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The First Buyer Meeting

The First  Buyer Meeting

There is an old expressions that first impressions count.

As a New Jersey seller, your first meeting with a possible buyer is very important. It is essential that you make a good initial impression. When you are selling a small business, the buyer is also buying you, your reputation, and your experience, not just the business. If you have retained a business he or she will probably be at the first meeting with you, but you should be prepared to do most of the talking at this stage.

The Tour

You should be prepared to give the buyer a tour of the facility. Since confidentiality is important and employees are not be made aware of the impending sale, the initial meeting will take place at night or on weekends.

Dress profesionally, even if your daily routine does not require this. It helps to establish credibility. This means a suit and ties for men or a woman’s suit for women.

Answer All Questions

Be prepared to answer questions that are not included in the memorandum of sale, or to explain issues that are addressed.

If you do not know the answer to a buyer’s question, let he or she know that you will get back to them later. Do not make up an answer.

Never become defensive with questions that you might not like. When a person is spending hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to purchase a business, they have the right to ask anything they want and to receive clear, candid and complete answers.

At the conclusion of the meeting, if the buyer is interested, he or she will probably ask for additional documents or information such as tax returns, a copy of the lease, or other legal or financial documents. Provide these in a timely fashion. Do not be pushy and try to “sell” the buyer. It won’t work.

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If the prospective buyer decides to make an offer, it is at this point that your broker will earn his or her commission and will take over the sales and closing process.

This is a revised and updated version of an article previously written by Brad Palmer. For more information, contact Mr. Palmer at 908-489-0317.

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