The people who buy and run businesses are a strong bunch. Lots of drive, lots of passion and typically a very type-A personality. When you get two people in a room with this personality type it can sometimes go south in a big way without a lot of provocation. This is an enormous problem if the people having issues are the buyer and seller of a business.
You aren’t going to like everyone you meet, and if you are buying a business you’ve fallen in love with you might very well hate the seller. Maybe the two of you have drastically different world views. Maybe you have drastically different visions for the future of the business. Maybe the negotiation of your deal got a little ugly at times. Whatever the reason you and the seller aren’t fans of each other it is absolutely in your best interest to maintain an amicable relationship with the seller.
Why? You will need them for a bit.
Business deals take a long time to get to a closing table. You might need to work with this seller for months on a deal and that will be vastly easier if you can be cordial to each other and keep things professional. It will also be easier to find points of compromise within the purchase contract.
In addition to the time it takes to put a deal together, most purchase contacts contain language spelling out the terms of a training period for a new owner – usually two weeks of training after the closing happens. If you can keep your relationship with the seller peaceful this training will be pivotal to a smooth transition and ensuring you know how to successfully run your new business. If a clash of personalities causes major problems you probably won’t have a very useful training experience.
The good news is if you aren’t a fan of the person selling your business – you don’t have to be. You just need to be able to keep it professional throughout the negotiation of your deal and then through the training process.
Have you considered some businesses for sale but weren’t a fan of the owners? Would you like to know strategies for dealing with a seller you don’t like? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments here, we would be happy to help.