Categories
Authentic Deal-Making Deal-Driven Growth

K-Economy, M&A Trends, and 2021 Deals in Q4

Thoughts for Deal-Making Buyers, Sellers, and Business Owners

If you listen to the show regularly, you know I like to periodically review M&A trends. Q4 of 2021 is no different! Right now, we’re seeing lots of interesting action. Deals have continued to be strong in this K-economy, which we saw throughout 2020 as well. Clearly some industries, like tech, logistics, and finance have been booming. Others, like restaurants, have struggled more.

If you were to search “2021 deals” right now, however, you’d find all sorts of positive reports. There is confidence in the economy right now. In addition, there is an unbelievable level of access to capital right now. Despite the fact that many deals have been done, the capital has not dried up.

No Good Deal Will Go Unfunded

I’ve heard this said multiple times in the last 18 months, and it continues to be true. There is available capital, and if a deal makes sense, it will get funded. From debt funder to minority and majority investors, money is moving in the deal-making world!

Interest rates have remained low, despite a bit of a push on inflation. That could be a blip, or that could indicate we are at the beginning of an inflationary period. Emerging from the pandemic could be creating a raise in prices, in addition to increases in wages and hiring difficulties. It’s impossible, at this point in time, to know if that will remain, worsen, or decrease.

We can see, however, that it has not put a damper on deals! Overall, this is a really strong period for M&A.

An Update on Capital Gains

There are those who have chosen to complete deals in 2021 based on the possibility that there will be an increase in capital gains rates in the coming year. This can be impactful at both a national and state level. 

For example, Washington state has historically not had a capital gains tax, but they will be adding one in the upcoming year. Various states have discussed raising tax rates to gain revenue in some way, and this may be on the table in a number of legislatures. It pays to be aware of what’s happening in your state!

There is, of course, also the possibility of the national rate increasing. If you already had a deal on the table, or if getting a deal closed in 2021 made sense for your business, then there’s no harm in getting it closed out. I usually recommend, however, not rushing into a deal because of fear of possible changes.

At this point, there is nothing in sight to indicate that deals are going to slow down significantly. In fact, the fundamental factors, such as available capital and low interest rates, still favor deals. Deal-making will likely continue to be strong in 2021!

High Valuations, Valuable Companies

If you’ve built a valuable company, or have received a high valuation, this is a great deal-making time. I’ve seen numbers on the table that are nearly double what might have been offered in different times. 

That makes selling or triggering your succession plan tempting!

There is definitely money on the table, and there might be deal-making opportunities available that you may not have anticipated a few years ago. It doesn’t hurt to be aware of all available options.

In fact, for the first time in my career, I’ve had multiple prospective clients who have come to me because the initial firm or connection they reached out to was too busy to take on their deal. I certainly respect their honesty in not taking on more than they can handle. (It’s also made me glad I’ve built a model that has the capacity to expand to accommodate additional deals when needed, and contract if needed as well.) What a sign of the times, however, when professionals are legitimately too busy to handle stepping into new profit or growth opportunities!

Successful Sectors

Finance, tech, and healthcare industries are absolutely booming right now, and they have been throughout the pandemic. 

In fact, we’re especially seeing healthcare activity diversify a bit more. Now that many emergency/in-the-moment responses for the pandemic have slowed down, there is more capacity to look around a bit.

We’ve also seen that the decreased pandemic pressure has increased deal-making activity around the globe. In fact, mega-deals in the multiple millions and billions of dollars have surpassed past annual numbers already. International deals are thriving, and it seems there is access to capital and a desire to forge deals throughout the world.

Buyer Discipline & Seller Decisions

In this market, buyer discipline is a key element of deal-making. After all, buying high and moving too fast can ultimately end in ruin for buyers who overextend or fail to read the market. We’ve seen that before in boom-and-bust cycles.

The competition for good deals is intense, and that can sometimes result in lower returns over time. For that reason, it’s essential that buyers practice discipline as they go about deal-making.

For sellers, if you were already planning to enter into succession or buyout plans within the next year or two, it makes sense to move ahead. If you’re younger, however, or were planning to run your business for 5, 10, 20 more years, it might make sense to retain your business.

There is no cut and dried answer, and hindsight will always be 20/20. Entrepreneurs and business owners should consider selling. First, however, it’s worthwhile to take a step back and identify where your thinking and decision making is coming from.

  • Ask where your identity is coming from.

Sometimes, a seller will be scared to let go of their company because they’ve become so enmeshed in being the CEO, founder, or operator that they don’t know who they would be without it. Choosing not to sell because you don’t know how to let go is not a strong position. Take the time to make sure you understand your identity apart from your business.

  • Consider what life you want to create.

It’s at least worth considering what life you could create without your business. What would the best case scenario of selling be? What happens if you keep it? Take the time to consider all the options, and to be open to things going differently than you had expected.

  • Don’t get hung up on chasing money.

Just because selling could be lucrative doesn’t mean it’s the right decision. I’ve seen people make great deals that ended very profitably, but they ended up disappointed because they ultimately hadn’t been ready to sell. They made a money-based decision that didn’t take their full needs and desires into consideration.

Remain Open to Possibility

Although this particular episode is focused on M&A, remember that those are only one type of deal! There are so many opportunities for deal-making, and there is no limit to what you can consider. If you’re priced out of the M&A market, you can look into other possibilities. In every market, there are ways to identify and complete deals. 

Listen to the full solo episode here.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is deeply passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

 

Categories
Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Negotiating Deal-Driven Growth

Master the Inner Game to Broker More Deals

As a husband, father, friend, and serial entrepreneur, Tony Grebmeier’s current ventures include co-founding ShipOffers with his childhood friends, and being the creator of the Be Fulfilled Brand. Tony notes that the journey to finding fulfillment is often filled with stories of stuff we never thought would happen. You may even feel like giving up entirely; that was his story, until his friend John showed up and saved his life. Now, Tony is passionate about teaching you how to master the inner game so you can experience more success of your own.

One of the companies he created from the lessons he’s discovered over the past 24 years as an owner/operator was the Be Fulfilled Journal. This journal has enabled over 5000+ entrepreneurs to develop a fresh vision for their life and take action right away. Tony is also the host of the popular Be Fulfilled Podcast: The Real Stories Behind Success. He’s been on a quest for the past four seasons to redefine how we determine success. It’s the perfect show for anyone on their journey to personal or professional fulfillment who might be looking for some additional motivation on the climb up success mountain.

Early Ambitions & First Deals

Tony remembers wanting to be a firefighter, a policeman, and eventually an archeologist. Around 13, he got really set on becoming an architect as well. Although those dreams didn’t technically become a reality, Tony shares that he now advocates for each of us to become archaeologists and architects in our own lives. That’s powerful!

