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WES S03E09: Deal Negotiations

Justin Cooke August 9, 2017

Subscribe to our VIP LISTNegotiating deals is kind of like driving cars.

It’s easy to point out others that are bad at it, but nobody think they’re bad at it themselves!

In this episode, we dig into some of the finer points on negotiating a deal from a seller’s point of view. We look at some of the Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to working with buyers, brokers, and interested parties.

We’ll walk you through the process of receiving the first offer to coming to an agreement that will ultimately allow you to sell your business.

This can be a very exciting (and nerve-wracking) step in the process — especially if you’re a first-time seller.

We’ll help demystify deal negotiations for you in this episode.

Like the show? Please stop by iTunes and leave us a review! We’ll give you a shout on the podcast and buy you a beer next time we get to meet you in person!

Listen To The Full Interview:

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • DON’T take it personal
  • DO stay open to “creative” offers
  • DON’T make promises you can’t keep
  • DO keep your options open with other potential buyers (until the last minute)
  • DON’T hide anything or ignore points made by the potential buyer
  • DO find out as much about interested buyers as you can
  • DON’T think the broker is ALWAYS aligned with your interests
  • DO trust your broker to negotiate the deal

 Featured On The Show:

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Justin Cooke:                     Business is done between people based on the fact that they know, like, and trust each other.

Speaker 2:                           Buying and selling businesses just got a lot easier. Welcome to the Web Equity Show where thousands of successful entrepreneurs go to learn about buying, growing, and selling online businesses. Your hosts, Justin Cooke and Ace Chapman share their real life advice, examples, and expert interviews to help you build and grow your own online portfolio. Now to your hosts, Justin and Ace.

Justin Cooke:                     Welcome to the Web Equity Show, I’m your host Justin Cooke and I’m here with my co-host Ace Chapman for another episode, we’re talking deal negotiations buddy.

Ace Chapman:                   Yeah man, this is where we get to the nitty gritty, you’re in the deal, you’ve done some – a little bit of due diligence, you think you’re ready to close and now you got to come up with a deal structure that’s gonna work well for you but you also gotta come up with one that’s gonna work well for the buyers so…

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, that’s the hot and heavy part, right? You have like the things that you want and you’re like really kind of like gunning to get those but there is another side to the table, there’s another seat at the table and they have things that they’re stuck on or really want too.

Ace Chapman:                   Exactly. So, when we look at these deals there’s a lot of dos and don’ts from the perspective of the seller which is what we’ve been focusing on this season, but there are also some things that, the other party, there’s the broker, there’s the buyer that you want to keep in mind as well.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah man. Were gonna get into all that, let’s do a listener question first. We got a question from Matt T., said “Love the show, super helpful and informative. I just purchased a site from Empire Flippers. Question concerning a website purchase, I purchased this site based on numbers of potential worth but I’m not a subject matter expert in the site’s niche. How do you guys compensate for that when it comes to trying to build up the site? Do you force yourself to become more of an expert? Do you find people that are experts? I wanna operate by that standard of not putting more unnecessary crap on the web so I wanna put quality content out there and not completely BS my way through it.”

Justin Cooke:                     Alright Matt, great question. I think when you’re looking to purchase a business, it helps if you actually know or understand the industry. I mean, a lot of times you’re gonna spot opportunities that had been missed when you know the niche or industry already. That’s not the case with you though, it sounds like, you bought into a business that’s a niche you’re unfamiliar with. If you’re not a subject matter expert, yeah I’d say either you’re going to need to become one – you’re gonna need to dig into that niche, hopefully its something you’re interested in and that you don’t mind kinda digging in to and that’s always helpful when you’re buying a business- if its not then yeah finding some subject matter experts that can write content, for example, around the niche is gonna be helpful.

Justin Cooke:                     You’re still gonna need to learn a little bit about it either way though because to find those subject matter experts you’re gonna have to know enough to know whether they’re BSing you or not. You wanna make sure the content is legitimate and helpful.

