In selling your company, it is absolutely critical, if you are to maximize results, to get the right team of resources working for you. That team includes the intermediary who will represent you overall, the attorney who will handle document negotiations, the CPA who will coach your team on the tax aspects of the transaction, and the internal resources who will support the gathering of necessary information and may even be involved in late-state interviews with prospective buyers.
The intermediary will find your buyers, make the initial approaches, respond to buyer inquiries and proposals, and who ushers the entire process along to fruition. It’s a critical job. This person will make the most—or least—of your life’s work (depending on the intermediary’s experience and skills). It can be a scary thing to consider handing over such immense responsibility to someone you hardly know. But it’s so important that you do.
If you don’t give this task to someone with the proven techniques, resources and practice in the selling process, you are absolutely guaranteed to achieve lesser results. Your attorney, nor your CPA, nor your COO, or even your lifelong smart businessperson pal will even come close to the capabilities of a well-qualified professional.
So how do you know if a professional intermediary is any good? Begin with selecting a firm that focuses entirely upon buy-and-sell transactions. They are specialists. And their livelihood depends upon successful closings! If your deal is only supplemental income to a separate core business, it will not be receiving the same intense dedication. It’s a little like bacon and eggs. The hens are involved, but the pigs are committed.
That professional intermediary will spend hundreds of hours focused on this one task for you. They won’t be distracted by a separate workload, and they won’t be losing a client when they successfully complete the sale.
It’s important to check references. Do not skip this step. It is also important to seek someone who will design a strong incentive system that will ensure they will keep working aggressively for you and are paid very well if, and only if, they make a successful sale. And ask about success rates. Although no one will be 100% successful, the best can come pretty close.