His first deal-making experience was a baseball card show he ran out of his garage. He’d make flyers, and hustle to get people to come. Eventually, he sold that concept to others after it had grown. That early wheeling-and-dealing to get 50-6- kids to his house on a Saturday was Tony’s entrepreneurial start!

Looking back, Tony notes that his parents had completely different backgrounds, and even came from different countries. As a sort of hybrid, he feels he combines the engineering and artistic talents that have run through his family for decades. When reflecting, he also shared that his emphasis on mastering the inner game and really digging deep into your own life have been instrumental in his ability to understand the impact his family has had on him. 

Saying Yes (A Lot)

Throughout his life, Tony noted he’s learned to say “yes” a lot. By the time he was in college, he’d had 14 different jobs. One day, walking past a radio booth, he realized he wanted to do radio.

He first got turned down, but he persisted. At his core, he knew that if he believed he could do something, he would absolutely make it happen. That resulted in 4 college radio shows, and an eventual career in radio.

While working at a Silicon Valley radio station in the 90’s, Tony got asked if he wanted to design a website. At the time, they were so new he wasn’t even sure what a site was, much less what would go into making one. However, he said “Yes” again. Before you know it, he and his business partner were selling websites for $50,000.

After a repeat client purchased yet another site, Tony finally asked him what he was doing. The client told him about fulfillment sites, and shortly after Tony launched a supplement fulfillment company.

Although he no longer has that initial organization, Tony has been running ShipOffers for the last 20+ years with one of his childhood friends. (This guy dates back to the baseball card show days in Tony’s garage!)

Deals Gone Wrong

After launching supplements, Tony and a friend realized there was a content gap between the ages of 13 and 16. Along with a group of others who saw the need, they created a web series designed for the 13-16 year old demographic. It quickly acquired 20-60 million hits, and garnered a ton of attention!

Shortly after, they started receiving bids and interest in getting bought out. Large media companies were looking to purchase what they had created.

That’s when the problems occurred. There were 10 “leaders” of what they had built, and egos got in the way of being able to achieve a meaningful deal. That taught him to be very careful about who you go into business with, and how many people should be involved.

These lessons still apply. In 2017, Tony’s company did 12 million in sales. He looked around, and realized that some areas were getting bloated. There were too many decision makers, and a lack of clarity. After making shifts, growth took off, and they’ve surpassed the 60 million mark this year.

Seasonality Data

In the early 2000’s, Tony’s company created virility pills. Now, it’s testosterone. The trends have shifted, and what people consider “problematic” and “normal” changes significantly.

A major benefit to having been in the game for 20+ years is that ShipOffers allows Tony’s team to use the seasonality of data and major trends to make decisions. He’s seen how things shift over time, and he’s not in it for the short game.

Understanding that data can have both short- and long-term purposes. You can use it beyond “just” outreach, which is powerful. Tony notes that ShipOffers has hired data analysts who can study the trends they’ve documented over years. Then, they help them think about what positioning could help them reach the next level. He contributes these high-level reports and big picture thinking with ShipOffers’ continued ability to grow.

Master the Inner Game

To hear more about Tony’s personal struggles, what he’s learned about mastering the inner game, and how he continues to grow, listen in today!

 

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is deeply passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

Categories
Authentic Deal-Making Deal-Driven Growth

Unexpected & Innovative Deal-Making

Barry Seidel opened his own practice right out of school in 1982. He later wrote a book about his experiences, called Evolutions of a Law Practice – How I Opened My Law Practice Right Out of Law School…and Lived to Tell About It. Now he writes, speaks, teaches, and consults about law practice, with the goal of helping other lawyers improve their practices and their lives. Along the way, he’s also gained wide-ranging, innovative deal-making success.

The areas he supports other lawyers include starting and growing a practice, the transitions of a practice, marketing and business development, law practice management and systems, and personal development as it pertains to entrepreneurship. As a practicing lawyer, Barry focuses on Surrogate’s Court. That includes probate, kinship/cousin cases with the Public Administrator, and ancillary probate. He also runs a per diem court coverage service in Queens County, including virtual appearances.

An Early Start

Barry remembers wanting to be a talk radio host when he was a kid. He’d listen to both sides of hot topics, and enjoyed debating and discussing various points. By the time he was in highschool, he was on the law student path, which he stayed on throughout college and beyond. He didn’t, however, know what he would specialize in. The many places he’s been able to go with his law degree, and the arenas he’s tapped into, have been a source of surprise and enjoyment.

Barry notes that he worked at a small firm while in law school, which he highly recommends. Beyond just being aware of what kinds of cases the partners were taking, he took a strong interest in the management side of the office. From how billing was handled, to what the office employees had done, to how the day-to-day operations were managed, he was able to soak up a lot of practical ideas about how a law practice works.

Early on, he recognized that running a law practice is an entrepreneurial pursuit. Rather than seeing himself as someone who has a “job”, Barry has always seen himself as being someone who runs a business. It makes a difference!

His First Deal

Barry’s first deal as a lawyer involved finding a landlord and making a time for space arrangement. He paid a $100 a month for a desk space in the landlord’s office, and in exchange he provided about 15 hours a week of legal services. Barry strategically chose that office because there were 4-5 other lawyers using the suite. He was able to garner work from not only his own clients, but from picking up cases and clients for the more established lawyers who had high caseloads.

Using his negotiation skills and being willing to take assignments ensured that Barry was busy from day one. This is an excellent example of doing your due diligence, scouting the landscape, and understanding what opportunities are available. 

The reason that early deal benefited Barry so much was that he wasn’t just exchanging time for space in a dead end area with minimal opportunity. It worked because he had put in the leg work to make sure that he would have room to grow, seize new opportunities, and expand beyond his current level.

Developing as a Deal-Maker

Eventually, Barry decided to develop a local neighborhood practice in Queens. As he grew his family, he expanded from real estate based clients to doing personal injury work. Although he was making more money, he realized he didn’t like that work. He learned a lot, but he wasn’t proud of what he was doing.

He was also having trouble working at volume within the highly inefficient New York court system. 

Barry realized that he hated going up to Brooklyn, and the Brooklyn lawyers hated coming down to Queens. It was highly inefficient, and choosing between dealing with the subway or dealing with parking felt like a lose-lose situation. He came up with a plan, where lawyers could pay him to handle preliminary conferences, compliance conferences, motions, depositions, and more. Then, Barry created a cover letter and rolodex card, then built a direct mailing campaign. He sent 1,300 letters over 6 months, which resulted in 275 clients.

Many of these clients started using Barry regularly for their needs. They all thought it was great, and the word began to spread. Barry had a booming business on his hands, which resulted in a series of deals. He was able to leverage that campaign into massive business growth, as a result of being highly strategic, differentiating himself, and targeting law firms that were most likely to need his services.

