In a recent blog post I had a bullet point that indicated everything is negotiable when buying a business. It still amazes me how many deals fail to get done simply because the parties lack negotiating experience.
Often, inexperienced business buyers and sellers have an incorrect interpretation altogether as to what a negotiation entails. Negotiating is not arguing or fighting, or drawing lines in the sand, or the worst one of all, when one side claims that a particular issue is a “deal-breaker”. These approaches, or better yet attitudes, are sheer nonsense and by adopting any of them you will put yourself at a huge disadvantage to ever get a deal done.
Choose your battles: There is always a wealth of issues to be negotiated during this process – not every one is critical, or rather, some are more important than others. Certain issues are just not worth fighting about relative to what the ultimate goal is (to get a good deal done) or in comparison to other important matters where you need to take a hard stand.
The “line-in-the-sand” position:
It is okay to revisit issues: As mentioned earlier,
Get people to the table: When big issues must be addressed avoid email. It is difficult to retract the written word. Plus, people are generally much bolder hiding behind written communication than they are in person.
What they bring up last is usually the most important: My good friend Robert Verna once told me that whatever it is that the other side in a transaction wants to really discuss is typically the one they bring up last and I have found him to be correct in nearly every situation. As such,
I fundamentally believe there is a resolution to every single issue during the business for sale process. In the end, it comes down to the buyer and seller. If the spirit is there to get a deal done, there is no situation, problem, obstacle or challenge that cannot be overcome. It is simply a matter of wanting to see it through. Obviously, there are cases where the circumstances are too grave to even consider continuing with the deal, and so these are the ones where you have to walk from the deal, but overall, that is the exception and not the rule.
Here is a link to learn more about negotiating a business purchase.
Have a great week.
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