After selling over 300 firms, we have spent thousands of hours talking to buyers. Buyers view firms initially from a high level perspective, then begin to drill down to the finer details as the search for the right firm progresses.
Buyers will meet with sellers to “test drive” the firm: Do I like the location? Is this the right mix of work for my needs? Can I see myself owning/running this firm? If they like what they see, they will begin to think about the value they are willing to place on the firm and move toward making an offer to purchase the firm.
As they get deeper into the details, the thoughts of risk associated with a firm purchase kick in…
- Will the clients stay after the sale?
- Will the employees stay after the sale?
- Will I be successful in operating the firm?
A buyer will continue their due diligence on the firms to gain a comfort level and determine if they can mitigate the risks associated with a firm purchase before proceeding. As a seller, you will need to be able to address buyer concerns to make the deal gel. Sometimes, just knowing what the other side is thinking can help you better understand what is needed from you to alleviate buyer concerns and help the process continue to move forward to closing!