Listen in to learn more about how he set up his campaign!

When You Do Things, Things Happen

Barry hadn’t anticipated his practice going this direction, but he notes that when you do things, things happen. Taking action puts all sorts of opportunities into motion!

As Barry started reaching a high volume, he was able to bring other attorneys in who were willing to doing this work. He used bartering, and also arranged flat fees and exchanges. In addition, he got discounts when he was willing to pay promptly ; he knew that many lawyers dealt with clients who paid slowly or late. By showing he could pay on time, he found he could offer slightly lower rates.

As technology improved and more tools became available, Barry was able to become even more efficient. He was also innovative. His wife took QuickBooks and modified it to track who was doing the work, where, and when. He also used the estimates feature, which many weren’t using. Running his firm like an actual business was shocking to many people, but thinking outside the box and making business tools work for him enabled Barry to be extremely successful.

Doing Deals With Your Competitors

I love that Barry talks about how he worked with his competitors to make deals that included his competitors. Too often that approach is discounted, because we tend to want to keep direct competitors at an arm’s length.

As Barry’s success illustrates, however, you can grow, scale, and thrive with unexpected and innovative deal-making. That also reminded me of my episode with Damon Gersh. He also shared about how he worked with competitors to create deals that benefited all parties, to great success. In fact, Damon was able to compete against large, national competitors once he was able to help local businesses band together. 

Barry noted that the high volume of cases, as well as the reality that he was sometimes representing both sides of the table, meant that working with other lawyers was absolutely necessary. Refusing to work with competitors would have severely limited his ability to grow, and he likely would have never experienced the success he’s experienced.

(Listen in to hear what title the New York Law Journal gave Barry in 1999.)

Unexpected and Innovative Deal-Making

One thing I loved was that Barry shared ideas he had that he never followed up on. I think when we see someone successful, we can sometimes assume that they had a clear path to the top. As we learn from Barry, however, his path was not only unexpected (and driven by taking action and adjusting as he went), it was also marked by choices he made about what to pursue, and what not to pursue.

As a deal-maker, you should be consistently coming up with ideas. Not because you’re going to pursue all of them, but because being in the habit of creative thinking prepares you to identify what ideas are worth pursuing.

Barry ended up being glad he never pursued his five families idea (listen in to hear more about that)….but he also enjoys looking back and remembering he had that idea in the first place.

Resisting the Deal

At some point, Barry was working long hours, and pushing himself extremely hard. He notes that he knew he could make deals – he could have decreased his work load – but he chose not to. Instead, he pushed forward, taking on more and more and working longer and longer hours.

Eventually, it fell apart: Barry had a heart attack, and wasn’t able to work at all for almost a full year.

Although many people thought the “pressure” had gotten to him, Barry realized that his real problem had come from all his pent up frustration around practice areas that he didn’t enjoy, and that actually caused him a lot of internal stress. He had been so weighed down, he hadn’t been able to enjoy any of his success.

As he recovered, he realized he needed to get rid of the cases that had been burdening him leading up to his heart attack. He let go of the cases that had been creating so much strife, made deals to allow others to take on parts of his practice that he had so deeply disliked, and transitioned into an area of law he truly enjoyed.

Over 15 years into his career, Barry transitioned into probate and estate planning. He was willing to learn a new speciality that felt like a better fit for his interests and lifestyle, and he deeply enjoyed picking it up. He also notes that it’s really not that hard to learn something new when you really want to.

Always Growing

At the end of the day, Barry has grown throughout is entire career. He loves what he does, because he hasn’t allowed himself to be pigeon holed. When he entered his career, he did things differently. He ran his practice differently, and he gave himself space to make deals, pivot when necessary, and work cases he was passionate about.

How can you do the same? What areas of your current business or career do you deeply dislike, and how could you pivot, grow, or change in order to prevent that from becoming your norm? 

Go do that! After all, it’s not that hard to learn something new when you want to.

 

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is deeply passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

Categories
Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Negotiating Deal-Driven Growth

5 More Steps Towards Deal-Making Success

As I discussed in Episode #134, there are 10 steps I consistently promote for deal preparation and readiness. Combining these steps will lead you towards deal-making success! Having already shared the first five, in this solocast I’ll focus on the five I had left to cover. Listen in to learn about how you can take advantage of the repeatable, scaleable deal-making opportunities.

The First 5 Steps Towards Success

Our first five steps from the last solocast were:

  1. Know Why You’re Making the Deal
  2. Determine Who You Are Targeting
  3. Build Your Value Proposition
  4. Get the Right Resources in Place
  5. Choose a Deal Model

If you haven’t had a chance to listen to that one yet, please do! Those first five are really the foundation you’ll want to ensure you’ve set before you move forward.

Step #6: Choosing a Deal Structure

A lot of people want to jump to this step first! They’ll have a deal on the table, or be considering a deal, and they’ll already be focused on their structure. It’s always one of the first questions I get!

When asked, however, I always bring clients back to steps 1-5 before I spend time on establishing structure. If you don’t know the basics, like why you’re making the deal, what the value prop is, and what resources you need in place, then you’re not ready to be establishing a deal’s structure yet.

Finally, you’ll want your deal model in place before you choose a structure. The model gives you a template that allows your deals to be scalable and reproducible, which is key to making strong deals.

Once you know your model, then you’re in good shape to start structuring your deal. This includes legal documents that reflect that deal structure. We can take care of all of that before a deal is officially taking place. Even if the deal is already underway, we always encourage clients to use this opportunity to let us draft a series of template agreements that can be used going forward. The advantage to having these template documents is that you put yourself in the position to make powerful deals (and take fast action) in the future.

Although there are many more details regarding deal structures, this is the basic overview that will help you understand why it’s not a first step.

Step #7: Enter the Due Diligence Phase

General due diligence takes place even before you have a deal in place, and includes how you find people and what you need to know about the industry. It might also include locating conferences, finding professionals you’d like to work with, such as lawyers and brokers and bankers, and preparing internally for the deal.

If you’re already in a deal-making discussion, you’ll also want to do the necessary due diligence with your possible partner. You should thoroughly check any person or organization you’re considering making a deal with, whether it’s a joint venture, acquisition, or something else altogether.

Other areas to do your due diligence include legal, financial, cultural, systems/integrations, technological, investment approaches, and more. Be sure to think through what your situation calls for!

Step #8: Start Negotiating

This is an area I’m passionate about, as witnessed by my best-selling book, Authentic Negotiating, and the many podcasts I’ve done on this topic. This includes both actual negotiations and the process of getting the deal officially closed.

If you have a few deal-making templates based on your structure, for instance, this may be where you make some tweaks and customize the deal to the person or company your working with. Although you need to remain open to who you’re working with, you also want to balance your own needs and process against that. 

