The buying and selling of businesses is an involved subject. Simply stated, we are talking about connecting up buyers and sellers for the mutual benefit of both. The essential points of business brokering are 1. The number of communication lines (prospects) one has and can use to connect up buyers and sellers; 2. Pricing a business correctly to sell, which is based on how skilled one is in establishing the actual value of a business, and 3. The ability to keep the parties negotiating until a common ground can be found.
Why Use a Broker?
It has been said in the legal profession, “an attorney that represents himself has a fool for a client.” After years of being a broker I can see why that is true. When representing myself in any negotiation I find myself at a great disadvantage. Years ago when I had a business partner, he would negotiate a deal, telling the other side that the terms must be confirmed with his partner, me. When he told me about the deal and the terms, I had a clear head and time to think about the deal. More than 50% of the time, I would request changes, all of which I got. After my partner died, I had to negotiate my own deals. Many times, I felt I had slipped up and not negotiated what I should of. Also, as an agent with limited authority, I could suggest things to the other side without committing myself. This was worth a lot. A suggestion that “My client might agree to this, if you would offer him …” has made many a negotiation go smoothly, with two happy clients in the end. You can’t say “I’ll do A if you will do B.” From that point on, they know you will do A and they work on the other points. Yes it is true. “A man that negotiates his own deals has a fool for a negotiator.”
Another less important reason for having a broker, if you are a seller, is time. A broker knows how to spot a real buyer from a looker. A seller will come visit your business, snoop around and pump the seller for all kinds of valuable information, and waste the seller’s time. Phone calls alone with buyers can take hours and not go anywhere.
There are other reasons where a broker is a big help. Being in business for over 30 years, Kismet has an extensive database of both buyers and sellers. This database is always being improved and extended. We have connections in just about every industry sector and as such are in a very unique position to arrange to buy or sell a business for you. The President of the company has been a negotiator for 30 years and has successfully kept buyers and sellers together in thousands of deals. We are also very knowledgeable in determining the value of any business quite rapidly, and at no charge to the parties.
So, if you are interested in buying or selling a manufacturing business, service business, paint & body shop, fast food restaurant or any other type of business, we can help you. Contact us with your business needs and we will go that extra mile to ensure you get the help you need.
Finding a Listing Broker to Sell Your Business
What makes Kismet Business Brokers different from every other Business Broker in town? It is the way we advertise our listings. Let me explain
Kismet has developed a marketing strategy that has been applauded by other brokers and incredible. If took 5 years of research and testing to get it right. Other brokers have not, up until now been willing to take the time and money to institute this system.
Kismet places its list of businesses it has available for sale, on web sites developed for marketing businesses. Prospects for businesses do not normally come to kismet’s web site to find a business; they go where all businesses are being marketed. Kismet has search out and recognized the best sites for exposing a business to prospective buyers.
There are many printed publications that list businesses for sale. Most of them are designed for big businesses. They charge both the seller and any prospective buyer, to have access to their publications. Many run as much as $300.00 just to look at what is for sale. Kismet has searched out and subscribed to publications that have the track record of bringing prospective buyers to their publication to see businesses that are for sale.
If the business we are selling is the type of business that a buyer would consider looking in the “businesses for sale” section of the local or major newspaper of the area, then Kismet will put ads in the paper. The newspaper is not the place to advertise that it was, even as recent as 3 years ago. The Web has cut into their business substantially.
Making Contact with Prospective Buyers
Normally when a prospect sees a business being marketed, that appears to be of interest to him or her, he will contact the seller’s broker or the seller directly by only one of two ways. They are 1. Make a call to the contact number, or 2. Send an e-mail inquiry.
Both have plus points and minus points. Lets take them one at a time.
Before caller ID’s were invented anyone could inquire about a business listing, or a real estate listing, and could pump a seller or agent for information, without even giving his name or number. He could even lie about the name and/or the phone number. I have had competitors call because they are very curious as to who is for sale. A casual buyers can ask questions about a business until the agent or seller, informs the prospect that a non-disclosure is required and they need to come in to the office or sign a confidentiality release. This sometimes stops the questions and the prospect hangs up, because he doesn’t want to be pursued by the agent or seller, until he the buyer is ready. Even with caller ID, the prospect can block the caller ID. This is not a desirable position to be in as an agent.
If a prospect sends an e-mail inquiry, quite often they will only give you their e-mail address to respond to. You still can’t call them, if you wish, but at least you have a way to re-contact a prospect. Buyers are interesting people. They have many motivations for calling on businesses for sell. They may be on a fishing exposition and wish to get maximum information without a sellers business without letting the seller know who is asking the questions, or why the prospect is interested.
People looking for information, besides being a legitimate prospect, may also be 1. A competitor looking to find out who wants to sell their business. 2. A competitor looking to find out the strength’s of the competitor and then steals trade secrets, and successful marketing ideas. 3. A competitor looking to get seller’s client’s names so they can try to steal accounts, and 4. A competitor is wanting to compare the seller’s financial reports to their own, and 5. People who do not want to buy a business but are going to enter the field and want an education on the profitability of this type of business. They want training and an education for free.
Kismet’s system eliminates the buyer being in control and puts us the seller’s agents in the drivers seat. When you call Kismet’s 800-phone number on its advertisements you are not calling our office, but rather a high tech message center. Each listing has a box number. Each box number has a recorded message about a specific business, in order to create interest, before the prospect even has to talk to a person. Then if the prospect is really interested he will then be put through to an agent.
If you wonder what difference it makes if they call Kismet’s office number or if they call the message center, I will explain. Caller ID, which most people have, can block an agent from getting the callers phone number. Our system is located out of state and captures 100% of all callers phone numbers and which ad they were calling on. Blocked calls do not work against our system. Even if they listen to our recorded message and hang up, we know who called. If they hang up while talking to an agent, we know whom they are.
When this system was first put in, we discovered a frightening fact. One third of all the collars never tried to talk to a person, or leave a message. What this told us was that all other agents were never even aware of 1/3 of the people that responded to the ad.
I found people would call on an ad, if a machine answered they hung up and never called again. If a receptionist answered they sometimes hung up before the agent could get on the line. Sometimes they would ask a few questions of the agent, not like one answer and just hang up on the agent, leaving him no way to re-contact. Another examples that was found; prospect called on an ad, got an incoming call on another line, would of course hang up on our call and take there incoming call. But, many times never bothering to call us back. I received a call from a very wealthy individual on Christmas Eve. He had just been notified that he had won a major contract and needed to find an operating business to produce the product. He saw our ad and picked up the phone and called. I missed the call and he hung up leaving no message. When I discovered the call 30 min later I called him, and spent 6 months looking for the perfect fit for him. He told me that he would of never called back, and only because he had that letter in his hand and found our ad did he call in the first place. The urgency had gone away by 5 PM that night, and he was leaving for Europe in two days and was gone for 2 months. Because I called him back instantly, I got a shot at showing him my business that was listed.
Finally, Kismet has developed its own list of buyer prospects that we have had at least one phone conversations with. We keep a record of what type of business they want, how much cash do they have available and how profitable does the business need to be. When we get a new listing, we run it through the database and find who is a fit. This database is never shared with anyone outside the company. Many a prospective buyer is still looking 2 years after we originally talked with him.
Business Brokers are like husbands and wives. If you have a good one, your life is blissful and happy and it is the best thing that ever happened to you in your life. If you make a mistake, it is the worst thing that could ever happened to you and would make the story of “Dante’s Inferno” seem like a picnic in comparison.
If you would like to get divorced from your business, marry the best broker you can find and life a blissful life