• Medcorp approaches sixty-five year old Doctor about buying his practice for several million dollars (price TBD).
• Medcorp meets with Doctor, takes him to dinner, and feels him out with oral offers.
• Medcorp offers $3 million orally. Doctor says he was expecting $6 million.
• Medcorp sends two spreadsheets indicating that they believe Doctor’s practice is worth $4.5 million.
• Doctor developed his practice from nothing. He conducts research through it, which he loves. His wife and daughter work there. He has no particular plans for retirement.
• Doctor has preliminary discussions with Medcorp, and then tells them that, if they are serious, he is turning it over to Negotiator.
• Negotiator makes contact and, attempting to establish rapport, suggests that since the representatives of both parties reside in Dallas, they schedule lunch for a meet and greet.
• Medcorp’s representative is hostile, defensive, and says, “If you want to have lunch with me, you can come to Baltimore where our home office is located.”
• Doctor is appropriately outraged and says he is done with these guys.
• Negotiator predicts that Medcorp will wait a few weeks and then attempt an end run around Negotiator.
• That comes to pass.
• In the interim, two people sue Doctor; another makes a claim; and he has the stress of physical pain and staff turnover.
• At a seminar they are both attending, Doctor meets with Medcorp without advising Negotiator and without any plan or agenda.
At that meeting, they discuss the “lunch in Baltimore” incident; they discuss the criteria for evaluating his practice; and, they discuss a plan for going forward without Negotiator.
• Medcorp frames the lunch in Baltimore incident as a misunderstanding, and they quickly move past it.
• At one point, Doctor says, “I know how you guys play the game. If I want a dollar, I have to ask for two. I don’t intend to do that.”
• He also says, “I am not going to meet with you again without my ‘business advisors’ being present.”
• Medcorp says that they understand that Doctor does not agree with their evaluation criteria and asks why. Doctor says that they have failed to consider income for his services after the sale. Medcorp says that they can fix this.
• Even though they evaluated his practice before making their initial evaluations, Medcorp requests another on-site evaluation, meeting with Doctor, and additional information about his practice.
• Doctor agrees that Medcorp can come to his location for another meeting with his lawyer but not Negotiator.
• Doctor makes no notes during or after the meeting.
• Doctor consults with Negotiator who says the negotiations are now FUBAR but makes several suggestions.
What negotiation errors has Doctor made?
What negotiation errors has Medcorp made?