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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of May 21, 2019

Why Emotional Negotiation is the Wrong Approach

The negotiation process for the sale of a law practice is a very delicate matter.

To obtain the best results, negotiations must be handled with the greatest degree of forethought, as well as a certain aloofness and lack of ego or emotionalism. Take this as a hint that you will not be best served by handling your own negotiations when selling your practice. After you have worked for a number of years to make your practice grow and blossom, you are the wrong person to cool-headedly negotiate for the best possible price and terms.

Presuming that you are planning ahead and have a reasonable amount of time in which to sell your practice, you should take advantage of the time you have to hire the right professionals to help you. Don’t try to conduct the negotiations yourself for the same reason that you don’t usually want the client in the room when you are negotiating that client’s contract. The issue is understandably quite personal and emotional. Effective negotiations require distance from the emotion so that the work can be done professionally and intelligently. Let another professional handle your negotiations, and the result will be considerably less stressful for you—and will probably be financially better for you as well.

It is also essential to underscore another very human element in seller psychology: essentially, once someone makes the actual decision to sell, there is a great temptation, or tendency, to lessen one’s level of intensity in both servicing existing clients and developing new clients. To ensure your own success in the practice for the time remaining before the close of the sale transaction and to obtain the highest sale price possible come negotiation time, it is imperative that the practice continue to function as it always has and that you continue to seek new clients and improve the firm’s billings.



Why Emotional Negotiation is the Wrong Approach

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"Ed educated me on how to implement a plan for the management of my law offices, which I have set up in Santa Monica. With his help, I was able to conceive and put into effect a business plan which promises not only to simplify my business, but to make it more profitable as well. He readily pinpointed my needs and offered sage advice on what I could do to rectify the problems that I have been facing. For this, I am forever grateful and will highly recommend him to anyone who asks."

Santa Monica, CA

"Ed Poll recently assisted me in valuing and restructuring my law practice. I had built what I thought to be a sound business in my solo professional practice, and wanted above all to maintain what had been built for the sake of staff and clients, but yet remove myself from active practice management. Ed was instrumental in assisting me to create, negotiate and document a transaction that implemented my intended result and that will pay me handsomely for what I have built.

...I would highly recommend the services of Ed Poll to anyone in need of assistance with understanding their business, improving its operations or valuing it for sale or transition to some other operational format."

DMG, R.N., J.D.
Austin, TX


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