Perhaps the most important thing owners and advisors can do is to specifically discuss their different incentives and interests, how they align and how they might diverge. While this may be a difficult or uncomfortable conversation, the fact the owner and advisors are having such a discussion is a very good sign that the owner is going to get the kind of advice and help they actually need from people they can honestly trust. On the other hand, resistance to such a conversation, by the owner or one or more advisors, is itself a good indicator of the strength of the relationships.
Such conversations are foundational to real trust and growth on which good judgment and reliance can be based. It will be unlikely the advisors and owners will be able to proactively and positively address extremely difficult topics related to a potential acquisition, including giving difficult information or advice, if they cannot talk about their own relationship.
By addressing the difficult topics between owners and advisors, owners can be more confident they will receive the kind of advice they need when dealing with third parties. This, in turn, will help owners make better decisions.