Ideally, you won’t fundamentally alter your deal-structure during this process, because you want to be able to use those templates to make deals scalable and repeatable.

Once negotiations are done, ideally your lawyers are able to complete it easily using the templates you’ve already put in the work to create.

Step #9: Think About Positioning

Once you’ve closed your deal, you’re not done yet! (Even though it seems like it might be.)

Even before you close the deal, you want to start thinking about positioning. This includes how you’ll announce the deal within your industry or marketplace. You should think through how you’ll want this communicated, and how you want it to be received.

If you’ve completed a merger, for instance, you should be communicating about what major partners may be staying on (or leaving), how you’re going to talk about it, and what you want the market to know from your part of view. You may also need to consider how your deal partner would like this positioned.

In addition, you’ll want to consider internal positioning. Often high-level executives are at the deal-making table, but there are many employees and personnel who are going to be impacted as well. How can you position the changes well and create employee buy-in so that you can retain (or begin creating) a strong shared culture.

Your people may be worried about increased workloads, new technology, changes to the pay scale, or decreased opportunities for promotion. Positioning is a way to address these things and create positive momentum.

Step #10: Start Integrating

Acquisitions, mergers, and many other deals require many parts, pieces, and team members to integrate. From choosing a cohesive CRM to selecting a method for communicating between team members or closing out a sales process, you’ll need to ensure that you have a strong integration plan.

Affiliate deals, joint ventures, and more also require integration because they’re asking people to work together. So many clashes, including technological and financial, can keep an otherwise great deal from succeeding. It’s vital that you’re taking the necessary steps to ensure that you’ve planned for your deal to last long into the future. 

When you follow these deal-making steps, you’ll position yourself for long-lasting, successful deals. That’s the best way to ensure ongoing success.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is deeply passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

 

Categories
Authentic Business Relationships Authentic Deal-Making Deal-Driven Growth

Preparing for a Strong Exit

Jay Offerdahl and his father, Brad, founded Viking Mergers & Acquisitions in Charlotte, NC in 1996. Now, Jay is the president, and he specializes in mergers & acquisitions, customized exit strategies, succession planning and seller representation. He’s a master of preparing businesses for a strong exit! In addition, Viking Mergers & Acquisitions also handles divestiture services for the mid-market company. They have dedicated and experienced advisors, and a passion for serving business owners. 

Since 1996, Viking’s team of professional advisors have successfully closed on sales of more than 600 businesses. Their team is uniquely positioned to help you navigate through a successful transaction. The majority of their advisors are former business owners themselves. They have been in your shoes and they know the unique challenges of buying and selling a business.

Listen to the DealQuest Podcast.

Following in His Dad’s Footsteps

Growing up, Jay remembers his dad buying and selling large machinery. Like many kids, he gravitated towards wanting to do what his dad did. Later, when his dad bought his first company and got into entrepreneurship, that appealed to Jay as well. He seemed to always believe that his own career would somehow connect to what his father did.

And, ultimately, it has! Not many people have actually co-founded a thriving business with a parent, but Jay and his dad have had great success with Viking Mergers & Acquisitions

By the time he was preparing to graduate from Appalachian State University, Jay did some job hunting and interviewing. However, he didn’t spend much time as an employee before becoming an entrepreneur. Like many, in hindsight he can see that he was spending way too much time working in his business. 

Having learned so many lessons about building a business from the ground up, Jay is very aware that his own experiences have made him especially successful at working with other entrepreneurs and business owners now.

First Deals

The first deal Jay remembers being a part of was setting up a candy store kiosk in a local mall. He thought he’d hit paydirt at 22 years old, and was thrilled to get started. Now, he laughs a bit about that and has fond memories of his humble beginnings.

One of his major takeaways is that there is no substitute for hands-on time on the job. You have to get in the trenches and learn what works and what doesn’t.

In every business he’s been a part of, Jay has seen things that really work, and things that don’t. He’s had to learn what his own philosophies and processes will be, and also what he doesn’t want to be part of his business.

Intentionality plays a large role in this, and that same intentionality has been a major part of determining who he serves, and what kind of deals he’ll take on today.

I Don’t Live to Work

Jay shares that he doesn’t want to get on a plane unless he’s doing it for leisure. He doesn’t want his advisors to have to do so either.

As a result, Viking has intentionally chosen to craft a business model that allows them to serve well, without pushing them to revert to “working to live”. So far, it seems to be working well!

Because of the nature of their work, Jay also shared that a “repeat” client might be someone they see every 10 years! Their clients are doing transactions, and in some ways the work that Jay’s team is doing is transactional as well. That doesn’t mean they aren’t building relationships, of course! It does mean, however, that they aren’t generating ongoing revenue from subscription-type models that enable you to build profits from repeatedly working with the same people or groups.

Instead, they have to continually pursue new deals with new organizations. After all, how many times does a single entrepreneur or owner have a company to sell that’s valued in the millions, or tens of millions, of dollars?

Why Do You Start a Business?

Having seen hundreds of transactions over the years, Jay notes that many entrepreneurs lose sight of the fact that the successful end to their business is to sell it for a profit. No one will be here forever, and the options available are to either close up shop, or to sell.

Being prepared to sell can ensure that your work will live on, and can also prepare you to enter your retirement years with a solid footing.

It’s essential that you’re thinking about the right time to turn equity into cash in your pocket. Some of this is based on feel, much like the stock market. 

Jay also jokes that nepotism can create problems here. It can be tempting to simply hand over the business you bootstrapped from the garage in its early days, but it’s often not the most helpful way to ensure success. He compares it to buying your teenager a brand new sports car on their 16th birthday. You could do it, but it’s likely not a great investment.

Instead, he recommends that you secure your own retirement first buy selling your business, then taking a percentage of those proceeds and use it as a down payment on a smaller business that you can plan to coach your heirs through building on their own.

The reality is, 2nd and 3rd generation businesses have profoundly poor outcomes. Some of that may be connected to the idea that a business should just be handed over to the incoming generations, without making payments. 

In fact, Jay notes that when his dad was ready to retire, he bought him out. It’s a legally completed deal, and Jay did have to take on debt, and risk, to make it happen. However, he thinks that’s an important part of ensuring that he’ll show up, go the extra mile, and be committed to achieving success in his own right long into the future.

The Deal-Making Table

Jay believes that a buyer is paying for what the seller has accomplished, but is buying because they see the opportunity to realize greater success. If a company seems perfect, that can also mean there is little to no room to actually grow, which is actually a downside.

I’ve seen deals fall apart because the buyer is attracted to a company, but isn’t able to see margin for improvement. There can be a sort of ceiling, or cap, that makes a potential sale seem less attractive, and that’s something to be aware.