Ace Chapman:                   Yeah, I’m really of the opinion when you get into this stuff if you can have as much knowledge as possible, that’s gonna really help in the deal and if not, you wanna discount that deal because you’re not bringing that knowledge to the table. So I’m somebody whose buying a business and I know I’m gonna be able to kill it in this thing, then I want to maybe even pay a premium on it because that gonna help me get the deal to a higher level. If on the other hand I know that there’s not a lot that I bring to the table, that’s basically a risk in the deal so I wanna get compensated for that.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, if were talking ceiling fans, I mean, you’re probably gonna be okay, if we’re talking very technical medical equipment that experts really need to know about and talk about for you to sell, that’s gonna be a different animal. You kind find these people, you could find them on Textbroker, you can find them online through Upwork and that type of thing. Its just a little more challenging to find people that are subject matter experts, but it can be done.

Ace Chapman:                   Definitely

Justin Cooke:                     Alright Ace, lest get into the heart of this episode. Alright Ace, were talking deal negotiations man, lets talk about how a seller can actually close on a deal. We have some dos and don’ts and were just gonna go through them, there’s eight points we really want to make. The first one is for the seller, “don’t take it personal.”

                                                I know both you and I have some pretty wild stories where the seller gets offended gets really frustrated with offers and what the buyers coming to the table with where sometimes the buyer is cocky or they’re dismissive of the business and they’re only doing that to try to get a discount or to try to get a better deal for themselves but it can come across offensive to the seller.

Ace Chapman:                   Definitely and buyers are gonna make that mistake because its really natural for us in every other area when were negotiating with something that’s how we get a better deal. There’s a car were looking at buying and we realize, “oh the leather seat has a scratch in it, here a cut,” there’s a house, “oh , well were gonna have to change this toilet out.” So they like to rag on whatever they’re buying to get a better deal and so that’s gonna be a natural thing as the seller you don’t want to let that get to you but you still want to understand where they’re coming from and see if there’s a real complaint.

Justin Cooke:                     I think its helpful if you’re gonna be selling your business to think about it objectively from the buyer’s perspective. Put your buyer hat on, take a look at your business and try to understand some of the weak spots. In particular with the buyer you’re speaking with, maybe they’re not experts at Facebook, paid Facebook traffic, so the fact that yours is run with paid Facebook scares them, and so they’re like, “oh, paid Facebook is getting more expensive,” and they’re saying these things because they’re nervous about it so maybe they just need some help in terms of understanding that you’re gonna help turn it over, you’re gonna show how it currently works, that kind of thing. When they’re disparaging your baby, right this could be your baby if you’ve built this from scratch, one thing you can do is just kind of ignore those particular points and go back to the facts. Here are the facts, here what its earned, heres where it’s at and just kind of bring it home, so when they start to get disparaging you just bring it back to the details, to the deal, and kind of your selling points.

Ace Chapman:                   Yeah, I’m a very big fan of having clear communication where you’re allowing them to tell you exactly how they feel about a deal and you’re doing the same thing.

Justin Cooke:                     One of the things that’s kind of frustrating, they say you have a 1.2 million dollar listing, someone comes along and offers four hundred thousand. Okay they’re offering four hundred thousand for the business but its not you and sometimes the seller’s, they kind of equate your value with a business. I understand the kind of thought process but they’re like, “how dare you say I’m worth a third of what I’m really worth.” They forget it’s the business, it’s not you. One of the ways to kind of keep that in check and stop inflating your value with the business’s value, is to use a very specific or set valuation method which is why we, at Empire Flippers were always trying to bring it back to the valuation method because we then ask for the buyers to explain, “okay that’s fine, you’re offering four hundred thousand, can you explain through the valuation method why its worth that, why are you trying to discount the multiple so much? Why do you think its only a fifteen x instead of a thirty whatever x.” Do you know what I mean?

