3 Non-Monetary Ways Buyers Can Win Over a Seller

Traditionally in business sales, multiple offer situations are rare, but in this seller’s market, we are seeing them more and more frequently these days. With a large pool of buyers and a limited supply of quality businesses on the market, it’s important for buyers to shine bright. So, in order to help buyers stand out from the crowd, we wanted to discuss some ways that buyers can win over a seller. These tips have nothing to do with purchase price or offer terms, as it’s a given that price and terms in a buyer’s offer need to be strong. We outline here how buyers can go beyond just being the highest offer, and we detail how they can become the best offer. Winning over the seller and being the buyer of choice will help you further your goals of purchasing the best business for you, while helping the seller feel good about leaving their business in capable hands.

 

Listen, Learn, and Compliment

When you are at your buyer/seller meeting or any other time when the seller is present, take the time to listen and learn as much as you can about the business as possible. As a general rule, people love to talk about themselves, and in this case specifically, their business. Gain as much useful knowledge as possible, and ask insightful questions that will help deepen your understanding of the seller and their business. Don’t just ask the obvious or surface level questions, but get as deep as you can into understanding the business’s origins, it’s journey, and exactly where it is today. 

Also, make sure to compliment the seller on building a great business. Highlight the aspects of the business that you think are particularly outstanding, and tell the seller why you think those aspects are especially great. Most likely, in your mind as the buyer, you will also be thinking of ways you can make the business better, but save those for after closing day. Dwell on what makes this business awesome now, and show appreciation for everything the seller has done to bring the business to where it is today. Afterall, you are considering purchasing this business, so it has to have some excellent qualities that you have identified. Make the seller feel good by pointing those out and praising them for a job well done. 

 

Help the Seller Accomplish their Goals

As the buyer, you definitely have your own set of goals and agenda, but if you want to win favor with the seller, you need to put yourself in their shoes. Think about the seller’s motivation and how you are a good fit to help them accomplish their goals. Why are they selling? What are they planning on doing after the sale? What do they want to see happen to the business after they are gone? Ask questions to find out what has lead them to making the decision to sell their business. It will not only give you good insight into why the business is on the market, but it will help you to align yourself as the solution to help the seller accomplish their goals. 

Make sure that you convey to the seller why you are the right person to take over the reins for them, so that they can move on to bigger and better things, or they can focus on more pressing issues in their path. Whatever the seller’s motivation for selling, you need to be the key to getting them to the next chapter of their life, whatever that may be.

 

Preserve the Seller’s Legacy

Most business sellers have invested many years of their lives into their businesses. They have sacrificed so much to get the business to where it is today. They have worked extremely hard because they genuinely care about their business. Their reputation in the community, their customer relationships, their employees, and the quality of their product or service is very important to them. All of those things need to be important to you as well. Afterall, that’s probably a significant reason why you are looking to purchase this business in the first place. 

The more you can demonstrate that you are the right person to carry the torch and move the business forward, the more that the seller will have faith that you are the person to continue their legacy. Explain to the seller how you can add value to the business to foster growth, maintain the excellent reputation that the seller has built, and bring more opportunities to the employees. Have a detailed vision for long-term success and preserving the legacy of the seller. The seller wants to know that their business will be in good hands once they step down from the helm, and you want to reassure them that you will maintain and improve the amazing business that they have worked so hard to build.