What makes for a good deal?

MAKING A GOOD DEAL TAKES BRAINS, EXPERIENCE AND SAVVY. I've been fortunate to have some excellent mentors over the years that taught me some of the principles they use to put together all kinds of deals (mergers, acquisitions, alliances, partnerships and so on).

Here are a couple of those principles that I've shared with clients in recent months. I thought you might find them useful.


1. LEAVE THE TABLE MOSTLY HAPPY. This totally flies in the face of the hardball, take no prisoners deal-making mindset you often hear.

But keep an open mind for a moment. The idea here is to go in knowing you won't get absolutely everything you wanted, and that's okay. And neither will the other guys. But everybody gets MOST of what they wanted. Here's why this is important: If I get everything I want, it probably means you got screwed. You won't want to do another deal with me – or if you do – you'll be out to screw me. You'll also probably bad-mouth me every chance you get, which will discourage others from wanting to do a deal with me.

And, as one of my mentors once said, you'll soon forget about whatever you gave up along the way. Because... .

I've watched deals fold because one of the parties was unrealistic. Asking too much. Giving too little. Not wanting to disclose something (like his family or a mistress on the payroll). Can''t make a decision or let go. Or not realizing that deals simply take time to happen. End result:  no one benefits.

So it's important to stay focused on the outcome you want and the benefits you'll have when the deal is done. Will it take patience, persistence, and biting your tongue a couple of times? Probably. Is that worth it? 

Is there a principle of making deals that you've learned?  Share it with us in the Comments below.

Carl Francis