The Art of the Deal II
September 8, 2006 12:03 PM
My partner and friend, Lyle Berman, believes that deals do not get done unless you lock the attorneys or deal makers in a room to get them done. Otherwise, “they’ll paper each other to death”. I keep trying to prove him wrong, but damned if he may not be right again.
His theory deepens to include what he thinks are the two biggest deal extenders or killers:
(1) What he calls “meisels” (translated “might as wells”) – those times when people negotiating deals put something in the deal because you might as well to see how they respond; or
(2) What he calls “off my desks” – that strange phenomenon of someone sensing that once they have turned a draft of a contract around and sent it to the other party – it is out of your hands and you needn’t think about it until the papers mysteriously return to your desk (or email in box).
I actually agree that the age of email, redlines and blackberries has sometimes made it more difficult to finish a deal. And, one absolute rule of deal-making is that both sides of every deal have a reason to make and a reason not to make that deal. The longer the process takes, the negative voices get louder – because the deal advocates get tired and the people who are always negative start to be heard.
Still waiting to finish our big deal and we are fighting the rise of the voices that do not want to make the deal.
Either way, I will be able to discuss the process.