Previously we looked at some common questions that buyers typically ask business owners in their initial “meet and greet” sessions. As you may recall, we focused on two key areas: questions pertaining to business risk and also those covering your personal motivations as a seller.
As with any budding relationship, the questions you need to ask are equally important to developing a solid partnership, so that a few months down the road, you can consummate a relationship that is win-win for both you and the buyer. Because, as our clients often tell me, at the end of the day, the offer that is accepted is sometimes NOT the largest or most financially lucrative to the seller; frequently other factors come into play that become even more important to the seller than simply how much they walk away with from the transaction.
This is why it is really important for you to spend time with the buyer and his/her team, delving into their background(s) and motivations. Here are a few of our clients that have talked to us about how other issues became paramount in the end of the deal:
One of the common themes I hear from nearly every client that I meet with over the years post close is this: it was important that I could work with the buyer and it was vital that their plans for the future maintained my company’s legacy.
In order to reach that level of trust, you have to ask the right questions even in your first meetings with any buyer(s). So, here are some queries you can use to get to know your potential buyers:
This is just a small sample and as you can see, many of these questions overlap and that is OK, because in reality as you start to ask questions, if you listen well, you will even have more questions develop as the meeting continues. And as you go through your queries, realize that what you are really doing is having a conversation with a person and/or a team that you will potentially be working very, very closely with for several months. Ultimately, you have to be sure that your personality and the buyer’s are a good fit.
As Brad Hennrich said in the video above, it is vital that you can see yourself developing a good working relationship with your buyer, even if you are not going to be retained post sale. The amount of time you will be spending with him or her over the months before closing will be incredible. Nothing can be worse than beginning to determine that you simply cannot get along with your potential buyer a few months before close.
Spend time asking good questions and most importantly, as we mentioned a few weeks ago, determine your personal motivations as well. Be sure you are truly a committed seller even before your first meeting(s). This will go a long way towards creating a long-term, trusting relationship.
If you are interested in learning more about the work Generational Group does in helping our clients find and develop the optimal relationship with a buyer, give us a call at 972-232-1121 or visit our website, provide us with your contact information and we will be in touch.
By Carl Doerksen, Director of Corporate Development at Generational Equity.
© 2021 Generational Equity, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Dear Chris and Andre, I just wanted to say thanks for all your help. Even though this process was not an easy one, it was comforting to know that I had a capable team standing beside me. You made me feel like we were almost your only client or at least the most important one. Thanks again, and I will recommend your service in the future.Shenille Engelhart, Owner – CLS Technology
Michael worked tirelessly, He followed every lead meticulously and urgently to make sure nothing was missed.Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
I wanted to write you a quick letter to express our appreciation and our delight on the outcome of helping us through the process of our recent sale. We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
We were happy to see the interest in our company and what we cherished has not just a valuable company but an important company to the communities we served in.Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
The process was much more involved than I expected and your help, experience and advice was a big factor in making the negotiations go as smoothly as possible.Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
I would like to thank you and your firm, Generational Equity, for being our valued advisors in our journey.Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
I need to say an immense thank you to Don Ho for his stellar work ethic, attention to detail, and tireless effort. Also thank you to the whole crew at GE! Without you, Don could not do such a phenomenal job. We were shooting for closing and funding before the end of 2020, due to the uncertainty of the political landscape and taxes. I am happy to report we closed last week and will be funding tomorrow.Dr. Caty J. Catron PhD, RN, VA-BC – Owner, Vic The Picc, LLC
We will highly recommend Generational Equity and Musa Jagne to any business owner about to embark on the same process.Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing
Greetings Mike. Thank you for the captivating and compelling presentation you made at the Phoenix presentation last week. Over many years in business yours was the most informative and well-presented presentation, on any subject, that I have ever attended! Your energy and enthusiasm combined with your concise and captivating support of your positions with easily understood examples and data was compelling.Pete L.
Thank you again for all your guidance and support. Any company will achieve what they intend, if they have you on their team!Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
I must say that I have never worked with a more driven, competent and focused individual as Don Ho.Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
Thanks again Phil and feel free to have a future client call me if they would like a referral. You are a true professional!Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
I couldn’t have asked for a better team than Michael and Deborah. We couldn’t have done it without them.Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
We knew it would be a difficult task to have someone really understand our business and our market, prior to researching a possible buyer, so it was imperative that we found someone of your caliber, with definite proven experience in this area.Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
Your wisdom and experience were invaluable to me during this once-in-a-lifetime transaction.Ralph Noblin, President of Noblin & Associates
We thank you Eric and Generational Equity making our dream come true.Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
I quickly recognized that Don was working for Sharpe Mixers above all else, and held our interests above others.Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
Generational Equity educated and informed us – so that we could be on the upside of a good decision (to sell).Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
The help you provided us during each step of this process made us feel very comfortable and confident we were selecting the right approach to transition our Company.Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
Tom Staszak is one of the most professional people I have dealt with in my last forty years of business. You’ve got a great group of people and you have built a truly professional organization.Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
T.D., thank you so much! You are a great leader! I love how you are using your gifts and talents to better others. You are clearly a GREAT COACH! This 3 day session undoubtedly changed the future of our business, and very well may have been the sole catalyst to save my company, my health and my marriage! A genuine “thank you” from the bottom of my heart.Bryan D. Horn, Owner, Over Under Clothing
Bruce and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Generational Equity for assigning Musa Jagne to our transaction. In Bruce’s words, “Musa did one hell of a job for us!”Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing
Generational Equity’s assistance was invaluable in compiling and marketing our business.Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
I am pleased that I was able to work with Andrew Byrd throughout this experience. From the first meeting we had in Minneapolis I felt that I was in good hands. His knowledge and expertise is second to none. He guided the process consistently throughout. I feel lucky that I was pared with Andrew and could not be happier that I chose Generational Equity to handle this major life event. Thank you Andrew and GenEq for everything!Eric Erlandson, Owner, Action Fastenings, Inc.
We are extremely pleased with the way Generational Equity handled the sale of our company. Your associates, Tom and Chris, did an outstanding job of getting us (me) through the process.Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
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