On Deal Talk, we often hear from former business owners who have sold their companies or professionals who are dedicated to helping entrepreneurs sell their...
How to Sell a Business: The Showing
Give the buyer a tour of your business and then answer the follow-up questions.
The right way to handle the showing: What do we recommend you do when the buyer comes to see the business? Immediately show the business to the buyer – after a very short getting to know each other introduction.
At this point, they usually haven’t seen the business and are dying to go for a tour. Don’t sit down and have small talk for 20 minutes. The only thing on the buyer’s mind is that they want to see the business – show it to them, then have the small talk later. Let the buyer ask as many questions as they like. Answer them as best and straightforward as you can. You can get to know each other during the showing, and you can casually ask them questions about themselves and share like information about yourself.
Tips for the showing: Explain as much as you can. Show pride in your business. Weave in little tidbits about the history, ways to grow the business, and what you like/dislike about the business.
Be honest about your business’ strengths and weaknesses: Point out some of your dislikes about the business – this will make you look more credible to the buyer. It may be smart to point out some things that could be changed such as “I hate marketing," "I wish I knew how to market this business better.”
Avoid the following when meeting with the buyer:
- Don’t show tax returns.
- Don’t show bank statements.
- Don’t discuss the financials during the showing – tell them that you can sit down and discuss this.
- Don’t disclose proprietary secrets.
The importance of consistency: Read your Business Summary inside and out. Memorize the information contained in it. It is extremely important to present the information about your business in a consistent fashion to interested buyers. Buyers will notice inconsistencies and will then begin to doubt everything you tell them.