Some may have heard negotiating a merger compared to “corporate marriage.” Unfortunately, half of all mergers fail and end in what is essentially a corporate divorce. The good news for mergers is that this corporate marriage can be successful if both sides truly understand how to negotiate before signing and ending a deal.

The first step of a successful merger is the initial offer from the acquiring firm which is the basis of all future discussions and negotiations. This sets the tone of every new decision and it is very important to leave bargaining room for better success.

Once all parties are at the bargaining table, it is also very important to set and keep a positive tone no matter what changes in the relationship take place during the negotiations. Responding negatively to small comments that have a bit of snark could make it hard for everyone to work together successfully.

It is also important to remember that the negotiation process is not just about getting a good deal. The purpose of the bargaining is for all parties to create conditions that allow for a successful merger that leaves everyone satisfied and happy with the final agreement; everyone should feel like a winner. It is also important to remember that employees on both sides matter in the long-term so remember to include what is best for them in negotiations as well.

For a merger to be successful, it is also important to make sure everything is precise with the legalities of product ownership and contributions. During negotiations and bargaining, the parties involved should also be sure to avoid tactics that cause pressure, high emotions, and alienation from the people that are necessary to ensuring the merger is a success.

The negotiation process can often take time as both groups bargain back and forth so everyone involved would be wise to make the best use of time during breaks. It is also important to remember that though coming to an agreement feels great, it’s actually not the end of the negotiations. Agreeing on the specific terms of the contract can be the greatest obstacle of negotiating a merger; therefore, it is best to document every decision and commitment that was agreed upon during the bargaining process. If this is documented correctly, creating and signing the contract will be smooth and lead to a successful merger that stays strong.