Ace Chapman:                   Yeah. I think if you can let them know, “this is how I came up with this number and its not that I just pulled something out of thin air.” It happens on both sides of the table, buyers will just pull a number out of thin air a lot of times just to come up with an offer and sellers will sometimes pull and offer out of thin air. So if this buyer thinks that you’re one of those sellers, from the sellers prospective, it can be really annoying because, “no, this is the valuation method I use.” They can’t jump in your brain and know that so just communicate, “this is how I came up with my valuation, how did you come up with four hundred thousand?”

Justin Cooke:                     You probably don’t know this Ace because your offers are generally reasonable, but we have a dirty little secret. If, the offer is too low our way around this is we just won’t take it to the seller. So we don’t even, if its too low, were like look, “here’s the deal, that’s a no go, here’s why.” Our business advisors will work with them to try to come up with an offer that’s reasonable, at least a starting point, right? So that’s kind of our way around that, because we’ve had it to where sellers are like look, I’m just not doing business with this guy at all ever. I don’t care if he comes back and offers full price, I’m out, I’m not doing business with this guy period. So to avoid problems like that we massage the deals a bit say, “look, you know the offer is not gonna work man.”

                                                Alright man, second point, “do stay open to creative offers.”

                                                So, we talked about different deals structures in the last episode. As a seller, you need to think about what you could live with. What could you live with and what could you not live with. Someone’s trying to get creative with their structure, and they’re trying to put some of it [inaudible 00:09:00] and they’re trying to do a little bit of this a little bit of that. Some of that might be okay with you, you may have some kind of minimum cash upfront that you need, stick to that if that’s something you need. Be open to some creative offers particularly if it’s their first offer, their out of the gate offer, that’s fine because often we’ve seen buyers work their way up especially when there’s other interested buyers in the deal or when it still hasn’t been on the market that long and there other interested parties coming around, buyers get a little nervous, and they know that they’re soon gonna be competing with other people. We see those kinds of really creative offers kind of start to bump up over time when they start to get nervous about the competition.

Ace Chapman:                   Yeah, that’s gotta be natural. You understand that people have seen it, they know its been on the market so they’re gonna bring those offers. I think the really important thing is knowing what you’re willing to live within the deal understanding that you’re gonna get those offers and try to figure out creative ways to give the buyer what they want and you still get what you need out of the deal as well.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, one thing that’s interesting is, you’ve probably heard the expression in sales and other things, but if someone asks you a question give an answer, but you’re now allowed to ask them a question. Its similar with negotiation. If you’re giving something up to the buyer that’s important to them, it makes sense for you to ask for something that’s important to you back. So let’s say that you’re giving up, its really important to the buyer on a five hundred thousand dollar deal, that they don’t put up more than four hundred dollars cash upfront. So you say, “great no problem, we can do that. Heres the thing, I’m gonna want one hundred twenty thousand dollars over the next twelve months.” So you’re giving up one hundred thousand cash upfront but you’re getting an additional twenty thousand dollars in earn out. Don’t be afraid to ask for something back once you’re giving the buyer something they want and need.

Ace Chapman:                   Yeah that’s so crucial.

Justin Cooke:                     Alright man third point, “don’t make promises you can’t keep.”

                                                Ive seen this when they’re kind of getting toward the end and you got a seller just trying to make the deal work and they start to over promise a little bit what they’re offering post-sale. So, “oh, ill give you a little extra training, I’m gonna give to you more time, I’m gonna give you all this extra work,” and its easy to say that and to put it into contract but then you’re like stuck three months six months down the road still doing all this work for this business that you don’t own anymore, it can not be so great for you, you’re not gonna be so happy with that. Don’t start making promises you’re not willing to fulfill longer term.

