Initial Buyer Meeting
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The Initial Buyer Meeting – Getting To Know You
As a New Jersey seller, your initial meeting with a prospective buyer is extremely important. It is critical that you make a good first impression. When you are selling a small business, the buyer is buying you, your reputation, and your expertise, not simply the business. If you have retained a broker to represent you, 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 of the process. Accordingly:
Dress like a business person, even if your day to day 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.
Be prepared to answer questions that are not addressed in the memorandum of sale, or to elaborate upon issues that are addressed.
If you do not know the answer to a buyer’s question, let him or she know that you will get back to them later. Do not make up an answer.
Never become defensive to questions that you may not like. When a person is spending in the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to purchase a business, they have the right to ask anything they want and to receive clear, forthright 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.
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.
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