From my perspective of largely successful acquisitions, most acquisitions end in failure because they are missing a third-party advisor.
A third-party advisor can play an irreplaceable role on your acquisition team as an ‘‘outside insider’’ who can unearth hidden intelligence, resolve stubborn conflicts, help cooler heads prevail, and maintain a strategic perspective from beginning to beginning.
One of the most important roles a third-party advisor serves is as a “marriage counselor” through the negotiation phase. There are bound to be rough spots on the road to any acquisition agreement, and the advisor can serve as a trusted ear for both sides. I have found that an expert third party can act as a lightning rod for negative energy that the seller might have, such as doubt, anxiety and frustration.
The seller needs to express those feelings, but may be uncomfortable talking to someone who could be his future boss or partner. The third-party advisor provides the perfect outlet for these feelings and disperses them, minimizing any potential damage to the relationship between buyer and seller.
*This post was adapted from David Braun’s Successful Acquisitions, available at Amazon.com