I like to get deals done as quickly as possible.

And with no surprises.

Cause when you get surprised, you are no longer in control.

Yesterday, I was out giving some beer coaching* to a friend who is negotiating right now for some new restaurant space.

(*Note: beer coaching = coaching on any topic done while drinking a beer, usually in a bar)

He is in the 11th hour and thought he was going to sign an agreement yesterday.

Turns out the stuck a pretty big clause in the contract that once he read it, wasn’t what he thought or expected.

It surprised him.

Made him feel out of control.

And ultimately it slowed the deal down.

Both parties to the negotiation want to get this deal done.

My friend thought he was getting a smokin’ deal on improvements to the space.

He thought the deal was so good and that the leasing agent wanted him as a tenant so much, that he didn’t ask specifically how much the leasing agent was going to pay for improvements. The landlord just told him that he would get “everything” he wanted.

Well as we all know, the real world has limits. And when my friend got the lease agreement, there was a limit on the improvements, a limit that hadn’t been discussed before. And then of course the leasing agent wanted close the deal ASAP.

But now there was this whole new issue to discuss. And a lot of trust that the leasing agent had built got destroyed.

Both parties are at fault for this surprise. The leasing agent because he should have been more upfront during pre-contract discussions about putting a limit on improvements. And my future tenant friend because he should have asked more specific questions about the terms of the deal.

Getting clarity, getting specific always helps in any deal you are in. Whether you are the buyer or the seller (as you and I usually are).

Surprises happen all the time in business deals to both the buyers and the sellers.

As a seller you can prevent surprises from happening to you by confronting all issues as soon as you become aware of them, or suspect that they are going to come up.

Don’t accept vague answers. Don’t assume that you know exactly what prospect means.

If you are told, “We are going to evaluate your proposal and get back to you” probe for more specific detail. How are they going to “evaluate”? What criteria are they going to use? Who will ultimately decide?

And better yet, don’t give out a frickin proposal until you get something in exchange. Get a commitment for a live review/discussion with the decision-maker in return for preparing a proposal.

Tolerance of vagueness can cause you to miss out on the key piece of information that could turn the deal in your favor.

Always get specific and get clarity.

Sell with Pride,

Shameless Shamus Brown

P.S. I cover a series of excellent techniques for getting specific information out of your prospects, and getting them so emotional that they have to buy your stuff in the Persuasive Questioning Techniques Sales Course of the Persuasive Selling Skills Audio Program.