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How to Use Successful M&A Negotiation Tactics

Negotiating an M&A deal is not about forcing your will on the other side. That’s called unconditional surrender. If the other side has other options, they’re not going to agree to your stringent and unbending demands. And if they don’t have other options and instead reluctantly accept your offer, you’re unlikely to find you have a loyal business partner.

Remember, negotiating is more art than science.

While you’re spending so much time dealing with the other side, get to know those folks. Draw them close. If you know the other party, his habits, and his methods of doing business, you have a far better chance of successfully negotiating a mutually beneficial deal.

M&A negotiation: Say “Here’s the deal that gets it done”

This line is a favorite because it puts a closed deal on the other side’s plate; all the others have to do is agree. It’s usually best served toward the end of a negotiation, after some back-and-forth. Let a few issues get settled. Let both sides compromise. Then deliver the deal that gets it done.

M&A negotiation: Understand that the first who speaks loses

Say your piece, make your point, and then shut up. Humans tend to have an innate need to fill the void of silence because it makes us uncomfortable. If you can fight against the need to fill that silent void, you may be surprised at what your negotiating opponent is willing to concede.

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