How to Manage the Buyer-Seller Meeting: Advice from a Top Broker
Meeting a business buyer or seller for the first time is a critical moment for a business broker, which is why a business broker should learn how to best manage it, an industry expert told the Georgia Association of Business Brokers on March 30, 2020.
Peter Goodman, owner of Goodman and Company Business Brokers, says a successful business sale often hinges on this critical meeting, establishing trust, and instilling confidence. His presentation was praised as extremely useful for business brokers, business seller and business buyers.
View his presentation here:
The buyer-seller meeting is an opportunity for the seller to learn why the buyer is interested in the business, to learn the buyer’s plans for the business and allow the seller to answer questions.
Don’t allow the buyer and seller to exchange contact information, and the broker should not allow the buyer to negotiate price or anything else during this meeting, Goodman said.
The broker’s role is to listen for problems that arise, correct misunderstandings and gauge the buyer’s interest. The broker should review with the seller what the seller should cover in the meeting. Remember, Goodman said, what the seller says will be worth ten times what the broker says.
The goal of the meeting is to be sure the buyer still wants to buy the business after the meeting. Goodman also lists some questions and issues to be covered, gives the parties an agenda o things to be covered, and suggests limiting the meeting to 30-60 minutes.
Sellers should avoid mentioning anything negative about their business that is no longer relevant, such as a dishonest employee who is no longer working there. The seller should discuss competitive advantages and missed opportunities, or ways a new owner can make more money from the business with marketing or new revenue streams.
On the other hand, the seller shouldn’t make the buyer think they cannot be replaced. Remember, it’s the business that makes the money, not the seller. The seller must make the buyer feel confidence that they have the ability to run the business successfully.
And after the meeting, Goodman always sends thank you notes to all participants.
Goodman holds the designation of Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) through the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), the largest and most well-respected business brokerage organization in the United States. Mr. Goodman has been a full-time business broker for 17 years. During his brokerage career, he has personally sold over 100 businesses from main street to lower mid-market in various industries. His emphasis is on working closely with business owners as agent, advisor, confidant and friend has been the foundation of his success.
The Georgia Association of Business Brokers is the state’s largest and most respected association of professionals who broker the purchase and sale of businesses. The GABB also operates the state’s only real estate school dedicated to training business brokers. For more information about GABB, contact Executive Director Diane Loupe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 770-744-3639, or GABB president Judy Mims at 404-842-1997 or email@example.com.