11 Apr Six Ways You Can Secure More Business Sellers for Your Brokerage
As a business broker, you will know that finding a steady supply of business owners looking to sell their businesses can be tough proposition. But it’s always worth reminding yourself just why that may be so.
Resolving to put a business up for sale is surely one of the most important decisions any entrepreneur is ever called upon to make. And because securing the best possible outcome is what drives that process, no effort is spared in locating the best broker for the job.
So why should that be you rather than the guys across the street?
Let’s step through six ways to make sure that person is you:
1. Networking is about more than attitude
Everyone knows about networking, but there’s a skill in doing it well. It starts with an awareness that almost any situation has networking possibilities. You just need to recognize them and know how to turn them into an advantage for your brokerage.
For instance, some contacts respond to a personal approach while others expect ultra-professional encounters – you need to read the signs to know the difference. Always take time to renew your acquaintance with past contacts; it’s not hard work, and keeps you in the mix.
Never forget to follow up a lead, and remember to share insights and opportunities with those who are not your direct rivals. Understanding that networking is a two-way street will make your efforts far more successful. After all, good people skills are essential when you’re negotiating on behalf of clients, so why not use this attribute to bring in business in the first place?
2. If you’re on social media, you’re out there
Creating a strong social media presence is like creating a virtual network This will allow you to reach a wider audience. Reaching a wider audience will allow you attract more buyers for the listings that you have but it will also spread the word about your business to potential sellers.
A strong social media presence gains you traction from the outset. It means you can pitch to the world and show them what you’ve got. So, go ahead and build something which at least matches your competition, and preferably outstrips them in areas where you feel you have the edge.
3. Make sure you’re part of important networks
Becoming part of trade and business organizations associated with your sector can be time consuming. So, it’s always important to identify those which are likely to bring in more business, offer additional accreditation and qualifications, or have the potential to develop the profile of your brokerage in ways you see as particularly desirable.
This is especially so where you decide to take on any kind of active role: the commitment may be greater, but you should be able to leverage more business opportunities too.
4. Research private sellers online
Once you learn that a seller wants to market a business, do some careful homework online to establish what that seller’s potential needs may be. And if the project falls well within your area of expertise, develop a strategy which addresses those likely objectives.
That should give you an edge in any initial conversations, because vendors will be impressed by a brokerage which already has a clear plan to offer which clearly serves their interests.
5. Look for niche opportunities in your sector
Novice brokers are likely to commit to listing businesses of all kinds. But while the urge to build a solid portfolio of successful sales is entirely understandable, many clients – and especially high-value clients – are savvy enough to prioritize quality over quantity.
They’ll want to assess your knowledge, experience and connections in so far as they relate to the parts of your sector which are most relevant to their own business for sale. It really can pay to specialize: you’ll have fewer competitors, and will be in a better position to ‘corner the market’.
6. Establish yourself as an authority
Leading on from the last point, there’s no better way to establish your credentials than by becoming an acknowledged expert. Qualifications and accreditation can help, but generating your own problem-solving content is one of the best ways to market your expertise to your industry.
In addition, accepting invitations to speak at events, presenting workshops, seminars and running an online forum gives you further opportunities to make useful contacts. You will also be able to use this as an opportunity to stay in touch with cutting-edge issues that fall within your zone.
All of which should take your expertise to the level of mastery most likely to impress leading clients, thus bringing you the level of business your efforts deserve.
By Bruce Hakutizwi, USA and International Accounts Manager for BusinessesForSale.com, the world’s largest online marketplace for buying and selling small and medium size businesses. Bruce has over 7 years’ experience working within the US business transfer marketplace connecting buyers and sellers.