It’s all about attitudes!
Whether you are a seller or a buyer, and I am a seller at the moment, the attitude you have when meeting or corresponding with the seller is crucial . Of course both parties want the best deal but how that is achieved is all about attitude. Contrary to popular belief most sellers are not “desperate” to sell and are unlikely to respond favourably to a take or leave it offer. If the seller “likes” you and feels you are genuine then it is from that platform that the best deal will evolve.
Yes I have to admit it I have turned down two offers from buyers willing to pay close to the asking price because I didn’t like the prospective buyer. Is that silly? No, not really, most sellers are honest and have built up an attachment for their business and want to see it prosper in a safe pair of hands. There could be lots of reasons, for instance, trusted and loyal employees, or a buyer committed to develop the business to name just two If you can probe in conversation what your seller judges as important and is sensitive to those issues develop your offer with these factors in mind. And notwithstanding that you have not offered the best price you are quite likely to jump to the head of the queue. And Yes there is always a queue.
Some practical advice then: Only start negotiations if you are willing to purchase what the seller is willing to sell to you. By that I mean, don’t make an offer for parts of the business when only the whole is offered for sale. Never never denigrate the business you want to purchase hoping that it will lower the price, it won’t, but it will harden the attitude of the seller.
Buyers buy businesses for all sorts of reasons, not just the declared profits, synergy, interest, challenge, potential, risk and many others It’s not just about the money.
If your seller believes that you are genuine have the purchase money for what he or she is willing to sell , will look after the staff, the commitment and resources to ensure the survival and prosperity of the business you will have the best chance of securing your goal and you may get it for a bit less that you expected to have to pay.