I was engaged in a three way business deal yesterday that surfaced a simple tip of business worthy of passing on as a reminder to us all – Don't assume anything in a business deal…state the obvious and assure all parties understand and agree on common terms.
The particular scenario I was in involved two of three parties not clearly understanding each other regarding their respective need in a business transaction – they both assumed the need of the other and failed to clarify their understanding. The result? The two parties found themselves separated in opinion by 180 degrees…they didn't realize this until the deal was coming to a resolution.
If they had simply talked to each other along the way of exploring the opportunity to work together, they would have surfaced their differences Early on and likely found a middle ground acceptable to all. By making a bad assumption, they both nearly killed the deal as they invalidated the offer of the third party and failed to agree at the critical moment.
The lesson to learn is don't assume anything in a business deal. Ask the obvious questions, clarify the terms and conditions, and get everything out on the table to discuss. Ask questions and clarify needs early and your chances of resolving even the most difficult issues increase. Avoid issues or assume terms and you're sure to kill what otherwise may be a great opportunity.