Our responses are usually immediate.
We have set up our email program to reply automatically with important information, as well as a call to action. And, of course, we always include our full name, company name and contact information to help build trust and credibility.
- Step 1 - Buyers are sent both an email and a text message with a link to a convenient online form.
- Step 2 - With the click of a button, the buyer provides us with their completed form containing contact information, answers to a few basic financial questions and an electronically signature indicating their acceptance of our Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).
Note: Electronic forms ease the process for the buyer improving the likelihood that they will complete the qualification questionnaire. We also offer buyers multiple methods to contact us (via the website, phone and email).
- Step 3 - We forward to you the completed form (including the buyer's signature on the NDA).
- Step 4 - Now it is time for your Business Summary and other materials to be presented to the prospective buyer.
- Step 5 - We recommend that you call the buyer to introduce yourself, while making sure that they have received your sales materials.
- Step 6 - Wait a few days before following up with the buyer and making yourself available to answer any questions. (Interested buyers normally will call or email you to set up an appointment to physically see the business.)
Once this process is complete, it takes very little time to prescreen buyers and set up appointments. We automate this process; however, it should still take you less than an hour per month. You're left with prescreened and interested buyers who physically want to see your business and know the answers to dozens of questions about it. There's little left to do other than.
What is a Confidentiality or Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA)?
A confidentiality agreement, also called a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA, is often signed by potential buyers prior to the release of confidential information on the seller's business.
It's customary for nearly every business broker to respond to a buyer inquiry with a request for them to sign an NDA. However, bear in mind that when you sell your business, placing obstacles between you and the buyer will minimize the chances of a sale. Asking them to fill out more than one document or making them print, sign, and fax your NDA is a potential obstacle.
When you respond, we recommend the following:
Respect the Buyer's Time - Looking for a business is a frustrating, time-consuming process. Respond to buyer inquiries promptly and professionally with information and clear action steps.
Be Specific - Avoid responding to a buyer inquiry with "What do you want to know?" This type of response makes you look unprepared.
Anticipate buyer's questions and offer information you know will help them decide if they want to buy your business.
Response Rates - What response rate do most sellers get after emailing a buyer? Our feedback shows response rates fall between 20 and 40 percent. By following our advice, you should get a response rate of 80 percent or more, which is approximately three to four times over the average response rate.
You can quickly lose buyers after the second or third round of phone or email tag. Simplify and streamline this process by sending buyers a brief summary on your business.
We call this a Business Summary.
Basically, a Business Summary is a brief overview of your business. It answers the basic questions that most buyers will ask. Every buyer wants to know the answers to some basic questions about your business after replying to your ad or signing your NDA.
Can you answer the following questions? A business summary addresses them quickly and efficiently, saving countless hours with buyers. Remember, not all of these questions will apply to your business:
- What are your days and hours of operation, and is the business seasonal?
- Can you describe the premises and lease terms, such as square feet, length of lease, terms, NET/CAM, options to renew, annual increase and the security deposit?
- How long of a training period are you willing to offer?
- Are you willing to sign a non-compete?
- Is there bank financing or can you finance a portion of the sale - what are the terms?
- When was the business started, and by whom - what's the history of the business?
- How long have you owned the business?
- Can you briefly tell me about the product or service?
- Can you tell me how you handle pricing?
- Who are your competitors?
- What are your major operating expenses and can any be lowered?
- What could you do to improve your business?
- How much do you pay your employees and what benefits do you offer?
- Are there any key employees or family members working in the business?
- How many employees do you have, both full and part-time?
- Are any employees contract workers?
- Are the employees willing to stay after the sale?
- What licenses will I need to operate the business?
- What were the gross sales for the past three years?
- How profitable is the business and how much working capital will I need to operate it?
- Who is the landlord and are they a large national landlord or small, local landlord?
- Do you have a website?
- What is the average of your accounts receivable and accounts payable?
- What percentage of your sales are cash sales?
- Who does your bookkeeping and how often?
- How much inventory and equipment do you have and is it included in the price?
- What is the total cash worth of the equipment, furniture and hard assets?
- Is any equipment on lease or on loan from suppliers?