(By Gil Gerretsen) One thing that differentiates great business leaders is their ability to negotiate deals. Almost universally, they have a well thought out plan based on extensive data gathering prior to the negotiation. They are also highly observant of body language and behavior during a negotiation because those two thing say a great deal about someone and the status of the negotiation.

During negotiations, they have a distinct ability to detach themselves from events that might otherwise cause them to get angry or flustered. That makes it nearly impossible to manipulate them emotionally. By contrast, most people let their emotions rule when faced with any negotiation, and as a result, are quickly crushed. It’s a rule in negotiations that you won’t get the deal you want if you lose your focus during the process.

Self-made billionaires, in particular, are adept in using their negotiation skills to generate cash flow almost on demand. They can find or provide cash to respond to key opportunities, execute vital initiatives, or pay the bills at just the right time. They know where to look and then put their persuasion skills to powerful use (e.g. financiers and investors).