                                                Also, things like, even if you’re confident that the business is likely to double in the next twelve months, you start saying, “look, I’m sure it’s gonna double in the next twelve months,” and the buyer is like, “okay, great,” lets just tag and earn out to the success of it doubling over the next twelve months. You’re so sure it’s gonna double in the next twelve months will make you earn out based on whether it doubles or not. If it doubles then you’ll get the money and if it falls short, you’re gonna fall a little short, that kind of thing. You’re gonna be like, ” I don’t know, maybe ill pull back on my certainty that it’s gonna double in the next twelve months, I’m not quite so sure.” That’s also tied with the buyer’s success with the deal too. They may not be nearly as successful as you were, so making promises you can’t keep isn’t a great start.

Ace Chapman:                   Yeah, and its something that you want to be aware of its kind of the same question that we answer from the perspective of a actual seller. From the buyer’s perspective, theyre thinking, “am I gonna be able to run this, I don’t have the expertise?” But from the seller’s perspective you know for a fact that that person doesn’t know as much about your specific business as you know. No matter what they’re probably gonna be a dip, so even if they have a skill set like Facebook and they’re coming in and they’re going to grow that aspect of the business to another level, you know more about running the overall business than that buyer does. You’ve got to keep that in mind when you’re negotiating the deal.

Justin Cooke:                     Our fourth point here is, “do keep your options open with other potential buyers until the last minute in a negotiation.”

                                                I want you to be careful here with one to three months LOIs or letter of intent that lock them in with a particular buyer. What some of the savvier buyers will do is, they’ll look for deals where they can get an LOI that gives them exclusivity, which means you can’t be talking to any other potential buyers, so they get an exclusive period to look and due diligence and check out the business. If they do this early enough in the listing process where, lets say its been up like a week or two weeks or a month or something not terribly long, and they kind of lock you up for a month, two months, or three months, a lot of the initial interest that kind of flows in on the business you lose all of that because you can’t have those conversations you’re not locked out of that. The buyer has a period of time where they can try to low ball you. You’ll see this where they lock you up with an LOI and then try to low ball you for a month, or two months, or three months, or however long that exclusivity period is.

                                                That’s one of the reasons we don’t use exclusivity periods. Its first wire in gets the deal because of the problems that I think come from that. Its really easy for buyers to basically take advantage of this and try to block they’re competition. You’ve seen this too Ace, I’m sure you’ve been blocked out or locked out, maybe you’ve even locked some other people out that way.

Ace Chapman:                   Yeah, that’s absolutely gonna happen and its one of the downsides for a seller to get locked into and LOI and one of the upsides for a buyer to get the seller to get locked into an LOI.

Justin Cooke:                     Do you like that, Ace? I mean, do you like the locked in LOIs from a buyer’s perspective or is it irritation enough to where you get locked out you hate it? Like its nice when you get it but its not so nice when you don’t, right?

Ace Chapman:                   Yeah, I mean it is. Its one of those things, because you know one of the things that’s absolutely annoying and I’ll talk about it from a different perspective, it’s not so much that you’re trying to take advantage of getting the LOI locked in but there’s nothing worse than being in an LOI and you’re kind of getting down to the wire, you’ve done all this work, you’ve done due diligence, gotten people in place to run the business, everything is ready to go and then you get to the end and the seller tries to renegotiate because they’ve got some other buyer that’s come in and is interested in the deal.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, well we don’t use LOIs, I’m pretty sure we’ve done that to you. Where there no exclusivity and you guys are getting close and someone else got the deal. I could see how that’s really frustrating from a buyer’s perspective because you’ve done the work, you’ve really checked this business out and then you lose it and you’re like, “ah I really wanted that deal.” I get why that would be frustrating. I think from our perspective though, from a broker its like look, “you should have moved sooner on it.” Find another deal, move sooner.

Ace Chapman:                   So yeah, that’s the thing, that’s what people do push for that aren’t necessarily trying to take advantage of the situation.

Justin Cooke:                     Yep. Alright man, number five, “don’t hide anything or ignore points made by the potential buyer.”