Funny enough, even though growth margin is a good thing, sometimes the person selling their company can get offended or upset if weaknesses (which are also the growth areas) are named. The ego can get involved and want to insist that nothing is a problem.

Plus, going to market can feel emotional, even when ego isn’t a problem. Your business is incredibly close to your heart, and is often something you’ve poured years of sweat and tears into. Jay counsels clients to really focus on creating consistent results that are intentionally designed with an exit strategy in place. That way, you can go out on your terms, rather than having the sale dictated to you.

Do Your Due Diligence

Professionals know what buyers are looking for. Jay and I are both very familiar with what sorts of questions are going to come up. We’re also skilled at helping you navigate them.

As Jay notes, due diligence and preparing to sell can literally feel like a second full job. If you’re not prepared for that, you can quickly become overwhelmed. Due diligence is the opportunity for the buyer to really assess their risk. Understandably, most of them want to dig into the minutiae in order to ensure that your business will be a good fit for them.

No one wants a lemon, and failure to do due diligence can result in deals that should have never happened.

Listen in to learn more about Jay and I’s thoughts on due diligence and preparing for a strong exit.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is deeply passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

 

Categories
Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Negotiating Deal-Driven Growth

Acquisitions and Exits

When Jessica Fialkovich sold her first business a decade ago, she had no idea where to start. Fortunately, she was able to exit successfully and then buy her next business. For almost ten years, she has built the fastest growing and most successful business brokerage firm in the U.S. But she also realized that business owners that came to her firm to sell were often not prepared. Although thousands of experts will teach you how to start a business and how to grow one — very few will teach you how to sell. So she decided to pull back the curtain about how the business sales process works and give buyers and sellers the tools to successfully (and profitability) complete transactions, including acquisitions and exits.

Jessica is passionate about small business and the entrepreneur community, and holds board positions for Entrepreneur’s Organization and The Fight Back Foundation. Over the past 7 years, her team has completed $250 million+ in transactions. This includes working directly with over 1,500 business owners, being involved with 350+ deals, and giving over 10,000 entrepreneurs guidance about buying and selling businesses

Early Aspirations

Jessica grew up on a horse farm, and dreamed of being a large animal veterinarian. After experiencing blood, however, she realized she didn’t want to go into a career that involved surgery.

Eventually, she moved on to an early high school job as a telemarketer at a gym. She was able to close a few memberships, and was proud of her success. (She also remembers how scary sales felt to her at the tie!) Those are some of the first deals that Jessica remembers donig. It reminded me of some of my early deals with gyms. When they first moved to a 30-day subscription model, some people thought it was ludicrous. After all, they had previously had people locked into annual contracts!

It was a great move, however, because people were more open to entering into a contract that they felt they could end if needed….and hopeful enough about their habit changes that they would tend to maintain the membership anyhow!

Lessons Learned

Jessica started her first business in 2009, which was mid-recession. Her and her husband had seen friends do well with wine, and they decided to open a wine tasting bar in Naples, Florida.

They quickly got into luxury wine dealing, including bottles that sold for $25,000 each. In addition to being a great business, they got into at the right time. As online wine buying started to take off, they decided to close their physically located business and relocate to Colorado.

When she started asking around about how to sell a business, she was only able to find one person to guide them through it. Although it was a great deal (60 days, all cash, 2 weeks of training), Jessica also felt that she had done a lot of the leg work. The broker wasn’t that involved, and a lot of the process steps, like due diligence, fell to her.

A Whole New Industry

The experience showed Jessica that there was an entire industry that was going largely untapped and unnoticed. 

After all the work to start, launch, and grow businesses (things there was plenty of support for in the market), there was little guidance for how to exit one well. No one seemed to be talking about it, which piqued Jessica’s interest.

Upon moving to Colorado, they launched their business brokerage firm there. In the process, Jessica decided to pull back the curtain about how the business sales process works. Her desire was to give buyers and sellers the tools to successfully (and profitability) complete a transaction. 

I’ve seen this as well; too often, we’re not taught how to create enterprise value and position ourselves for a strong close.

Business Brokerage Market Research

In the process of doing her market research, Jessica found that the acquisitions and exits process always tended to be similar, but the experience could vary widely. She wanted to bring support and assistance to every level. After all, many business owner’s retirement was tied up in the sale of their business.

Jessica set out to deliver investment banking level services for small businesses. One way this was accomplished was by providing their brokers with a whole back office team, including buyer reps and other resources. This team approach was designed to offer the ultimate support and comprehensive services.

One reason that services had tended to lack in this industry is that larger deals are more lucrative for brokerage firms. 

When the deals and organizations involved are smaller, Jessica shares that they have to be much more process oriented so that they can close more deals than a larger firm would. Last year, in fact, they closed over one hundred! One positive thing about this business model is that their risk is much more diversified.

Working at that scale also means that processes are key.The back office and admin team allow the brokerage team to do more deals, while still providing highly personalized services.

Starting as a Franchisee

When they got started with the brokerage, there was a defunct office in Colorado that they acquired. Their growth continued as a result of ongoing acquisitions. Eventually, it led to offices in Dallas and Vegas.

Jessica notes that the franchise’s owner had a very similar outlook in terms of where the industry was going. In addition, he emphasized process and resource pools as well. Being able to work with offices across the country has helped Jessica and her team access necessary resources and continue to position themselves well in the current marketplace. 

Scaling and fast growth have been beneficial outcomes that have resulted from the systems and expertise of the network as well. Jessica notes that, whatever deal comes up, she knows there is something in her network that will be able to offer guidance if she wants extra support.

Once you understand how to operate a business within an industry, deal-flow naturally comes to you. Jessica notices that many opportunities have come to them as a result of their reputations as top-performing franchise owners.

A Tale of Two Markets

After the last year and a half of chaos and pivots, Jessica feels that she’s seeing two markets emerge.

On the one hand, it’s a buyers market in many regards. In terms of picking up second and third markets, or breaking into an industry, well positioned buyers are making gains. Because of low performances over the last 18 months, many industries are more accessible than ever. A deal that would normally cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for a buyer could happen today for fifty.

Alternately, industries that remained stable or performed well during the last 18 months are in a seller’s market. There is a lot of money being poured into garnering deals in industries that have proven to work. Lending has also  been more available than it sometimes is, which allows sellers to walk away with much more cash than normal.

In terms of industry, Jessica notes that the winners and losers have been very clearly defined due to the current economy. 

To hear more about her thoughts on acquisitions and exits, as well as on today’s market, listen in today!

