From Markets To Prospects: “Taking The Emotion Out”

When you’re on the path of acquisition, there’s a shift that happens when you turn from the bigger strategic questions to looking at individual prospects.  Now you’re dealing with real companies and real people.

At this point, I have noticed that acquisition teams tend to become much more emotionally involved—sometimes to the detriment of the process. The solution as always is a strong system, because only a system enables you to take the emotion out of your decision making.

To be clear, I am not saying that the pursuit of prospects should be undertaken without a measure of excitement or passion. To ‘‘take the emotion out’’ means to conduct your search using a structured process and objective tools, and returning to those tools at the key decision points.

The basis of the system I recommend is what I call the Prospect Funnel. Anyone familiar with the traditional sales funnel will recognize the principle at play here: a progressive narrowing of focus from the many to the few. This is achieved by grounding all your activities in clearly defined criteria. The end result will be a short, organized list of companies with whom you can initiate negotiations, confident that they are the most appropriate candidates for a successful acquisition.

*This post was adapted from David Braun’s Successful Acquisition, available at

Photo Credit: Highways Agency via Compfight cc


    • adrian waters on February 28, 2013 at 12:07 am

    #Acquisition #integration should not be done in silo It is a process that should start @ duediligence & run through post close management

    Good blog – would be good to get more comments

  1. Thank you for your comment. At Capstone, David Braun recommends including people from functional areas of your company in your acquisition team. This helps to avoid “silo thinking” starting at the beginning of the acquisition process.

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