                                                If they’re kicking the tires, and they’re kind of pointing out flaws, it’s okay to acknowledge what they’re saying is true, if it is true, it’s okay to acknowledge that but what you can do is you can come back with some of the positive bullet points some of the selling points on why they should buy the business, on why the business is strong, on why its likely to be a good purchase for them. If they come at you with something, that’s fine, acknowledge it particularly if its something that’s true and then come at them with something that’s positive.

                                                Basically they’ve made a statement, you can make a statement right back talking about why it’s a particularly good fit and if you’re trying to hide anything you’re trying to say, “oh, no, that’s not the case,” or whatever you’re trying to kind of like weasel here, it’s a really bad idea because they’re likely to find it later anyway, the deal isn’t done until you’re actually paid and there’s a lot of room, a lot of time for them to find these things that you might be hiding even from this point. So what you don’t want to do is, you don’t want to have the deal fallout later where you’ve kind of gone down the road, all the other interested parties are gone, and now you lose the deal and have to go back and start from scratch.

Ace Chapman:                   Yeah, it really is a pain and from the other perspective of the buyer, the seller has issues where they just feel like, “man, I’d never want to deal with this person.” This is one of those things from the buyer’s perspective that’s like, “wow, I just don’t want to deal with this person.” When they tell you something and then you dig and find that its something else. That just makes you concerned about the whole deal and sometimes it could be something really, really small. The other thing is, is not being afraid to just say, “I don’t know. Let’s figure that out together.” You don’t have to have every answer, I think, sometimes sellers feel like, “oh, well I’ve got to be able to answer everything.” These are complicated assets so its not necessary that you have to say, “oh, I know that,” you can say, “I don’t know,” and that’s better than saying something and it turning out to be not right.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, “I don’t know,” is a good answer and remember we talked in season two for buyers, we were telling them, “look, if you come across something where the seller wasn’t honest and its very clear they weren’t being honest about that, that’s a big fat red flag.” It is reason for a buyer to potentially walk away, and a good reason for them to walk away. You want to cross your t’s and dot your i’s on this deal, make sure that you’ve got it right and use, “I don’t know,” when I don’t know is appropriate.

                                                Alright man, so let’s go onto point number six, “do find out as much about interested buyers as you can.”

                                                You’re gonna want to know and understand what that buyer is looking for in a deal. What do they really want and how can you leverage that.

Ace Chapman:                   Yeah, its so important to understand what somebody’s wanting. I mean, you know, its like selling a product. If you don’t know what about your product the consumer is most interested in, you may focus on the wrong thing. People aren’t buying economy eco friendly car for speed. If you’re focusing on the zero to sixty time, which is gonna be slow, that’s not gonna sell them. It’s the same with a business, you’ve got to understand what about your business is really got that buyer so that they are interested in making any kind of offer.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, I mean really understanding kind of what they’re doing and why they’re doing it like the real details behind who they are and what they’re all about is gonna just help you structure a deal in a way that makes sense for them and kind of meets their needs but helps meets your needs as well. The thing is if you’re working with a broker they’re gonna help you do that because they’re gonna understand the buyer and you and kind of what both your needs [inaudible 00:19:41] are, but if you’re not this is something you’re gonna have to do on your own.

                                                Buyers may not be that forthcoming with it upfront, “well why are you buying this? This is why,” but that first answer is really the truth. So taking time, especially if you have multiple calls or meetings with the buyer trying to figure out what their real motivations are behind it can be helpful for you in structuring a deal. It also shows the buyer that you care and are actually kind of interested in their needs and their success. I think this is underplayed a lot, it’s always about the numbers, what the multiple is but business is done between people based on the fact that they know, like, and trust each other. Showing the buyer that you know, and least kind of like and trust them, is really helpful in getting the deal done.

Ace Chapman:                   Yeah, and like you said, it allows you to match the deal structure to match their needs and then you’ve got a happier buyer whose gonna take care of your business long term, because who wants to see somebody get into the deal and you’ve spent years growing this business and then they end up driving it into the ground and its no longer successful.

