When “No” Means the “Next Opportunity”

In a typical, successful healthcare business transaction there are times when the deal can appear to be in trouble and even seem like it is falling apart.  This is most often the case when one party says, “No,” and seemingly ends the discussion.

In our experience “No” is frequently a request to consider the “Next Opportunity (thanks to consultant Scott Wintrip for this insight).”  In fact, “no” can be the beginning of very productive negotiations.

How can that be?

When one party is overwhelmed and/or entering uncharted territory they often use “No” as a way to set some parameters for future discussion.  The “No” may feel like it is bringing an end to the discussion, but it can also be:

  • A request to take a break and clear one’s mind
  • A way of opening discussion in other areas of the proposed transaction where there is more harmony and foundation for moving forward
  • A signal that one party needs to seek further professional or personal consultation, including discussions with a partner.
  • A negotiation tactic that is part of a larger negotiation strategy.

When you are on the other side of “No” don’t assume that the transaction has come to a halt and will not proceed to closing.  An astute party listens carefully, refuses to take the “No” personally and begins to consider the “Next Opportunity.”