A few sellers have told me very early on, on a casual way, their selling price expectation. Oftentimes this is coming from some valuation they got from an M&A boutique or some friend who knows something about M&A. Most times those valuations tend to be based on future cash flows resulting from overly-optimistic plans.
From my time in sales, I avoid talking price until I've seen the product and they have gotten to know me. However, it becomes an important issue to start lowering their expectations in order to avoid a shock.
How do you get sellers to understand that their base-case is your best-case?