 

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is deeply passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

Categories
Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Leadership Deal-Driven Growth

Deal-Making Like a Producer

From Broadway to broadcasting, Dean McFlicker’s unique trajectory gives him a one-of-a-kind perspective, as he combines his creative prowess with business acumen. Dean has produced for NBC, HBO, CNN, E! NewsDaily, Good Morning America and more. As you might imagine, he’s been involved with a lot of phenomenal shows! Dean helped launch countless hits as Senior Vice President of Promotional Programming at NBC as well.  Those include This Is Us, The Voice, America’s Got Talent, The Biggest Loser, Friday Night Lights, and all of NBC’s live musicals. What a resume! (And this is just a glimpse of the work he has done.) If you want to learn about deal-making like a producer, listen in now.

I always love talking with folks who are coming from creative backgrounds. They often offer a new perspective on deal-making. (Also, shout out to former guest Li Hayes for connecting Dean and I!)

The Curved Path to Success

Dean notes that, like most people, he’s been on a curving path to success. 

As his ambitions and opportunities have ebbed and flowed, he’s gotten to experience many elements of the performing and entertaining world. It all started, however, with Dean being what he described as a “ham”. He was one of those kids who just always loved to put on a good show!

Early on Dean would create a script, produce it, and sell tickets. He’d also round up all the neighbor kids to be performers. Apparently he’s always been a director and producer at heart! In addition, he did his own performing. From his backyard start he moved on to Hollywood, singing, dancing, and acting. (He was an original cast member in the Disney musical Newsies. Apparently it’s actually more popular now than it was when he did it!)

Although his early days were in front of the camera, he was eventually happy to make the move to being behind them. It was a slow transition, moving from choreography to directing and working his way up. Part of his success came from being open to many opportunities. Dean often said “yes” to joining new projects and trying new things, including being an assistant writer, director, and producer for various shows.

Early Deal-Making

Dean considers his early backyard theater productions to be his first deal-making experiences. From wrangling neighbor kids and getting them to do what he wanted them to do, including getting them to take on parts and show up for rehearsals, to getting supplies for sets and costumes, Dean was practicing his deal-making savvy early on.

So much of what Dean was doing in his backyard required him to bring together key people and form relationships. In fact, it required many of the same skills that would eventually make him an excellent creative director. 

Now, Dean notes that what he does is really the art of bringing together all of the different disciplines to make one cohesive entertainment package. That’s just like business, where you bring together many disciplines (budgeting, marketing, sales, HR) to move your business forward. For that reason, Dean thinks a good producer is a lot like a CEO, as both are responsible for bringing together all of the different elements of an organization.

The Art of the Creative Deal

Dean notes that deals are definitely an art, and they can come together in many different ways. For example, last year he produced the world’s first Minion’s Holiday Special. This brought together multiple large entities (Universal Pictures, Illumination Studios, and NBC Television). As you can imagine, with that many players involved, deal-making is automatically involved.

Now, Dean also has his own production company, McFlicker Media, where he also produces for businesses. After all, great story telling isn’t limited to entertainment. At the end of the day, it’s also the heart of marketing. When producing for businesses, marketing related deals might include bringing in the perfect celebrity endorsement, or involving the star salesman for a particular division and making them part of what’s happening.

As an example of another sort of marketing deal, Dean shared that when you’re watching a movie, you’ll often see many different “vanity cards” denoting various film and production companies. In exchange for what they’re offering behind the scenes of a film, they’ve made deals that guarantee they’re getting seen and acknowledged as well. All of those sorts of industry norms are based on deal-making, including alliances and endorsements.

Not Just Features and Benefits

Part of marketing and experiencing organic growth revolves around telling the story. It’s not enough to just list features and benefits and expect to make a sale, or to close on a deal. 

Dean says that he sees the act of storytelling in a business capacity as being another form of producing. In business, as in life, you get to produce the story that you want to see unfold. Much like in the movies, this can be done really well, to great success….or really poorly, for a complete flop.

A natural fit that matches the product and audience while tapping into something true and relatable is the most powerful way to experience organic success. When you do this right, you’re able to build meaningful relationships. If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I strongly believe in relationships as being an integral part of deal-making!

We are Conscious Creators

Although there are things that happen outside of our control, I very much believe that we are conscious creators in our own lives. We have an exceptional amount of power to consciously create in our own lives.

About 10 years ago I was at a business event and one of the sessions I went to was about living your ideal life now. It was encouragement to stop working so hard now and putting off all these things we are going to enjoy till “later”. Instead, we can find a way to create and live our ideal life now. That was a huge mentality shift for me, and it’s altered my life over the last decade.

Dean’s TED talk, How to Get What you Want: The Producer’s Perspective is very similar! In it, he shares that you can consciously take charge of opportunities and make decisions that allow you to create your best life and business now. One way that Dean does this is by using the narrative perspective, as well as other key film and television points that can be helpful in any situation.

(Listen in for two of his top tips now; you’ll find them around minute 20!)

Integrity is Key

One important note on using narrative and story is that they must be real and authentic. Anyone can create a story….but if that story is used to fool or deceive someone into making a decision or entering into a deal, they won’t want to work with you again.

As he’s moved into working with more corporate clients, Dean has found that assisting them in creating truthful, compelling stories has been a key part of his work with them. In order to have customers return again and again, they need to know that you’re being honest.

If it comes to light that the story you told was really just a story, and that it doesn’t align with the sort of culture or values that you had been presenting, you’re going to have problems! Whether that means losing customers or seeing a deal slip through your fingers, you’ll definitely experience fallout.

Dean has such an amazing background, and his episode is so interesting!

Listen in to the full show to learn more about his work in advertising, and the tips he has for using deals to decrease overhead and uplevel opportunities.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is deeply passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

Categories
Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Leadership Deal-Driven Growth

Deal Preparation: 5 Steps Towards Success

When I do whiteboard sessions with my deal-making clients, I frequently cover 10 specific steps that help us move towards success. This process is especially key for those who want to be part of ongoing deals. As I’ve seen, the more deals you have going on, the more important it becomes to be strategic and follow a process that works for you. Ready to uplevel your own deal preparation? Listen in to the whole episode, or read on below!

(I’ll cover the first 5 steps today. Stay tuned for my next solocast to get the other 5!)

1. Know Why You’re Making the Deal

Before you get in too deep with any deal, it’s essential that you have a fundamental understanding of why you want to pursue this deal. Is this about growth? Diversification? Furthering your purpose? Positioning yourself for further acquisitions?

The reality is, some of us are motivated to enter into deals for all the wrong reasons. I’ve watched people make deals that increase revenue while actually reducing profit. Some deals are driven by ego rather than anything truly meaningful. As much as I love deals and am a huge proponent of them, I think we have to understand that they aren’t always the best idea.

Finally, when you understand your why, you can communicate that with your partners and other stakeholders. That includes lawyers or negotiators, like me, that are involved in the deal.

