"Tommy Can You Hear Me?"*


*A song written by the great Pete Townshend of The Who

The one who listens is the one who has the power in the conversation. Why? Because listening will guide you to create an accurate picture of the deal in the parties' minds. The negotiation pro, Stuart Diamond, describes this as painting pictures in the mind of the parties. The mind is the most important tool to effectively achieve your goals in a negotiation. Paint your master piece by asking good questions and by truly listening to the answers.

Here are some good questions to ask next time you want to paint pictures in the minds of the parties:

  • What problem will this deal solve?
  • Why are we solving it this way?
  • What is the value proposition of this deal?
  • What is your biggest fear of this transaction?
  • How did you develop your business model?
  • Can you walk me through a sample transaction from the beginning to the end?
Adopt the mindset of a listener and you will be well on your way to being a rockstar dealmaker.

(photo from http://www.seeklogo.com/)