Justin Cooke:                     Yep. Point number seven, “don’t think the broker is always aligned with your interest.”

                                                Alright Ace, I’ve got a confession to make man, a little bit of a confession. Heres the deal, and you know this, but for the most part brokers are aligned with seller’s interest. They’re trying to get the deal done, no ones getting paid until the deal goes through, so everyone is trying to make that happen, get the seller paid, broker is trying to get paid, everyone wants to get paid and make the deal work.

                                                The thing is, is that they may be more interested in just getting the deal done and not necessarily at the price that you want or need as the seller. The reason for that is because they see a lot of deals, they’ve got dozens or even hundreds of deals that they’re doing year over year. If its not this deal they’ll do another one. They’d rather get your deal closed at a ten, twenty percent cut and move on to the next deal, whereas for you that ten or twenty percent may be huge, it may be a really big deal. So know that they’re trying to push deals through and they’re trying to get deals closed but when it comes to price you need to be thinking on your own there. You’ve got to be on your own in terms of whether the price works for you or not.

                                                Now brokers, to get deals done will get really creative with the financing as well, will get really creative with the deal structuring to try to make it happen. Make sure you understand if you’re not clear on what the structure is, make sure they spell it out, just tell them, “look, explain it to me like I’m seven years old. I want the details on this, walk me through it,” to make sure you understand and that you’re good with that.

Ace Chapman:                   Yeah, that’s something that I always try to spend time doing, even as the buyer I think its easy for brokers, when you’re working with a broker, they’re doing this every single day. They’re coming up with deal structures, they’re making offers, they’re putting these things together. I’m working on a deal right now where we’ve kind of gone back and I have to remind myself, because it can be a little bit frustrating, its like we’ve already talked about this. Why are you kind of coming back and try to talk about it again and figure it out, its like you agreed to it, you’re like, “why did you agree to it if you didn’t really understand?”

                                                So sometimes we have just thought through these things a lot more and a lot more often than other folks. Don’t be afraid as the person, just because everybody else, the buyer may seem like they get it, the broker may seem like they get it, other folks you work with in the deal are all moving. If you as the seller don’t truly understand it, that becomes a pain. Honestly it becomes a pain for the buyer later when the seller comes back like, “well, no I thought it was this,” its like, no.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, that can be really frustrating for everybody. Ask for clarity, have them break it down, say, “look I’m sorry if this is, if I’m being a pain here, this is the first deal I’ve done, I want to be clear on this.” Clarity is really important and once you bring that up or pipe up about that say, “look, I’m not clear, I need to understand this better, explain it to me.” Everyone’s gonna pop too and be like, “okay, yep, lets walk through this again just to be super clear.” Everyone wants clarity on deals. For all the legal mumbo jumbo and contracts, really the best point of a contract is for clarity and really spelling out the details on how the deal is gonna work. Everyone wants every other party to understand exactly how the deal is working.

                                                Alright man, point number eight, “do trust your broker to negotiate the deal.”

                                                Now that you do understand the brokers motivations, they’re looking to close deals, let them do it. They’re probably really good at it. Brokers are probably less likely to take it personal, as we mentioned in point number one, and they have lots of experience in negotiation deals and working deal structures and making deals happen. If this is your first sale or even your second, third, or fourth sale, you’re not doing this all the time, let them hammer through it. Let them work with the buyers because they have, generally have, relationships with the buyers. They know the buyers as well, know their motivations, know what they’re looking for. If you’re working closely with a broker especially through the offer and the negotiation period, they’re gonna go to bat for you and make sure that you are seeing deals, make sure that you’re getting offers and make sure they’re able to get the deal closed.