2. Who Are You Targeting?

If you’re doing multiple deals, you need to have a target in mind. A haphazard search or method for connecting just won’t cut it, especially if you’re serious about making deals a sustainable part of your future.

Who are you looking for? What are your criteria for your potential targets? What are you trying to add to your business?

Whether you’re looking for acquisitions or affiliates (or something else altogether), it’s key that you take the initiative to understand who they are. In addition, you should understand how that pertains to your why.

3. Build Your Value Proposition

We’re all used to differentiating ourselves from the competition in order to generate sales or gain traction. However, we don’t always think about creating a value proposition for our deals. Doing so makes sense, though!

If you know your why, and you know who you’re targeting, you should be able to communicate why doing the deal holds value for them. What makes it worth their time? Why is this going to be in their best interest?

Just being “nice” people, or having a great company, doesn’t cut it here! Also, the deal structure or model is not the value proposition. (Those things are what you create to deliver on the value prop itself.)

So, what’s the value? Why is this deal, be it an acquisition, affiliation, joint venture, or something else, worth bringing these particular parties to the table? When you’re clear about this, you’re able to both qualify amazing partnerships and disqualify those who won’t be a great fit.

4. Get the Right Resources in Place

Before you create your deal model and choose a structure, you need to identify and get in place the correct resources. This can include internal resources, human talent or skills, capital, systems or processes, information needed, and relationships with 3rd parties. I encourage clients to do a resource map to tangible write down what is already in place as well as what is needed.

In order to be fully prepared for a deal, you need to know what you have and what you need.

5. Choose a Deal Model

First off, deal models and deal structure are not the same. (I’ll kick off the next solocast with more on the distinctions between the two!) 

Your deal model is how you’re going to do these deals. For example, in a licensing deal, you may have an exclusive or a non-exclusive model. Within those categories, there are more you can break the deal down into. From expectations around the number of deals sold, to clarifications on geographical boundaries, these factors are part of the deal’s model. 

The goal here is not to create a “menu” with a bunch of listings. Rather, the goal is to develop a model that keeps things consistent, scalable, and usable as you grow. The more deals you do, the more important it becomes to have clarity around your own deal models.

As you build your model, you can take into account your why, who you’re targeting, and what your value proposition is. In addition, it will be based on what resources you have in place. The model ties all of these elements together and sets you up for deal-making success!

If you just do 1-5, you’re on your way towards becoming an excellent deal-maker! Stay tuned for 6-10, where I’ll deliver more on structure.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is deeply passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

 

Categories
Authentic Deal-Making Deal-Driven Growth

A Deal-Making Salesman

Carson Heady is the best-selling author of the “Birth of a Salesman” series. He’s consistently ranked in Top 20 Sales Gurus in the world and in the Top 50 Sales Authors on LinkedIn. Carson has held senior leadership and sales roles across four companies, including AT&T and now Microsoft. He’s currently the Sales Director for Microsoft Health & Life Sciences. In addition, he has extensive experience in operations & regional sales leadership, strategic planning, motivational management, P&L, advertising, marketing, and more. Along the way, Carson has proved that he isn’t “just” a salesman. He’s become quite a pro at the complexities of deal-making as well.

You can listen to our full interview here.

Sales vs. Deals

Long time listeners might be curious about why I’m bringing on a guest with such a dynamic, sales-based resume. After all, I frequently make the distinction between “sales” and “deals”. The reality is, they are different!

However, organic growth from sales and deals is not mutually exclusive. Here on Episode 133, I’m excited to bring Carson in to share more about how sales and deals can work together to benefit an organization. (My last guest who was a pro in the sales space was Daryle L. Johnson on Ep. 82.)

Getting His Start

Looking back, Carson notes that he definitely wasn’t planning on sales as a kid. In fact, he had pretty normal childhood ambitions of being an astronaut. (He also remembers wanting to be a writer, which is a dream he did achieve!)

After college, with no real plan for what he wanted to do, Carson ended up in a sales role. He had actually thought was going to be more customer service related. However, it was a very one-call-closed transactional based environment when he started. As he worked his way up and learned more, however, he realized how much nuance there could be. This was especially true in longer-term sales cycles.

As he developed her expertise beyond simple sales, Carson recognized that the “art of the deal” was really about alignment, milestones, and bringing along the right people. Now, he appreciates the distinction between sales and deals. He also believes there is a place for both.

Carson’s first remembered deal was from when he was at AT&T. They landed a large advertising deal with a big name. He remembers lots of different cooks in the kitchen, with many factors and stakeholders involved. The deal’s complexity was part of what helped Carson personally pivot away from the transactional, one-and-done model of sales as he learned more about the bigger picture.

Comparing Sales to Deals

To Carson, a traditional sale usually occurs when there are few barriers to entry, and the entire situation can quickly be surmised. Senior influencers or the board don’t need to weigh in as heavily, or at all, and things can move relatively quickly.

Sales tend to be quick, straight forward, and needs-based.

Deals tend to have more complexity, involve more stakeholders, require more planning and approvals from higher levels, and may take much longer to complete. (Although, of course, there are always exceptions!)

The major differences Carson sees between sales and deals, however, is the relationship factor. With a deal, you are embarking on a mutually beneficial relationship between parties. There are aligned synergies and an intent to work together beyond the moment of completion. Carson and I agree that a future-based expectation for relationship and growth are a major part of what sets deals apart from sales.

Strategic Resources & Deal-Making

As a trusted advisor, Carson notes that his deal-making experience has sometimes included bringing in other resources and organizations that might technically be considered competitors. As a result, he’s developed a very robust partner ecosystem so that solution implementation can occur in many situations.

This fits into the larger Microsoft world, in which the platform has been intentionally developed as an open-source provider. Rather than being the only solution, as a company Microsoft meets people where they are and strives to enhance and work with what clients already have in place.

When looking at deals, this “open-source” concept has served Carson well. He’s open to the major players, connections, collaborations, and resources that others at the deal-making table express an interest in bringing in, and he’s willing to find ways to work with those factors to improve the deal for everyone.

In fact, he can think of deals he’s been involved with that have included 12+ other parties. Ensuring alignment and being able to coordinate bringing all stakeholders together is a major part of creating deals that last.

Deal Transparency

Carson is a major believer in deal transparency. As he’s been called in to finalize deals that have drug out long past their expected closure dates, he’s found that his ability to clearly understand both sides of the table has been key. In addition, he’s able to surmise not only where the other side is, and what they may be struggling with in terms of budget or priorities, as well as what his own organization’s needs are.

He sees himself as both an evangelist and an advocate in the deal-making process. Part of that is always looking for ways to create wins for everyone involved. By putting all of these various factors into a holistic approach to creating a deal that will be a win for everyone, Carson has set himself apart as a really powerful deal-maker.

