As an entrepreneur, I have bought and sold several small businesses of my own. Establishing and maintaining trust between buyer and seller is critical for a successful business merger or acquisition. Not only does trust impact a mutually successful business transaction, establishing trust between both sides reduces anxiety and stress.
The key to establishing trust? Communication.
“Focus on building trust throughout the combined organizations through meaningful, consistent communication along with frequent opportunities for collaboration across teams from each company. Trust contributes directly to engagement, and keeping employees engaged during the transition of two companies into one will foster more stable ground for a successful merger.”
– Frank Costanza, foxbusiness.com
Many business acquisitions get derailed not because of the transaction itself, but by how the transaction is managed between the principal parties. Distrust can develop at any point during a business sale negotiation and may be caused by the stakeholders: business owners, executive leadership, or board members, or by the outside consultants hired to manage the negotiations, such as lawyers or business broker.
3 Ways to Build Trust During a Business Sale
According to Forbes, there are 3 things you should do to build trust and good will during a business sale:
1. Say “Thank You”
When you are buying someone’s business, take a moment to thank them for selling it to you. Always remember that the seller has a choice and chose to accept your offer. These two simple words can be the difference between a deal going through and it falling apart.
2. Don’t Be Overly Critical
Buyers will often try to get a better deal by pointing out the seller’s business flaws and outlining how much it will cost to fix them. This is not a play I recommend. Not only does this rarely result in a discounted purchase price, but it can also thwart the business deal.
3. Create And Communicate Your Timeline
Sellers are notorious for doubting that the acquisition will actually close. This is especially true of first-time sellers: Their doubts are magnified when the deals and timelines persist past expectations.
Once a business sale is closed, ideally both sides will have positive feelings about the sale: a win/win. A business acquisition where both sides feel they completed a successful transaction and they are happy with the results is only possible through communication.
As a sales professional, I have generated hundreds of millions in sales revenues and trained thousands of sales pros in various industries over the past 25 years. In training sales people to become Sales Assassins, one of my principal philosophies is:
Previously published in LinkedIn
About Anthony Caliendo
Anthony has discussed his sales strategies on radio and TV on CBS, NBC, ABC and FOX. He has been quoted in industry mags including Salesforce, Small Biz Daily, The Canadian Business Journal, Focus Magazine, TK Business Magazine, AMA Playbook, In Business Magazine, with a spellbinding book review in Digital Journal.
Anthony lives and works in South Florida with his wife, Lynette and their eight children.
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