2 Topics to Avoid at the Thanksgiving and the Deal Table

It’s almost time for Thanksgiving here in the US and for many of us that means traveling to be with our families and friends. If you’re like most folks, there may be a few topics you steer clear of as you gather around the dinner table this Thursday. In the same way, when meeting with owners about a transaction there are two big topics to avoid:

  1. Politics – Always a hot topic, especially with the midterm elections just a few weeks ago, it is best to avoid this issue altogether.
  2. Religion – While you may have done some homework on the owner, you won’t know everything about his or her perspective. Your “harmless” comment may inadvertently offend someone or leave a bad impression.

What do you do if an owner does begin speaking about politics or religion? Of course, you can continue the conversation, but be mindful of your responses. Gently guide the conversation away from these touchy topics and back to the core reason for your meeting: bringing your two organizations together through an acquisition. Rather than focusing on the controversial issues, when you first meet an owner, focus on selling your vision and sharing the story of how an acquisition is ideal for both organizations.