Intimidation in the Brokerage Industry

Intimidation in the Brokerage Industry

For last week’s webinar, we were joined by business broker legend Doug Robbins. Robbins, the founder of the highly successful Robbinex® company, has been in the industry since 1974. He has amassed over 400 successful transactions throughout his long career and has completed over a thousand assignments related to advising clients on everything from Mergers & Acquisitions to valuation and partnership resolutions. Mr. Robbins supports the M&A profession in many ways including donating his time to a range of organizations, lecturing, and presenting workshops. In this article, we’ll explore some of Mr. Robbins’ key thoughts on the steps that Business Brokers should take to protect themselves from intimidation.

With decades in the industry, there is no doubt that Mr. Robbins has seen a wide-variety of intimidation tactics and strategies. He has found that sellers and buyers alike, as well as their agents, will attempt to bully a Business Broker and, in the process, gain an advantage.

It has been Mr. Robbins’ experience that buyers are more likely to be instigators of intimidation tactics, as they look for ways to control both the broker as well as the seller. The reason that buyers are prone to attempt intimidation tactics is in order to gain concessions or achieve a lower price. Intimidation tactics are going to be something that you experience during your career, so it’s important to prepare accordingly.

Mr. Robbins’ points out that some intimidation tactics may not be immediately obvious. It is important for you to realize that not every buyer looking to intimidate a broker and/or a seller will take a frontal assault approach. The more sophisticated buyer may adopt subtle approaches in order to manipulate the situation.

Mr. Robbins finds the topic of intimidation in the industry to be a very interesting one. He explains, “Dealing with intimidators has been one topic that I find really intriguing because intimidators come from just about any place.”

He notes that lawyers can use their knowledge of the law as a tool for intimidation, similarly to how accountants can use their understanding of bookkeeping and taxes as their tool. It is Mr. Robbins’ view that buyers, sellers, their agents, as well as the friends and family of the buyers and sellers sometimes believe that they are smarter than the competition, and that this can fuel the process of intimidation.

It’s important to be aware that intimidation tactics will very well impact you at some point in your career. In our next article, we will explore some of Robbins’ easily adopted tactics for minimizing and even neutralizing the effectiveness of bullies and the tactics they may employ.