Cheap or expensive, buying mistakes are always expensive
Of course, when you are buying a company, you have to do your homework, but some selling techniques work in every case.
During any kind of buy and sell process, you should pay attention to sale techniques or you could end deep in red. That stands true for $9.99 kitchen pot or $1bn software company.
And this is not exaggeration: You may find examples of business acquisitions that ended with lawsuits after all deep scanning, books examining, auditing and whatnot. The point is that we are humans and numbers are just one part of the picture. The other part is a sale technique.
You most probably hear that the final plus, the detail that will earn you "Yes, I'm in" from a venture capitalist is your passion for your product.
You and your team are what can make or break the deal: No numbers are good enough if you are not passionate about your product because passion is what creates great products. But you have to distinguish between passion and overexcitment.
So, be careful when you hear "Dammit, that's a good product!" not as a curse but as a "I really, really, really think it's a good product!" When a phrase like that is added to a sentence, maybe loud with the person looking straight into your eyes... Well, you're half baked. More than half, you are ready to buy.
Then, it's always nice when you are at the meeting and you are offered a drink. Avoid coffee because caffeine makes people much easier to persuade. The addition of caffeine makes you more attentive and more ready to accept others' ideas.
There is also a sales technique that creates problem so that the other side can sell you a product that solves it.
And a trick is as old the world itself: If the salesman holds a pen asks you "Do you know what problem this pen solves?" show him the door. You are just one step to an interesting story about a problem "you didn't know you have" and very close to buy a thing you don't need.
Some salesmen love that approach, but it is a sneaky approach. The point is, it is one thing to recognize your problem - even if you are not aware that you have it, but it's a completely different story to create a problem that didn't exist at all.
Now, if you are going to do some business with somebody, it's good to be friendly with the other side. But... pay attention to people who are way too friendly.
If you are caught in "our product," "imagine what we could do with it," "we will conquer the market" before there is "we," in the first place, you will start to think like you are already partners and there is a small step to stepping into relationship before you know what it is all about.
And, as experienced managers will tell you, pay attention to fast talking people.
People who talk fast are usually perceived to be more certain of what they are saying and this is normal. We all tend not to trust someone saying "Well... my product is good... real good. I mean..." You got the picture: Speed equals expertise.
However, the need for speed may be the need to sell you something you are not sure you want it or need it.
If you are caught into I-can-stop-talking situation, the situation is simple: Ask the other side to write that all down. As they say: Everybody can fool me with words, but nobody in writing.
It's not easy to write a good business proposal and you can't incorporate all high tones, straight in the eyes look, and other techniques into letters. The pure idea and the naked product is what remains. And that's what you need to make a decision. ■
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