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Telling a Great Story is Key to Selling Your Business

Telling a Great Story is Key to Selling Your Business

A big part of selling your business is being able to tell a great story. We tell that story via our marketing to bring buyer interest, and then you will tell your story to a buyer during the initial buyer/seller meeting, with the goal of that meeting being an offer on your business. The story needs to be honest and true, but it also needs to be compelling, so that the buyer is drawn in. We want them to buy into your story, connect with you and your business, and as a result, eventually purchase your business. 


What Is Your Business’s Story?

The first step is to get a firm understanding of your business’s story arc. This tells the buyer where and why the business started, the challenges it has faced through the years, how it overcame them, and where it stands today. Telling an authentic, heroic story can help attract the right buyer who appreciates the business and wants to be a part of it. They need to feel attached to the business, and they need to be able to see where they fit into the business’s future development. 


What Is the Next Chapter for the Business?

Buyers eventually purchase a business based on its future potential, so make sure you have a very good story formulated for what’s next in your business. If you weren’t selling it, and you wanted to take it to the next level, what would you do? Are there areas you’ve always wanted to expand into? Have you not needed to do any marketing, but could grow the business exponentially if you did? What possibilities do you see in the future for the business? All these questions are great to formulate detailed answers to, so you can paint a picture of the business’s future potential. Help the buyer see themselves in the business, taking it to the next level in its evolution. Make the new buyer the key central figure who is poised to take it there. 


What Is Your Next Chapter?

One of the very first questions that buyers will ask is, “Why are you selling?” Be prepared to answer this question in the most positive way possible. Of course, your answer needs to be honest, but there is a big difference in a positive or negative delivery of that answer. For example, if you are retiring, you want to have your response be something like, “It’s been an amazing 20 years building up and running this business. I’m really proud of what I’ve built, but I’m ready to retire and spend more time traveling to see family and friends.” At this point in your life, you might be tired, over-worked, stressed, and just ready to exit your business and finally relax. However, you don’t want to let any of that negativity creep into your answer. Always try to find the most positive spin possible, no matter what your reason for selling is. 

Sales Is the Transfer of Enthusiasm

In sales, a fundamental principal that we live by is that “sales is purely the transfer of enthusiasm.” The enthusiasm needs to be 100% genuine and not “salesy” in order for it to be received positively by the buyer. When your business broker speaks to a buyer about your business, if they aren’t enthusiastic about it, the buyer could pick up on that. So, make sure you hire a business broker who shows interest in your business and who is confident about selling it. You also need to use enthusiasm when you tell your business’s story to potential buyers at buyer/seller meetings. In order to make sure you are prepared for this, practice telling the story of your business. Share it with your business broker or other trusted confidant and ask for their feedback. Use this feedback to put the finishing touches on your story. You are most likely going to have to tell it multiple times, so make sure that you inject it with genuine enthusiasm each time.