Negotiating a deal for your company demands great attention and precision. One of the most effective negotiating ploys by buyers is serial negotiations. After an LOI is signed, some buyers present issues individually, and you as the seller are pushed to reach a solution on each one before moving on to the next.

The problem is, you don't know at the beginning how many issues there will be, and which ones are actually important to you and the buyer. Your response as a seller on the offense should be to ask for all the issues to be put on the table first, so that you understand all of them together at one time. Then you can reshuffle them, making sure that you stage the issues so that the buyer can win one you care little about, and then you can win one that is important to you. Like a game of chess, sometimes you need to sacrifice a pawn in order to get to the king.

Inevitably, you will be left with a few big ones to hammer out, but at least you won’t have given away too much early on. This is actually beneficial to both the buyer and seller, as it speeds the process and you get to the issues that are really important quickly.  It also allows you to quickly work through issues that may be important to lawyers on both sides, but not as urgent to you or the buyer.

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