Did My Buyer Die?

Day #1

“Wait, I have a buyer, I want to see what happens with this buyer before I do anything.” (Seller talking to us)

Day #5

Seller talks to buyer and they schedule a meeting for next week.

Day #11

Seller and buyer meet and the meeting goes great. Seller calls us and says “I think he is going to buy it, I want to hold off before we do anything else.”

Day #13

Seller calls buyer to move the ball forward. No answer. Seller leaves buyer a voice mail.

Day #16

No answer from buyer – Seller calls buyer again and leaves a message.

Day #20

No answer still from buyer – Seller calls a third time and leaves a message.

Day # 25

No answer from buyer yet – Seller calls a fourth time and leaves a message.

Day #28 

The seller calls us, and is exhausted, and doesn’t know what to do.

We hear this story all the time, if not every week from our clients. What has happened here and what can be done about it? Why do interested buyers disappear?

Buyers are like everyone else, they are busy and are likely looking at more than one business for sale. A buyer may initially appear interested and may later change their mind after looking at another business for sale. They may be embarrassed or shy to tell you that they are no longer interested in your business, and it may be easier for them to duck your phone calls and emails. While this may be useful information to know, it is irrelevant because it does not change the process you should follow.


Selling a business is not easy. However, if you keep it simple and do not get emotionally involved, then you can greatly reduce the stress associated with selling your business.

What is the solution?

The solution is quite “simple,” although not always easy for sellers to implement.

  1. Do not get emotionally involved in any one buyer. This does not mean that you shouldn’t be aggressive about selling your business. You should be very aggressive; however, you should keep a level head and focus on running your business during the process.
  2. If you prepare for the sale upfront by preparing a business summary and use our tools for prescreening buyers, then little energy is expended prescreening buyers.
  3. Focus on running the business and do not become too emotionally attached to selling your business. Many sellers seem overly eager to sell their business, and spend far too much time and energy thinking about the process. Oftentimes, this thinking doesn’t accomplish anything other than causing stress and anxiety.

The Bottom Line:

Keep cool and focus on running your business. Prepare a simple plan to sell and execute it with precision.

Use tools to save time dealing with buyers – For more information, look at our “sample business summary” and “electronic NDA.”