The latest BizBen.com survey of Business Brokers and Agents outlined what it takes to be a top ten percent performer in the business brokerage industry. From good communication to utilizing your resources, these traits are something to take note of and put into practice to be successful.
Here are the key attributes of successful Business Brokers and Agents:
1. Most brokers and agents in the survey told BizBen.com they get all documentation from the potential seller before deciding on taking the listing and writing up a business for sale representation agreement. They get all the financials, tax returns, lease agreement, key contracts, etc. up front to make sure all the pieces make sense and the owner is realistic about the asking price being placed on the business.
2. Successful Brokers and Agents only take listing agreements from small business owners that can prove sellers discretionary cash (cash flow) from both the company tax returns and financials. They turn away sellers who actively avoid paying taxes by collecting cash (revenues) and not reporting it. Successful brokers know if they sell a business that represents fictional earnings it could earn them a lawsuit in the future from a disgruntled buyer.
3. Outreach with articles, blog posts, podcasts, webinars/seminars, workshops on an ongoing basis attracts both potential sellers and motivated buyers - the successful Brokers and Agents know this and they engage regularly online with educational and informational material. They create a “pipeline” and keep it consistent with content monthly. This earns brokers new listings and builds brand awareness on a continuous basis ensuring growth and success.
4. High on the list of successful traits shown by business brokers and agent professionals is the importance of a realistic market based business valuation and the willingness to walk away from a potential listing/unrealistic business sellers. Many reasoned on the survey - why take a listing (with an unrealistic high price) if it has a 95% chance of not selling. With intermediaries averaging over 80 hours spent on selling a business (during the duration of the listing agreement), why waste the time on a listing that has very little chance of selling. Afterall statistics show that over 70% of all small businesses never sell and that there is a 90% failure rate of new business brokers in their first two years of practice. Typically due to wasting time on these listings that never end up selling.
5. Communication is paramount with potential buyers and seller clients according to successful intermediaries. Successful Brokers told us they get back to potential buyers within 6 hours of being contacted. They utilize their cell phone (and texting options) when advertising a business for sale posting so they get contacted directly (no missed messages via email going to spam or junk folders). Business buyers have also told us in our Monthly Business Buyer Surveys that getting a generic office recording with a confusing list of verbal branch options to select is frustrating and they usually just hang up. Brokers also tend to communicate weekly with seller clients with any updates - updates on postings, follow up with any potential buyers showing interest, updating postings with any new information communicated with sellers, etc.
6. Keeping business for sale postings/ads current at all times is critical - refreshing postings with new and refreshed information at least every 30 days (or less) keeps postings fresh and alerts potential business buyers of any new changes to the listing. Unsuccessful brokers and agents let their postings linger without making frequent updates, leaving their clients without optimal results to potentially sell their small business.
Bottomline, the high turnover in our industry and now knowing how to be successful in assisting sellers and buyers with buying and selling small businesses, business brokers and agents can utilize the above information to grow their practices and maintain a healthy monthly income throughout their careers!