Ace Chapman:                   Yeah, you have to. You can’t have a combative relationship with everybody in the deal. The more that everybody is collaborating and trying to come to a way to close the deal the better. I’ve seen those cases where the seller doesn’t really trust the person that they’re working with and that becomes a really tough thing for the deal to get closed.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, I’ve seen that Ace. I’ve seen it in like Reddit and some other places, people I haven’t worked with where they’re entrepreneurs, they run online businesses and they don’t really understand the deal or the value that a broker provides. They’re like look, “okay you just give me people that might be interested, that’s not, whatever, like I don’t see what the value is in that.” I get it, if that was it, if it was like, “hey, here’s a list of people that might be interested, good luck,” I get it.

                                                That’s not much help but we have people that are regularly looking for deals, a whole list of customers, we kind of know what they’re looking for, we help negotiate the deal structure, we help get that deal actually closed, migrate the business, understand the buyer’s needs. There’s a lot of stuff in there, I think, that makes it worthwhile to use a broker. I can tell you personally even if I wasn’t- and its super self serving to say that I totally get how that sounds- but even if I wasn’t a broker and we weren’t closing deals, I would use a broker knowing what I know now, I would use a broker to sell my business. No question. I wouldn’t try to do it on my own, save the fee and be like, “oh, ill make more money,” no I would absolutely use a broker.

Ace Chapman:                   Yeah, you really gotta have that person between in the deal and I’ve just seen that it helps the deal get done.

Justin Cooke:                     Alright buddy, leys wrap this episode up. To kind of just cover some of the points we touched on, number one I think this is super important, “don’t take it personally.” As a seller I know this can be your baby but if you can just stick to the facts, if you can rely on valuation methodology that you both are using so that you don’t get frustrated on the value thing, I think that’s the better move. Also, be open to offers and you’re gonna get some initial offers that are not amazing but know what your bottom line numbers are, know what you’re willing to walk with and if they’re asking for something, feel free to ask for something back [inaudible 00:27:24] that’s important to you. Its also important to be straight up and then expect your demand and the same from the buyer when it comes to finding out what they want to what their needs are, what they’re really looking to do with a deal.

                                                Ace, you got any tips for negotiation? I have a book I read that it thought was pretty helpful, its called “How to Argue and Win Every Time. At home, at work, in court, everywhere, every day.” Its by this guy named Gerry Spence, who was a trial lawyer. I think hadn’t ever lost a case, a criminal case, and hadn’t lost a civil case since the sixties or something, I don’t know. It’s a little tricky because its like how to argue and win every time. Its like, “oh god, I’m gonna just smoke people when I negotiate and argue.” No, its about understanding their needs and where they’re coming from and kind of finding deals. Its deal working and I think it’s a really good book. You’ve got anything that you’ve read or heard or learned about that was helpful for you?

Ace Chapman:                   Yeah, I really love “Pitch Anything.” In every situation you’re basically pitching what you’re doing when you’re winning an argument, or a debate, or a negotiation is you’ve got to pitch what you want. I love that book, it’s a well done book. It talks a lot about raising capital, its just the same thing in every aspect of your life, whether its an argument with your wife or trying to raise capital for a deal or you’re selling a buyer on paying a higher multiple for your business,

Justin Cooke:                     Its funny how some of those things are so closely related, right? It applies to multiple areas of your life. Joe is a fan of “Pitch Anything” as well. I haven tread it yet so I’m gonna, now that’s a second recommendation from someone I like and respect, I’m gonna have to go check it out man.

Ace Chapman:                   Definitely

Justin Cooke:                     Well, that’s it for this episode. If you dig it please head over to Web Equity and leave us a comment to let us know what you think. You can also drop us a review on iTunes and we’d really appreciate it. Next week we’ll be digging into our final episode of season three and looking at what sellers can and should do post-sale. Well see you next week.

Speaker 2:                           Thanks for listening to the Web Equity Show. Now is your chance to be a part of the action. Go to and send us your business acquisition or exit question and have it answered on the show.


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  • Juan says:

    ‘you should have moved sooner on it?’ You don’t rush due diligence. I liked Ace’s response but it was too short. He could have added to it but maybe he doesn’t want to push the envelope with his employer…

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