Negotiating in Parallel

One of the secrets to negotiating a successful acquisition is to negotiate in parallel, not in series. Rather than negotiating each point one by one, put all the issues on the table and discuss them at the same time.

While it may seem overwhelming to juggle multiple issues at once, this approach is a much better way to negotiate because it provides more flexibility and prevents one issue from delaying or derailing an entire transaction.

Negotiating each point in isolation is like trying to solve a puzzle by only pulling one piece out of the box at a time. This would be an incredibly frustrating and time-consuming way to solve a puzzle! It makes more sense to lay all the pieces on the table at the same time, so you can form a complete picture.

In acquisition, you may have certain non-negotiable items, but you may be willing to compromise on others. Negotiating in parallel allows you to “trade” the issues that are less important to you with the seller so that you can reach a deal both parties will agree to. For example, you may be willing to keep operations in the seller’s home town if the seller agrees to sell the company’s brand name to you.

Negotiating point by point can be frustrating, especially on issues where buyer and seller do not see eye-to-eye. In contrast, negotiating in parallel will help you achieve your desired outcome faster with less frustration.  The most significant advantage of this negotiation approach is that instead of being bogged down by tiny details, you are able to keep the big picture in mind throughout the entire process.

Learn more about negotiating in mergers and acquisitions in our upcoming webinar: Successful Negotiation Tactics.