Business Brokers and the Power of Storytelling

Business Brokers and the Power of Storytelling

In this week’s webinar, we launched the first of a 7-part series with our returning legend, and business broker legend, Glen Cooper. Mr. Cooper’s 7-part series, “The Nuts & Bolts of Selling a Business-Part 1: Getting Ourselves Ready,” is about Cooper’s blueprint for what business brokers and M&A advisors need to be doing to ready themselves to make deals happen.

No doubt, Cooper is the right person for instructing business brokers in regards to charting a path forward. He has been a business broker since 1979 and is the Founder and Managing Partner of Colorado Business Brokers. Additionally, he is the President of the Colorado Association of Business Intermediaries and author of “Glen Cooper on Business Brokerage,” which is a 26-video course, e-book and book.

Getting to the Root of the Business

Cooper’s decades of experience have taught him that selling a business is about storytelling. And in order to tell the story of the business and why a buyer should want to buy it, it is necessary to truly understand the business. That stated, you must realize that uncovering the story of a business isn’t as simple as asking the businessowner, “What the business is all about?”

The simple fact of the matter is that often even sellers don’t know what the true story of their business actually is. They tend to lack the proper perspective as they are too deeply involved. Therefore, it is your job to coach the story of the business out of the seller, and that isn’t always easy. Sellers may be burnt out or have never really thought through the story of their business in the first place.

Cooper wants business brokers and M&A advisors to “learn to think story.” He feels that people often believe that brokerage professionals are “numbers people.” The truth is that successful business brokers are, in reality, storytellers. As he notes, “It is important to use the numbers, no question…you’ll do a spreadsheet on the numbers, but you need to be able to tell stories…You want to control the storyline of the business.”

Start with the Foundation

The story of the business does start with the financials and the facts, which Cooper calls “the foundation.” But this is only the beginning of the process. After assembling the numbers and the facts, you must move onto interviewing the seller. The information about the business that the seller gives you must then be woven with the words and photos.

In the end, every story has a moral and it is important to pull all of these elements together to make an engaging story that will ultimately inspire and motivate a buyer to buy the business.

In our next article, we will further explore Cooper’s vision for the art of storytelling. It is through storytelling you can make deals consistently happen.