You’ve put so much time, effort, energy, and money into making your business prosperous. When the time comes to sell it, you of course want to have the most successful sale possible. In order to have a positive experience, sell in the shortest amount of time, for the most money possible, you need to align yourself with an amazing business broker to get the job done. All business brokers were definitely not created equal, so it’s important to make sure that you hire the right broker for the job. Here is our best advice for choosing a top-notch business broker to partner with.
Level of Service
First impressions are lasting, so how was your first interaction with the broker or brokerage? Were they responsive? Did they call you back right away? Communication is absolutely key, and you must find a business broker who is a good communicator if you want to have a smooth listing and selling experience. The number one negative comment that we hear from our sellers who have previously worked with other business brokers is that they listed their business for sale and then for a year, they never heard from them again. That is simply unprofessional and unacceptable. That’s why at Green & Co. we do a monthly seller update, which is the minimum that we will be regularly communicating with our sellers. Businesses take 282 days to sell, on average, so most businesses will go through some quiet months with no activity on their listing. Even when that is the case, they should still be informed that there hasn’t been any activity.
So, when interviewing a prospective business broker, ask them about their processes and procedures for staying in touch once the listing goes on the market, and ask them how often they regularly communicate with their sellers. For the commission you are paying to your business broker, you deserve to get the very best level of service from them, so make sure you work with a broker who is responsive, timely, and communicative.
The hard truth of the business sales industry is that, on average, only 25% of the businesses on the market will ever sell. Yes, you read that right…statistically speaking, only ¼ of the businesses currently listed will end up selling. So, how do you make sure that you are among the 25% that will sell? The answer is simple. Hire the right business broker, trust their expertise and experience, carefully consider their advice, and remember that you’ve hired them for a reason. You and your business broker have the same goal: to get your business sold. So, you want to find a business brokerage that gets results and actually sells the businesses that they list.
At Green & Co. our success rate is 82%, which is clearly miles ahead of the industry average. How do we accomplish that? First, we train our business brokers how to accurately price businesses so that they are priced correctly, according to the market. An over-inflated asking price is the number one reason that a business doesn’t sell. Second, we take listings that we believe will sell, with sellers who are nice to work with. As a matter of fact, we actually only take 1 in 3 of the listing opportunities that are presented to us. Lastly, our marketing is head and shoulders above our competition, and we get more businesses sold because of it. When considering different business brokerages to work with, make sure you pick one that has a proven track record of success.
When you are doing your homework researching potential business brokers, one of the main things to look at is their web presence. This will tell you how they market themselves, as well as how they market the businesses they have listed for sale. What is their website like? Is it modern, interactive, and a positive experience? Are they active on social media? Do you see them promoting their listings in multiple areas and channels?
Do they utilize video marketing for their listings? Chances are the answer is probably not. In today’s day and age, videos are 60% more likely to be viewed online as opposed to plain text or photos. Furthermore, YouTube is the number two search engine on the internet, so if a brokerage isn’t promoting their listings via video, they are way behind the curve. Curious to see what one of our listing videos looks like? Click HERE to watch one.
Furthermore, you want to make sure that you see a sample of the broker’s CBR (Confidential Business Review) or Buyer Package. This is the brochure containing all of the confidential information about the business that potential buyers receive once they have signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement and they’ve been screened by the broker. If they tell you that they don’t have one to show you, or they don’t create one, or they just send whatever you give them over to the buyer, then run away as fast as you can. That is an indication that the broker doesn’t do any work to sell their listings, and sadly, many of the business brokers out there create no marketing for their listings at all. They list them for sale on the business MLS, as well as the consumer websites, and then that’s it. You deserve more than that, so make sure you know what you are getting when it comes to marketing.
Positive Reviews and Customer Testimonials
Last but not least, you want to look at the brokerage's online customer reviews on Google or on their social media accounts. You can also look to see if they offer any testimonials from past buyers and sellers. On the Green & Co. website, we proudly display written and video testimonials from our past customers. It is our number one goal to make our buyers and sellers happy and to deliver the best possible service to them. It is extremely rewarding when we receive positive reviews from our past customers, because that means we’ve done our job and met our goals. To check out our testimonials, click HERE.
Choosing a business broker to help you sell your business shouldn’t be something that is done hastily and without doing some due diligence. Make sure you ask questions about their communication and processes, research the business brokerage online, and ask to see samples of their marketing. If they fall short in these areas, they are probably not going to succeed in selling your business either. Find a business broker or brokerage you feel confident working with before you even have your first conversation with them. If you feel comfortable with the broker after speaking with them, then go for it. Just don’t go into the listing process blindly, because your business sale deserves the very best.