You’re Ready to Sell … How to Succeed with Buyers

Appeal to Both Left-Brain & Right-Brain Decision-Making

Your Payoff: Enjoy Peak Sale Value


Here are two proven guiding principles when it comes to selling your business.
  1. Your reasons to sell are not reasons for a prospect to buy.
  2. People (you and us too) make buying decisions emotionally (right-brain) … and then justify them logically (left-brain). More on this in a bit.

You have a lot invested both financially and emotionally. So, please consider the following outline for your self-examination of preparedness and objective decision-making to commit to this life-changing passage.

Your Reasons to Sell (Keep to Yourself … and Trusted Advisors)

Your reasons to sell are both financially and emotionally important. Note: They are of no consequence to a buyer unless knowledge of your desires presents negotiating leverage. So, it makes sense to keep your motivations to yourself.

For example, you likely share one or more of the top 5 reasons entrepreneurs claim as a sense of urgency to sell:

  • Burnout: This is at the top of the list of reasons why businesses are sold. Running a small business is often stressful and burnout is common. Smart business owners deal with it before it can impact their businesses – and their personal lives.
  • Health: “My health is preventing me from running my business.” “My business is endangering my health.”
  • Family: “My family relationships are threatened because of my commitments to the business.” “Ours is a family business and is causing problems among the owners, my relatives.
  • Partnership: “My partner and I can’t stand each other anymore.” “My partner and I are constantly in conflict over how the company should be run.”
  • Retirement: “I’ve given the business all that I can. It’s time to retire.”
Knowing your incentive to sell, a savvy qualified buyer will use that intelligence as a negotiating plus

People Make Buying Decisions Emotionally (right-brain) … and Then Justify Them Logically (left-brain).

There is theory and research that supports the concept of left-brain and right-brain functions in decision-making. Broad-brush for purposes of this article:
Left-brain thinking is described as analytical, logical, detail/fact oriented and numerical.
Right-brain thinking is said to be creative, free-thinking, able to visualize the big picture and emotional

So, what does this have to do with selling your business at peak sale value?

All of us employ both sides of the brain in decision-making … and that surely includes business buyers. Let’s first look at the three main categories of potential buyers that you may attract. Then we’ll address how to appeal to left and right-brain motivations to buy.

3 Categories of Potential Buyers
  • Strategic BuyersYour reasons to sell are not reasons for a prospect to buy.
  • Employees People (you and us too) make buying decisions emotionally (right-brain) … and then justify them logically (left-brain). More on this in a bit.
  • Private equity buyersYour reasons to sell are not reasons for a prospect to buy.

Your business broker will help you understand the significance of the three distinct types of potential buyers … each with their own set of evaluation criteria when considering an acquisition. Keep in mind, regardless of the category of buyer … all will exercise both objective and subjective elements in decision-making.

Left-brain Appeals are those that address buyers’ logical, data-driven decision-making considerations. So, be ready for what will surely be a fine-tooth-comb examination of the following six major drivers of business value. When all are in place, you demonstrate evidence that your business operates with smoothness, accuracy, clarity, efficiency, quality and profitability.

  1. Company Organization
  2. Books and Records
  3. Systems
  4. Policies and Procedures
  5. Personnel and Clientele
  6. Marketing and Sales
Incomplete or negative responses will forfeit to
“Caution” or “Do Not Proceed” in your buyer’s analysis.

Click here for a detailed look at each of the 6 drivers of business value. Then click here for a handy tool … your Pre-sale To-do List.

Note: Your business broker will highlight changes a buyer can initiate to enhance revenue, streamline operations and improve the company’s bottom-line. Elimination or reduction of discretionary expenses (automobiles, private planes, excessive salaries) and other unnecessary outlays increases the perceived future value of the business and justification for a premium in sales price.

Brief Commercial: A unique plus in working with Rich-Biz Brokers & Advisors, LLC is to provide you with a Broker’s Opinion of Value to determine your listing price. This presents an objective value or range of value to better qualify prospects.

Right-brain Appeals are more subjective. They are triggered by “gut-feel” and emotional satisfaction with the final decision. Here’s a partial list of how to position your business to capitalize on the right-brain side of buyers’ purchase considerations.

  • Need for You, the Seller/Owner The number one subjective issue is whether your company is a viable, profitable entity without you, the current owner, on board. The more indispensable you are to the company’s success translates to less perceived value to potential buyers. Eliminate emotional concern. Demonstrate that there will be an orderly transition with no danger to the company continuing as a fully functioning enterprise in your absence
  • Your Company’s Curb Appeal: What does your company look like? How are you and your staff dressed … uniform shirts with company logos, professional business casual? Functioning furnishings, equipment and cleanliness are critical to project an attractive first impression. The result creates a positive mind-set with qualified buyers … “They take pride in this company, so it must be a good one.”
  • Maturity and Growth Outlook: Industry comparisons may find similar companies to be more mature businesses with lower revenue growth potential. That could trigger buyer satisfaction that your enhanced growth prospects justifiy a market multiple.
  • Valuation Adjustments: A subjective case may be made for intangibles such as risk exposure, asset intensity, tax differences and non-operating assets when compared to competitors.
  • Qualitative Aspects: Specifics of your business valuation may include “judgment calls” on the anticipated impact of the economy, the quality of management, and the state of the industry.
  • Market Positioning: If your company is viewed as a strategic purchase by a competitor or larger company seeking to diversify, you may enjoy a sale price at a premium over and above your asking price. Here the buyer’s motivation may be market dominance or eliminating a competitor.
  • Buyer’s Superior Ability: Appeal to the buyer’s self-satisfaction knowing that the company value could be much improved under his/her leadership.

Left-Brain/Right Brain, or … Combine Science and Art to Enjoy Peak Sale Value

Buyers of a closely held business will employ a blend of quantifiable scientific methods and qualitative artful considerations. You and your business broker are urged to deliver on both decision-making elements and not conclude that all your company’s value is in the numbers.

Circling back to the second guiding principle when it comes to selling your business:

People Make Buying Decisions Emotionally (right-brain) …. and Then Justify Them Logically (left-brain).

Be Prepared … Profit from Peak Sale Value Plus Emotional Peace of Mind

You’ve built a significant asset through hard work, ingenuity and diligence. Don’t squander it … sell it for peak value!
The key: Appeal to buyers’ needs and expectations.

Our Commitment to You: Deliver action-oriented business advice to maximize your company’s peak sale value … and promote its sale through our local and national network of qualified buyers.