Deal or No Deal


Score this deal from Totally Disagree to Totally Agree for each of the statements below. After completing the survey simply press the Results button to find your total score and the implications for your organization.


We have a clear strategic objective for doing this.
Our desire to grow goes beyond cost-savings and defensive moves.
We clearly understand what is achievable in light of market and industry trends.
We have widespread agreement about our goals.
We have tied our short-term goals to our long-term vision.

Financial Synergy

We know how they make money.
We know how our investors will measure success of this deal.
We have a plan to make money quickly after the deal.
We have a clear picture of their financial situation.
We have a plan for integrating our financial systems.


We know what we have to do to retain their key customers.
Our business models are compatible.
We understand their competitive advantage and driving forces.
We agree about how to integrate products and services.
We understand what our key customers will want from this deal.


We have set criteria for choosing which people will be chosen for the new organization.
We have a commitment from key players that they will stay.
We agree about how the new company will be run and by whom.
We have clear lines of accountability for each function.
We have developed a succession plan for key positions.


We agree about how each step of the deal will be communicated to employees and stakeholders.
We have decided how fast things will happen.
We have made a strong commitment to change.
We have seen evidence that we have compatible risk tolerance.
We see evidence that key decision-makers share core values.


Congratulations! It’s a deal. You have done your due diligence. By all means, move ahead. While you do, keep your eyes open. No one learns everything they would like to before a deal closes. The quality of a deal is demonstrated by performance afterwards, something that doesn’t happen by default.

Read our article about making the deal work.

Maybe Deal

You probably feel pretty good about the opportunity and may be tempted to think you should go ahead. Before you take the plunge, however, think about the overwhelming tendency people have to be over-confident. If you are over-confident by even 5%, what will that mean? Far better to uncover what you don’t know now.

Read our article about making the deal work.

Risky Deal

At these levels you need a very good price to ensure you can deal with those issues that are not now visible. Doing a risky deal means you can’t afford to pay a fair price. Ask yourself these questions:

How much are we willing to invest to make the deal work?

  • Money
  • Time
  • Reputation
  • Talent

Then ask yourself what else you could be doing with these resources?

No Deal

No explanation needed here. It is tempting when you’re “close” to start rationalizing away concerns. Some beaches are reserved for shipwrecks. Don’t let it be yours.

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