Deals from Hell – What to Do

Schuyler "Rocky" Reidel

Schuyler "Rocky" Reidel

Schuyler is the founder and managing attorney for Reidel Law Firm.

Deals from Hell – What to Do

In my practice I have rarely had a deal go completely sideways to a nightmare. But they do happen, and when they happen it can mean some sleepless nights and restless days. Taking the following steps can help you survive your business deal gone bad.

Get Everything in Writing

A simple email followup detailing the content of a phone call or face to face chat can work wonders when a deal goes wrong. I have personally been able to utilize an email exchange between myself and another attorney from 10 months prior to shore up my client’s bargaining position. Even keeping your thoughts in a notepad or a word file on your computer can be very powerful when you need it. I always advise my clients to get exchanges in writing or to detail the exchange in an email. Keep your records as they may be useful in the future.

Stay Calm But Firm

A deal going wrong can one of the more infuriating parts of being in business, outside of taxes of course. Keeping a cool head and remaining steadfast in your proposal can keep the deal moving forward when others would buckle under pressure. It can be very tough but cooler heads typically prevail. On any side of a transaction, people do not enjoy working with or around a hot head. Be the level headed, centered one that everyone can rely on.

Don’t Burn Bridges

Regardless of your attitude to the transaction, the more prolonged it becomes the more likely other parties to the transaction will have some type of leverage. And if you burn that bridge, more often than not they will use that leverage to make you pay. I have had to use this myself in a transaction from hell. The opposite side of the transaction really squeezed my client at the outset of the project. As the project became mired in delays and financing issues, my client and I did not forget how we were put into a position where we were not happy. We fortunately had the opportunity months later to return the favor to the opposing side. Don’t burn your bridges, it will always cost you more in the long run.

Know When to Walk Away

This is certainly the hardest advice to counsel my clients about. Even straightforward business transactions have an element of emotion for both the buyer and seller. Knowing beforehand what your absolute limit on a transaction will keep you from getting blindsided by your emotion in the middle of a deal. A savvy buyer or seller can pinpoint an emotional weak point and use it to leverage the deal in their favor and often to your detriment. Write down your limit before you engage in pricing negotiations, don’t cross that limit whatever you do.

These are just a few of the tidbits of advice I have given my clients when a transaction goes south. Having an attorney dedicated to protecting your interests is of course the best plan when undertaking a transaction. Call Reidel Law Firm today to find out how we can help you and your business. You can reach us at +1(832)510-3292 or by using the contact form below.

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