March 11, 2010

First impressions…

We quickly form our first impressions about a person we meet for the first time. We also make some predictions about the life style and values of this person, which in reality it is not possible for us to know. If we hold dressing and grooming as important aspects of a person, then a stain on the clothing of that person leads us to the conclusion that this person is inattentive and most probably sloppy in his/her business even though that stain on the clothing might have occured just before he/she was coming to the meeting with us.

Just like in all business decisions the decisions concerning mergers and acquisitions are influenced by the beliefs and perceptions of the decision maker. These so called beliefs and perceptions vary from one person to the other. Thus, our behavior and the environment surrounding our first meeting are very important in preventing the other party’s misunderstanding us and quickly forming negative perceptions. It is very hard and time consuming to change a misconception.

As part of our consultancy work we give our recommendations concerning such meetings to our clients. Moreover, we apply an additional method in which we survey their premises as an outsider. One gets blind to his surroundings during the years. We visit the offices and factories of our client for the first time with the aim to determine the possible perceptions that a potential acquirer will have when he goes there. Almost in all of the cases we are able to prepare a list of improvements which can be realized within a few hours and without much financing.

This list may contain various issues like polishing the logo of the company standing unattended for the last 15 years on the entrance door of the company or to better ordering the files in the meeting room. I have not received any objections concerning such lists from my clients until today.

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