You’re probably wondering what deal fever is. It’s not quite the same thing as the song ‘Fever’, made famous by Peggy Lee but it certainly has echos of it and it happened to me during my business sale – several times!
Recognising Deal Fever
Deal fever is when irrational thoughts start to happen, and decisions are being made based on emotions because your emotions have been caught up in the business sale.
And normally it appears about the same time as when greed decides to make an appearance, which is when you’ve received an indicative offer and your eyes might be as wide as saucers as you’ve reached a milestone of having your business valued in someone else’s eyes.
You start to be carried away by the big numbers being talked about, and you begin to believe that your company is worth more and probably more than what that potential buyer wants. Because he/she definitely wants to buy your business at all costs. See? Notice how the ‘at all costs’ part crept in there? That’s a symptom of deal fever and irrational thinking taking shape.
Another sign of deal fever is when, in your head, you have already started to spend the money that you actually don’t have yet. Catch yourself when that starts to happen and
Coping with Deal Fever
I coped with deal fever by making sure that I had my completed ‘Calculate Walkaway Price Workbook’ to hand and referred to it as often as possible to remind myself of the reasons as to why that was an acceptable number and rationalise that there was no good reason that the price should be five times larger as that multiple was too high and the risk of the deal falling through would be greater.
It helps having an external trusted advisor that has no vested interest and cares for you as an individual with no hidden agenda. When deal fever hits and you think you have to make a decision and you’re running out of time, that’s the perfect time to go have lunch with them and pour out your emotions and thinking. That person will highlight what irrational thoughts and possible decisions you are considering which will help you make the right choice, without deal fever, in the end.
Expect deal fever, its guaranteed to happen, after all we are only human, and it is your own company you’re selling and very tempting monetary figures are placed in front of you. It happened to me. The symptoms of deal fever are trying to rationalise and re-rationalise decisions and choices made. It’s changing your mind a thousand times. It’s thinking about the ‘what if’ scenarios. It’s hindsight kicking into gear after you’ve made a decision that has unexpected consequences; it’s everything while being on the emotional roller-coaster at the same time. Learn to recognise it so you can control it – even if it means ignoring it, I did!
Joanna Miller, Co-Founder of Business Wand, helps business owners navigate their way through the start to finish process of selling a business. Her specialty is helping owners understand how to prepare and make the most of their business sale process to maximise their company’s value. To understand how you can sell your business quickly for the highest sales price, purchase her book, “How To Sell A Business: The #1 guide to maximising your company value and achieving a quick business sale”