but instead a puzzle. Connect the dots to your own life. Some may work wondrously and others may not.
1) Never be A Customer Always be a Friend
I remember driving to a grocery store with Dealmaker in his fancy black S-class Mercedes with a plush brown interior. It seemed as if I was driving in the car of a mafioso. He walked over to the checkout stand dressed in a flashy shirt, black pants, alligator skin shoes, and hoards of jewelry. He beamed a smile at the checkout lady she smiled back acknowledging him on a first name basis.
Dealmaker went to buy a steak. Hey, Antonio how are you kids” he said to the Deli Worker. After a couple minutes of chatting, Antonio gave Dealmaker the nicest cut of steak he could find. He was especially meticulous in his search and when he weighed the meat he rounded down the price.
Everywhere DealMaker went and for everything DealMaker needed, he had a guy. This string of guys meant dealmaker had opportunities that opened up to him like a carefully planned strategy. Deal Maker treated every business relationship with integrity. A grocery store visit or a 100 thousand dollar deal, it’s never a transaction it’s always a friendship.
2) Dress Nice, Keep a Clean Environment, and a Clean Car
Deal Maker came to Los Angeles with a vision. To become a successful businessman, so he began to treat himself that way. In Los Angeles, you are what you deem yourself to be. A well-dressed, articulate man in a suit, armed with a business card can shape himself into almost anything. Dealmaker treated himself as a respectable successful professional. He always showed up in a clean car, worked in an organized and stimulating environment, and dressed professionally. His lifestyle reflected the vision he created for himself.
3) You can’t play too many roles.
DealMaker has a maid, a personal assistant, accountant, driver, gardener, the list goes on. He will do tasks that he enjoys such as cooking, but will rarely spend time trying to be an expert in areas he doesn’t need to. Most of us don’t have dealmakers budget but the principle is a simple business one. You don’t have to do everything, let other people take care of tasks and you work on what you can do best or what you simply enjoy doing. For this you need a plethora of relationships read rule 1 again.
(Dealmaker said that sometimes when we start out we need to play many roles. Only as we progress through this stage can we properly delegate work)
4) Life is a Perception (Fake it till You Make It)
From the first word you speak, your body language, and your emotional state, the truth is often a perception. What do you know that is true? Try to be as skeptical as possible, are you sure that the way you see it is the truth? I would say that much of what you think is the truth is actually an opinion. Dealmaker always presented himself in the way he wanted to be perceived and many times he became that.
In psychology, there is an experiment in which a group of students was picked at random. The teacher was told that these randomly selected students were intellectually gifted and so they were treated that way. (The students did not know) Most of the students ended up performing at the top of the class as if they actually were the gifted students.
This is called the Self-fulfilling prophecy. A belief that comes true because we are acting as if it true. Others perceived Dealmaker as a successful businessman so opportunities came to him that would not have otherwise.
5) A Big Deal is Relative. Rethink your Value.
Deal Maker was closing a 6 figure deal and he said I’m gonna ask for another 50 grand. They will give it, you have to know the players you’re playing with. As he drove down the streets of Beverly hills with its flashy homes and extravagant sports cars, it was clear that enough was also relative.
6) It’s Not a Good Deal unless Both Parties Think they are Getting a Deal.
If the deal is gonna work, remember you must both win. If one believes he’s not getting a good deal it not a good deal. Give them a little room, if they are happy with the deal they will come back for another.
7) You don’t Get What you deserve you get what you Negotiate.
Look at this painting on the galleries wall, its oil on canvas maybe 200 dollars worth of material, but priced at 20,000. You know why, because it’s in fancy gallery, with an elegant frame around it. If I take it out of the fancy frame and go to downtown and try selling it on the street, the uninformed person might not even give me 500 for it. The value of a deal is based on the way its framed, not what its worth or what you deserve.
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Alex Bane is student of psychology. He Blogs at AlexBane.com where you can find articles on Business, Sex, Self-Improvement and whatever other catchy ideas are stirred up in his conscious.