In addition, I’ve noticed that the best dealmakers are creative. Holistically looking for ways to add perks, create leverage, and build wins for everyone is truly a creative aspect to deal-making.

I really enjoyed Carson’s perspective during this part of our interview; I’d encourage you to listen in here.

Birth of a Salesman

Carson has always enjoyed writing. When at AT&T he was writing a newsletter column that was heavily oriented towards sales, and realized he could write a book. Of course there are already thousands of sales related books out there, so he wanted his to be different.

After writing Birth of a Salesman, which is sort of a book-within-a-book containing both a narrative-style approach and sales principles, Carson pitched it to 1,692 publishers and agents. About 15 actually read the material, and 6 offered to publish it.

Although he hasn’t sold enough books to retire, Carson considers this publishing experience to be one of the best experiences of his life. The relationships formed have been incredible, and, in fact, he can track back his Microsoft offer to connections and opportunities that were open to him as a result of his book.

The overall impact on his career has been phenomenal. It’s also continued building, as he’s been able to publish additional books as a result. His latest, Salesman on Fire, has been the best selling so far.

Carson notes that he’s worked with publishers, agents, and self-publishing opportunities throughout his career. However, he actually got his start by purchasing a book on writing and publishing books and using the tools he was reading about! At the end of the day, almost no one is making enough money on publishing deals to retire (barring major exceptions for well-known authors). However, authors are often able to leverage their published books into larger deals pertaining to speaking, teaching, consulting, and more.

Don’t miss Carson’s thoughts on leveraging social media and influencers, as well as distinguishing between sales and partnerships, which is towards the end of the episode!

LISTEN HERE

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is deeply passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

 

Categories
Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Leadership Authentic Negotiating Deal-Driven Growth

Emotional Intelligence & Deal-Making

Dr. Patricia (Pat) Baxter is a corporate veteran and femtrepreneur, as well as an award-winning, certified emotional intelligence (EI) coach. She’s also a professional NSA speaker and recognized workshop/retreat leader. Dr. Pat equips women leaders to lead boldly and intelligently. This is done using the undeniable power of emotions. She works with women leaders at all levels who want to use emotional intelligence to build stronger, SMARTER work environments and connections that more fully engage their teams, partners and clients.

With 25+ years of corporate/entrepreneurial knowledge and know-how, a doctorate in business leadership, and multiple published books, Dr. Pat is a deal-making force to be reckoned with!

Early Career Aspirations

Early on, Pat knew she wanted to be rich. Beyond that, she wasn’t quite sure what direction her career would take her!

She did remember an uncle who lived with her family when she was young who. He frequently told her she was too emotional and cautioned her to calm down. At the time, she found it frustrating. Having learned so much more about emotional intelligence now, however, she looks back and laughs. She realized that, in some ways, he was right. Calming down truly does make a difference!

As she has continued to learn more about the brain, emotional intelligence, and human responses, Pat has continued to grow her ability to help others use the power of emotion to lead well.

The earliest deal-related exchange that Pat remembered was related to helpfulness. She realized that, by engaging in chores and doing things that were being asked of her, she could alleviate stress from others. In doing so, she positioned herself to take advantage of the implicit trade-offs present in taking care of business. Even as a kid, she could see the benefits of being viewed favorably by others and building relationships before it came time to make an “ask” at the proverbial deal-making table.

Emotional Intelligence and Deal-Making

When making deals, Pat notes that emotional intelligence practice and awareness is very useful. She’s realized that she’s able to quickly tap into the other person or business’s interests, and to understand what they may be seeking.

Another useful skill? Picking up on the language being used and incorporating that into how you’re communicating. However, she notes that the key to this working is to ensure that you understand the full meaning of that language!

Pat encourages deep listening, which includes watching expressions and body language in addition to listening to words. It also requires that you manage yourself! You should know how your own tone sounds, and be aware of what you’re communicating with your own body language. After all, communication is a two-way street.

True deal-makers need to do the hard inner work of knowing why we react the way we do, why we think the way we do, and how our own tendencies may impact our deal-making success. This sort of self-knowledge can also prevent us from sabotaging our own deals.

Mission Critical Skills

  1. Self-Awareness

Headed to the deal-making table? It’s essential that you have enough awareness to know what you actually want. You also need to know how you come off.

2. Self-Management

You have triggers that may derail you, spiral you into limiting beliefs, or cause you to shut down or lash out. We all do. It’s your responsibility to know what yours are and learn to manage them in order to best equip yourself for deal-making success, no matter what comes up.

3. Empathy

Empathy opens the door to understanding both others and ourselves. It is what allows us to express ourselves with vulnerability and to make connections that make powerful deals possible.

Why Deals Die

After years of making deals, I’ve found firsthand that personal client triggers can be a major reason deals die. The sensation of immediate dislike, distaste, or frustration that can rise up within us when we encounter certain triggers are powerful deal-making hurdles, even if there is nothing explicitly wrong with the deal’s terms or logistics. 

Deals die when we cannot overcome these triggers.

Even if you’re technically “in the right” or your frustration is legitimate, you can choose to manage yourself and your emotions if you’d like to close on the deal you’re making.

The reality is, our behavior is guided by all sorts of deep, unseen emotional triggers and responses. Often, these triggers come from the most unexpected things, which means that our own lack of awareness can cause us to cycle into unintended responses without even realizing it’s happening. 

In fact, Pat shares that our emotional triggers actually set off a chemical reaction in the brain. This can trigger fight or flight responses, which can take over our more rational responses. Once we learn to realize that this is happening, and that we’re feeling out of control, we can learn to create more space for ourselves and to respond in a way that will enable us to pursue the outcomes we’re desiring, even if we encounter an unexpected trigger.

Listen in to learn more about Pat’s tips for handling triggers!

Raising Your Awareness

Pat recommends that being aware of your body can help you begin to more easily recognize your own triggers. From sweaty palms to a lurching stomach, tingling ears to a foot that won’t stop tapping, you absolutely get physical clues about what’s going on emotionally. Learning to be more aware of what’s happening in your body when you’re getting triggered can help you  begin to prepare for the self-management aspect of being triggered.

Obviously we can see that being over-reactive can blow a deal. However, how emotional triggers can also cause us to go through with deals that we shouldn’t have gone through with.

Pat notes that our bodies give us signals about bad situations as well. Learning to watch our bodies, to get in tune with what they’re telling us, and to respond with compassion and intelligence can help us avoid going off the rails in either direction.

People who find themselves in an “endless loop” of failing or not getting what they want often have something, somewhere “disconnected”. At some point, it’s time to hold up the mirror and start to examine what internal work can be done to help you break through and begin to reach the next level. This is especially important for deal-making!

To learn more about the specific tools I use to get myself back into the right place, and to learn about Pat’s suggestions, listen to the full episode here.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is deeply passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!