Successful negotiations rely as much on basic communication skills as they do on tactics. Getting them right can mean the difference between the sale of the business for an optimised price and on optimised terms and the business failing to sell at all.
You should aim to appear approachable and willing to listen to what buyers say whilst not appearing to accept all that they say. Here are our top five tips to sell your business successfully.
Respond to enquiries and questions promptly. The sale is as important to a buyer as it is to you and delays in responses can frustrate buyers and give rise to concerns over long term future working relationships.
However, do take care to only divulge information that you are happy to give or that your advisor recommends.
It is a delicate balancing act between providing a timely response and not looking overly keen to sell. When waiting for a response from a potential buyer be as patient as you can be.
Constantly chasing the buyer for their response can make you look desperate – whatever you say. This is never a good thing in any negotiation, the side chasing is normally the one that compromises.
This can be vital in the sale of business because competition drives the price of a business upwards, ensures positive sale terms for you and increases the speed of completion of the sale.
Without other potential buyers, your preferred buyer will be in a far stronger position to negotiate themselves the best possible terms and sale price.
Selling a business is a time-consuming activity and, on top of running your business, it is difficult to find enough time to do so. This may mean long hours to ensure that neither the sale nor the business suffers but both activities require dedication.
Your availability doesn’t only apply to the buyer or buyers; it also applies to your advisors. During the sale process, you will also be talking with your business sale advisor, your accountant and your solicitor.
Once you enter into the final stages of the sale process with your preferred buyer it is very important that you set a specific time frame for each stage.
The longer a sale takes to complete the greater the likelihood that it will fail. There are many elements of the process which can contribute to an overly lengthy timeframe but in the final stages these are primarily:
“It is likely that the sale of your business will be the largest and most important one you will ever make. Prepare well for dealing with a range of questions and types of buyer for your business and work hard on your negotiating techniques, there’s only one chance to get it right.
“If you are not 100% confident of doing so then we would recommend engaging a business sale specialist to manage this for you.”
Explore the options available to you, improve your chances of successful sale.
If you’re seeking a business to buy, then we can increase your deal flow.
In the early stages of such an important undertaking, it can be a bit of a moral maze: who do you trust?
Firm Gains gave me confidence with detailed advice and support. I would recommend their services to other entrepreneurs seeking to buy a business.Mr T Washington , Founder
I found it much easier to get my head around a business sale this way than talking to my accountant. You speak a language I understand!
Even though the whole process of selling seems daunting, I’ve got more confidence that I’m heading in the right direction.Mrs T Boothe , Founder
Thank you for your email and the excellent advice provided earlier this week. It was immensely helpful and has helped me to plan my future direction for the practice.
I would have no problem whatsoever in recommending your services in the future.Mr & Mrs Halldron , Co-Owners
Firm Gains were recommended to me and I was not disappointed. They were efficient, helpful and effective responding quickly to my request with all the facts that were needed to ensure a stress-free dialogue with our buyer.
What really helped was the advice over and above the valuation, which was immensely valuable and gave me the confidence to proceed. I would not hesitate in recommending them.Mr C Waite , Founder
We found the advice invaluable, which was clear and concise and felt your firm had a good handle on market trends and business sectors.
With also the backup of the secondary services, there was a feeling you had all bases covered if we wanted to proceed with our exit via Management Buy Out (‘MBO’).Mr D Wills , Director
Thank you for your advice. I was just about to sign up to the wrong kind of business agent for a company of our size, but read your post just in time.
I found a more serious partner, with experience in our industry and we’re already using the same language.Mr F Summerscale , Managing Director
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Firm gains understood our situation quickly and clearly and were anything but ‘pushy’. Refreshing compared to what we’d experienced before.Mr C Hutcheson , Managing Director