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15 Key Factors That Can Make Or Break A Business Deal

By News Creatives Authors , in Leadership , at October 15, 2021

Forming the right partnerships and making a good investment can be a tricky situation if you’re not 100% certain and comfortable about the decisions you make. When you’re ready to expand your business reach in the global marketplace, how do you find the right fit?

Before you rush into any long-term commitments, here are 15 tips from members of Forbes Business Development Council that will help you choose whether to move forward with the deal or quickly step away from negotiation.

​​1. Assess The Contingency Factors 

When the capacity required to fulfill the order is questionable, the quality of product or service is doubtful or the statutory compliance is not achievable. The price point is an important factor compounded by the capital expenses playing a vital role, for example, the Robinson-Patman Act and other fair pricing legislation. Contingency factors may also include unreasonable penalty clauses for consequential damages. – Rakesh Suri, EFL Global 

2. Ensure That Your Potential Partner Is All In 

We are a platform for insurance agents. Lately, we have been working to offer our products on a retail basis. Confusing? It’s like instead of being a wholesaler that sells to grocery stores, it’s like being a grocery store product that consumers buy. Like a bagel. Yum! If the grocery store isn’t responding, or the customers aren’t buying bagels, we go to another vendor. It’s all about the pivot!  – Hannah Sullivan, SolePro

3. Get Your Sales Team Excited About The Potential

Buy-in from your sales team is critical to make partnerships successful. Sales teams have to get excited about it and know that they can deliver more revenue and understand the alignment. Most partnerships fail because sales teams have not bought into the strategy. – Tony Ayaz, Scuba Analytics

4. Create An Equal Partnership

Partnerships work best when both sides are equally invested and stand to win. One-way partnerships never work. True partnerships are really where I see things work, because as each side pushes the other, the collaboration and effort are equal from both sides. – Leon Gilbert, Unisys

5. Take Your Time

It may be tempting to jump at new partnerships, industry ventures or even acquisition offers, but don’t sell yourself short. We were around for 20 years before going public and declined acquisitions along the way. For us, it’s about evaluating different opportunities based on customer needs, market potential and cultural impact. I think declining the wrong offer only opens up new opportunities. – TJ Jiang, AvePoint

6. Don’t Derail Your Core Focus

It is critical when looking at partners to expand your business that you are honest with each other and understand roles and responsibilities down into the weeds. Make sure the relationship is complementary and doesn’t derail your core focus. Lastly, never be afraid to walk away even if you are far down the road as sometimes walking away is the best strategic decision you can make!  – Patricia Bradley, Huma


Forbes Business Development Council is an invitation-only community for sales and biz dev executives. Do I qualify?


7. Identify Partnership Benefits

Developing a business plan and feasibility study for the opportunity is crucial. It will help in revealing how the partnership could unfold, where the opportunity can bring the biggest benefit and will clearly show whether the deal makes sense. Working strategy, financial targets and market research will give you the answers. So, there is no need to make it personal if you do need to leave the deal! – Ashley Cheeks, Written Success

8. Make Sure The Offer Meets Your  Minimum Requirements

A partner’s offering has to meet some minimum requirements: 1. It can complement your offerings for existing markets or help open new markets; 2. It is a simple go-to-market model that is viable for both companies (in the marketing, sales and post-sales processes) to be executed and measured; 3. There is executive alignment with clear success criteria and a timeframe for key goals. – Claudio Yamashita, SS&C Intralinks

9. Know Your Strength And Passion

In all honesty, I follow my gut and “stay in my lane.” I am at the point in my life where I know what my unique ability and skill sets are. If I have passion and can make this venture successful, I will move ahead. If I don’t know—or care to know more—I will leave the deal. Money can be made anywhere. It is more important to enjoy the project. – Maria Wu, Maud Medical Inc

10. If You Can’t Be A Partner Then Be A Friend

Try to understand the other party’s motivation and character before figuring out whether or not there could be a potential fit. If you can’t figure out the answer, ask the other party how to make sense of the situation from their perspective. Even if there is no fit, it’s still good to make a new acquaintance or friend. – Gabriel Tan, GUAVA Amenities

11. Observe The Warning Signs Of Incompatibility

We have a saying: “If it starts off difficult, it will end up difficult.” Meaning, if you see early signs of incompatibility, pump the brakes and reevaluate the business relationship. Secondly, I cannot stress enough that “character and integrity” are mandatory, sadly not always present. – Joseph Ferriolo, Wise Business Plans

12. Implement Cultural Alignment Between Companies

Partnerships can be a huge market advantage when there are complementary market synergies that are mutually beneficial. However, from the very beginning, there must be an alignment between the cultures of the two respective companies in order to fully capitalize upon those opportunities.  Without cultural alignment, damage can be done to the organizations, their brands and employees. – Kirk Barnes, TransPharMed

13. Establish Some Structure To Gain Clarity

Without structure, you’ll never have a productive, scalable partner program. Start each of your partnerships through a single customer or opportunity. Not only does this help identify key tasks and milestones at each stage, but it provides clarity for both sides of the relationship. From there, you’ll understand what works and what doesn’t, and if you want to move forward, step away or make changes. – Ed Calnan, Seismic

14. Determine What Stage You’re At In The Process

If we’ve barely started and it’s clear this isn’t a good fit, I’ll send a quick note and step away from the deal. If we’re already in talks and committed to doing something together or if it’s come to light that there were already negatives, then I will tell them that I’m not comfortable moving forward with this project. – Mario Janschitz, Simplicity_trade GmbH

15. Keep Your Integrity, Respect, Creativity And Community Intact 

First, look for partners that enhance your services and offer additional value to your clients. Then, consider how conversations with the potential partner made you feel when it was over. At Orion, we always go back to our core values: Integrity, Respect, Creativity, Community, and Results. If we feel their approach to doing business checks all the boxes then we know it’s a good fit. – Ellen Williams, Orion Global Solutions LLC

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