Let Us Do the Work!
Business owners hire us for a lot of reasons. Most have never sold a business before. Some, smartly, want a buffer between themselves and the buyer. Others are in trouble, need help, and see us as a fast alternative. Some are just screwing us around, and think it costs them relatively little to have us work on spec, to sell their business for more than its worth, or just to learn a bit about the process. Some are just floating it out there at a high price to see what its worth, or whether or not they’ll get any bites. But most are good hearted people who want to retire, have health issues, are tired of the business, or are wisely working on an exit strategy.
Whatever the reason, once you hire us, you should let us do the job. Some sellers want to control the process. They’ve been strong negotiators for their business for all of their life, they know the business and industry better than the broker, and they can do the deal.
I’ve seen a very small business owner give up $30,000 over coffee, because they ‘sorta liked the other guy’. I’ve seen bigger, smarter(?), business owners walk away from hundreds of thousands, by wanting to negotiate directly with the buyer. Hey, its their company, who am I to tell them different? You own the cake, you can eat it whatever way you like! The advice I give, is to work diligently with the buyer to inform him/her about the intricacies, and positive features, about the business…..but don’t talk price or conditions!
Even residential real estate agents don’t want you talking directly to clients. They don’t even let you stay in the house during showings. I think your real estate agent would have a bird if you popped in during a showing, and started talking to buyers about a lower price…’and yes, the Rembrandt goes with the property’.
A lot of buyers work really hard to get past the broker. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand why. They believe they are gaining some advantage. By all means, expound on the benefits of owning the business. You should love it, you built it. But let us do the negotiating!