How to Get the Listing When the Seller “Already Has a Buyer” (Part 1 of 2)

How to Get the Listing When the Seller “Already Has a Buyer” (Part 1 of 2)

Over 14 years ago, I remember the first time I spoke to a Seller Prospect about listing their business and they said “I already have a buyer,” or “I know everyone who would buy my business… so I don’t need a Broker” Frankly, I didn’t know what to say, except; “Oh, okay, let me know if they don’t buy it,” and I walked away without the listing.

Obviously, I didn’t realize that most of the time, the business owner doesn’t sell the business to that buyer. Most of the time the owner cannot maintain confidentiality and keep running their business when approaching those “mythical” buyers about their business. Now I know that the best things to say to the Seller Prospect at that point are:

  • You know ‘One Buyer is No Buyer.’ You need to get some competition going for your business and we can drive the price up.
  • How will you ever know if you can get more for it unless you take it to market?
  • At the minimum, putting it on the market will force your Buyer Prospect to take action, and keep him or her from low-balling you; and I can make sure that your buyer has the money.
  • I can maintain confidentiality during the process, while you concentrate on keeping the business buffed up.

However, some Sellers are still convinced that they can sell it themselves, and often will not give you an exclusive listing. So, I have developed a set of strategies of how to carve out a buyer, or buyers, brought by the Seller, and get that exclusive listing.

Tomorrow’s posting will outline these 7 Strategies to give you the exclusive listing.

by Len Krick, MBA, CBI, M&AMI, and Chairman of the IBBA Education Committee