How to Get Into the Seller’s Head

Last week, I told you about one of my favorite movie franchises – The Avengers – and how you can build your own INVINCIBLE deal team.

I also asked you to email me some of your top movies… and I was not disappointed. In fact, Barbara W. mentioned another one of my all-time favorite films.

I’ll get to it in a just a moment…

But first – let’s talk about two big skills required to be a badass dealmaker.

One is tapping into the seller’s MINDSET.

The other is relationship building, or RAPPORT.

Master both and you are 90% of your way to successfully closing deals

Why? Because small business deals – companies with ideally $1—5 million in annual revenue, up to $10 million – are 90% psychology and only 10% numbers.

The more you get to know and understand the seller to assist them in their current situation…

And the more the seller gets to KNOW, LIKE and TRUST you…

The easier it is to close deals.

Cut to the movie I said I would tell you about….

I re-watched it recently on a flight from the U.S. to the U.K. (which seems so long ago now).

I couldn’t sleep, so I scanned the movie roster and saw the Leo DiCaprio movie Inception – JACKPOT. I kicked back, ordered another glass of wine and settled in.



I LOVE this movie. It’s complicated. There’s a lot going on…

Essentially, Leo plays the leader of a team that is skilled at accessing the human mind and controlling or influencing thoughts.

Now – I’m not recommending you drug a seller and subject them to the mind tricks Leo and his merry band use…


In the movie, Leo’s crew drugs the heir of a business empire who has declined to sell the group to its major competitor. They subject the heir (acted by Cillian Murphy, who played badass Tommy Shelby in the amazing Peaky Blinders) to a set of stacked dreams to convince him to sell.

And it works. Not very ethical, but it works.

Here’s how you can do the same – ethically and without Leo, his crew or any drugs or mind-bending techniques.

This is where those two important skills I mentioned earlier come in…

You need to build RAPPORT to figure out the seller’s MINDSET – in other words, WHY they want to sell.

Remember, you’re building the relationship at every touch point. So plant the seed from the beginning with your direct approach.

When you write to potential sellers, write to them in a personalized way. Include data you’ve grabbed from online industry registers or general business information databases – like InfoUSA, D&B Hoovers, DueDil, etc.

(You can access most of these databases for free on a trial basis, in public libraries, even via their online access portals.)

Your goal is to build rapport so you can enter the conversation the seller is having in their head.

That’s the REAL secret. Like Leo in Inception, you want to get into the seller’s mind – but ethically.

It starts with understanding what the seller wants out of the deal.

Easy – cash at closing, right? Everybody wants cash.

But in my experience, 79% of sellers – and I have surveyed nearly 2,000 – do NOT value cash at closing as important as ensuring their business will be protected and cherished by the new owner.

So that’s the conversation you need to have. Get the seller to KNOW, LIKE and TRUST you so they tell you what they DO want.

Cultivate your relationship by asking nonbusiness-related questions…

What are their hobbies? Their values? What makes them tick? What makes them happy?

I spend at least 30 minutes at the start of a seller meeting getting to know them in this manner – and letting them get to know me.

Typically, I stay clear of politics and religion – unless it’s a direct match with what I think and believe.

After that, I drill into my tried-and-tested 30-question sequence.

Question two is the most important.

It’s the most POWERFUL four words that will come out of your mouth in the first meeting.

Why are you selling?

This is your opportunity to drill into the seller’s mindset and find out what they REALLY want. If the seller just wants to retire… is burned out, frustrated, bored or sick… or fears for the legacy of their business…

Then you strike.

YOU are the safe pair of hands. YOU will grow the business. YOU will safeguard the employees and protect the legacy of the business.

Believe me – the seller will love you for that. They’ll cheer you on from the sidelines. Maybe even help you part time once you own it.

THAT is how you control the seller’s decision.

No Leo, no crew, no drugs or any other questionable methods.

Just the power of rapport.

Use this tactic the next time you meet with a seller. You will be amazed at the results.

Until next time, bye for now.

Carl Allen

Carl Allen
Editor and co-founder, Dealmaker Wealth Society

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