Business Brokerage is All About the People

Business Brokerage is All About the People

When selling a business, there is no tool more powerful than that of storytelling. It is the story that shapes the thoughts and opinions of buyers and sellers alike. These are thoughts shared by Glen Cooper during our latest BBP webinar “The Nuts & Bolts of Selling a Business-Part 1: Getting Ourselves Ready.”

Your Buyers are the Heroes

Business brokers and M&A advisors might not think of themselves as storytellers. But Cooper insists that good story is at the root of this profession. He stated, “What you need to do is control the storyline of the business…You need to learn interview techniques so that you can get the most out of your sellers. Your sellers will not know the story.”

In Cooper’s view, it is essential to realize that the buyer and seller are the main characters of the story that is being told. The ideal buyer is one who sees future opportunity. Upon seeing that opportunity, the buyer becomes the hero of the story.

In order to have buyers understand that value and envision themselves as the hero, you must first precisely arrange all the relevant information in such a way that the buyer can digest it and see the potential within the business.

Cooper explained, “You have to figure out what the opportunity is. That is a challenge in business brokerage. You can’t just list XYZ business and not think about what its future should be.”

Guiding Sellers Towards the Best Solutions

In terms of selling the business, you are not valuing the business, but instead you are pricing it. Business brokers and M&A advisors help sellers determine the price and work as advisors on pricing. In Cooper’s view, a key part of making deals happen is to help the seller realize that seller financing is likely in their future.

Ideally, he prefers seller financing with no SBI. Typically, sellers are initially resistant to seller financing. As Cooper noted, it is important to not try to sell the seller on the concept of seller financing early in the process. He pointed out, “I’ve had almost all of my sellers say no to the idea of seller financing in the beginning of the process…and yet almost all of my sellers in the history of the company have done seller financing.” Seller financing is an attractive option as the interest rate with seller financing is often lower and the typical SBA processing delay is not a factor.

The buyers and the sellers are the main characters of the story of selling a business. At the end of the day, selling a business isn’t strictly about numbers, figures, facts, profit and loss margins, and other financial variables. Instead, it is about people. If you embrace the human element in the process of buying and selling businesses and understand that there is a story to be told, you will be rewarded.