Rather than giving advice, there are other things you can say.
None of this involves telling someone what to do, so they're more likely to listen and appreciate it.
Talking to someone like this tells them you know they can get over their problem by themselves. It leaves out the implication that you know better than they do, which too much advice-offering can give off, and it's less easily interpreted as judgmental of their decisions. That's subtle, but important. Someone venting to you is showing a little bit of vulnerability, which you definitely shouldn't reject if you're trying to be friends.
Basically this is Being A Therapist 101. It's actually often less effort than trying to come up with solutions yourself.
If this kind of thing interests you, read Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss. It's a negotiation book by an FBI hostage negotiator, and it has a surprising amount of correlation to everyday situations. Brene Brown's books also come highly recommended; I suggest Daring Greatly if you're going to read only one.
Check out Chris Voss. There are ways to get people off of the defensive. The head nod, a Voss technique, destroyed the interruptions issue on the first try, a life long issue. I’m in a similar place and can’t explain my goals or dreams to anyone, because everyone has “my best interest in mind,” when they try and convince me to play is safe and settle for little.
The consequences of having done everything I don’t want to please others, is that it’s very hard to get respect for who I actually am. My aim is to dress really good and of course I immediately got this: “Good, but not too well, better keep it down.” In a way, it feels I will have to wait until everyone I know is dead, and then I can start living my life.
Used to be very introverted. Also had very low self-esteem. Now I’m becoming extroverted. I am beginning to own social situations even when my head is so drowsy. I don’t believe in these labels. I see these two as a curse from the expectations of society. A lazy way to put us into time saving boxes, to save the tribe time for hierarchy organizing.
Chris Voss, Former FBI hostage negotiator world wide:
You did a great job and the G42 is probably my favorite carry gun.
Two clues that indicate he never had any intention of harming anyone:
Additionally, this book could have helped as well Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It. Many of the techniques in it could have been applied to your situation. While it wouldn't provide a clear cut solution, there are things that could have been said that would certainly have delayed, distracted or slowed down the progression of the client's anger even if only by a couple seconds. Sometimes a few more seconds is all that's needed for the guy the cool off.
Good luck u/GameofCHAT selling a business is a lot of fun and will hopefully net you guys some cash while making you much better at building your next business.
If the buyer knows that you intend to wind the thing down, it puts you at a considerable bargaining disadvantage as he knows that you are basically working to minimize your losses. I think that the last bit of /u/drunkengolfer's post is the most salient. Your buyer will be looking at this transaction through the lens of what it would cost him to acquire that many customers. You can charge a premium for bundling them together, but that's likely the extent of it.
Curious to ask, has he made an offer? Has he acquired other cleaning service books of business in the past? If that's the case, you should have no problem getting him to put out the first few offers and negotiate with himself. "How do I know what's fair here? Help me understand," etc.
Also, read this book ASAP. Calibrated questions and mirroring (tactics from the book) are very much your friend if you're going into a situation where you have a disadvantage in terms of experience and sophistication.
Fwiw, I sold a business on a similar scale (less than 100k) last year and have bought two others since.
A few things.
edit: i will add that the fact that they have asked for this change rather than just firing you suggests #2