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Think of the following situations:

  • Union negotiations are intense and the parties often can’t stand each other.
  • Pro sports are extremely competitive and tempers often flare.
  • Apple vs. Samsung vs. Google vs. Microsoft
  • Democrats vs. Republicans

But small to mid-sized business buy-sell can’t be confrontational or there won’t be a deal. The buyer and seller have to live with each other for months or even years. The buyer has to work with the management and other employees and if they know the buyer and seller are fighting guess whose side they’ll take (it’s not the buyer’s)?

Buy-sell deals have to feature collaboration. The parties have to like each other and the advisors have to work together to make sure things so smoothly. There is give and take, not everybody gets what they wish and hope for (a super-high price all in cash or a rock-bottom price with almost no down payment.)

The deals that go the fastest and the smoothest are those where all the parties understand a successful deal is the only goal that really matters. It doesn’t help to win a bunch of little battles if you lose the war, which you may lose if you drive the other side crazy with nagging requests (always wanting a little more).

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