Understanding the Seller’s Perspective

Understanding the Seller’s Perspective

Darrell Arne is Founder & President of Arne & Co. located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has held various positions in Certified Public Accounting firms for nearly 24 years. His areas of specialty are with Investment Banking and M&A Advisory Services surrounding the sale of mid-sized privately held businesses and professional practices. In this article, we’ll dive in deeper on some of Arne’s key points for business brokers looking to provide their clients with the best service possible.

Achieving a Rapport with Clients

Arne discusses the steps that business brokers should take to maximize their odds of success. One of his points on building success centers on establishing a good rapport with clients. In order to achieve this, it is important to keep in mind that the first meeting is of paramount important. As he points out, trust isn’t established until it is felt by both parties.

Business brokers should remember that at the heart of building trust is to see the situation from the perspective of the business owner. For a business owner, the decision to sell is likely the largest, and most important, business decision they have ever made.

Questions Sellers Should Answer

Ultimately, asking the business owner the right kind of questions is a cornerstone of success. The real goal is to understand where the business owner is coming from. What is the business owner’s motivation for selling?

Here are a few of the key questions that Arne feels business brokers and M&A Advisors should ask their clients.

  • What are the reasons for the success of your business?
  • Who had the most influence on your success?
  • What is your greatest advantage?
  • What would you like to do when you retire?
  • What are their needs and objectives?

Getting to know the seller, and what he or she wants or needs, is of critical importance. There are many moving parts to a business. Not too surprisingly, there are many moving parts to selling a business. Business brokers should never forget that understanding the emotional, situational and psychological factors of selling a business are critically important. Understanding these factors could be the difference between success and failure.