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How to weed out time wasters when selling a business

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Top tips to avoid timewasters when selling a business

When selling a business, you’ll come across ingenuine buyers that have one aim – to consume time for the pleasure of it. Time wasters that have no intention to follow through with a purchase, also known as tyre kickers, can cost you dearly. While attending to their countless queries and information requests, you’ll miss out on time with genuine buyers with serious enquiries.

It's paramount to have a strategy in place to fend off timewasters and to fashion your business listing with information that will only attract business buyers that are suitable for the role. By taking all the precautions necessary and refining the information that you put out there, you can streamline the business sale process and the type of buyers that you appeal to.

How to steer clear of the wrong type of buyers

By precisely targeting the type of parties that you envision buying the business, you can ward off timewasters and increase the efficiency of the business sale process. The Selling My Business team share their top tips on deterring tyre kickers when selling a business.

Cherry pick information – When selling a business, you will work closely with your business transfer agent to produce marketing collateral, such as a sales memorandum which will be used when introducing your business to potential buyers. Be selective with the information that you choose to include as this will be widely circulated across multiple online selling platforms and large networks of buyers.

For example, if you are seeking a preferred set of skills, qualifications, or experience in the buyer, make this known.

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Fill in the gaps – Put yourself in the shoes of a business buyer and answer the questions that you would expect them to ask. Provide all the basic information from the get-go to avoid basic questions about your business. By providing sufficient information from an early point, you can reserve in-person meetings for parties that are serious buyers, rather than window shoppers.

Before embarking on the business sale process, collate all the information and supporting documents that you may require for the journey ahead to save time and satisfy genuine questions. This can also help stop timewasters fishing for information and asking questions that have already been answered.

Filter buyers – Interested parties must show a level of commitment such as submitting their personal details in return for an information pack. This will help separate genuine buyers from the timewasters, as without a show of commitment, they are unable to access the information that they require.

At a further stage, you may decide to implement a business acquisition questionnaire to further filter a suitable buyer for your business. This tactic is often used by business sellers to test the seriousness of interested parties and qualify potential buyers.

Speak to the decision maker – If you’ve spent time discussing your business and answering questions from a buyer that appears genuine, ready, and able to proceed, check that they are the decision maker. If they’re second in line or an intermediary, you may likely have to repeat the business discovery stage with the decision maker.

While there’s no answer to stop all timewasters knocking at your door, there are steps that you can take to make the most out of your valuable time when selling a business and upping your odds of securing a genuine buyer. For more information on selling a business, get in touch with a business transfer agent at Selling My Business.

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