25 Sep The Old Pro and Servicing the Listing
For those of you unfamiliar with the “Old Pro,” he is the legendary G. R. “Russ” Wright, a man who introduced many to business brokerage, and whose own career spanned over 50 years. Occasionally, we will include an “Old Pro” story on the blog, often reminding readers of the tried and true basics of business brokerage.
The Business Broker recently asked the “Old Pro” why more listings don’t sell. Is it just because they always seem to be overpriced?
The Old Pro responded, “The most often heard comment in a business brokerage office is ‘it’s overpriced.’ Although one of the keys to a salable listing is a reasonable price, if brokers only sold what they thought to be reasonably priced businesses, commissions would be few and far between.”
He went on to say, “Price and terms obviously have a lot to do with a listing selling quickly. Anything will sell if the price is right. But, as I said, everything seems to be overpriced today. No matter how we try, many businesses are listed at either too high a full price and/or down payment.”
The Business Broker: “So, what’s the answer?”
“Well, you didn’t let me finish. The answer is service, service, and more service. Constant contact with the seller will allow you to discover how “serious” the seller is about selling. The more committed to selling he is, the more willing he will be to lower the price and/or adjust the terms. The seller’s ‘need’ to sell is important. The difference between just ‘wanting’ to sell and having to sell, regardless of the reason, can be thousands of dollars. Behind every salable listing is a willing seller.
“You should be contacting your seller at least once a week. Let the seller know you care and are serious about selling the business. It can be tough to do, especially when there has been little or no activity on the place. But it has to be done. There has to be a reason why no one has looked at the business. Do your homework and call the seller. The more you call, the more the seller will be willing to open up! Contact and service, they’re the keys to a salable listing!”