Benchmark Business Group

3 Keys to Earning Buyer Trust

May 18, 2020

3 Keys to Earning Buyer Trust

Buyers often look at dozens of businesses before they take an interest in yours. They talk to a mix of business owners and have a variety of experiences. Buyers each come with their own sense of trust or mistrust in what they hear from a business owner who is selling their business.

Yet one thing is certain, while going through the due diligence process to purchase a business, all of the weaknesses are likely to be exposed. Building a productive relationship starts with building trust and there are three keys to earning trust with a buyer:

1. Advertise Honestly:
Truth in advertising is essential when selling your business. As you go to market, be cautious not to misrepresent the qualities of your business. While you might feel some personal embarrassment or chagrin when speaking about your company’s weaknesses; doing so will help you earn your buyer's trust. If you’re honest about the weaknesses of your business a buyer is more likely to trust what you say when you point out the strengths.

2. Be Prepared:
Have your business information in presentation quality format to present to buyers. Financial statements, asset lists, and customer information are all examples of information that needs to be complete and accurate. Being prepared to provide information at the right stage of the deal process builds the buyer's confidence that your business is organized and run with integrity.

3. Act Swiftly and Follow Through:
Interested buyers ask lots of questions and will always be requesting more information about your business. Since your business information will be used by buyers to attain financing through their lender, you’ll need to act swiftly and follow through with requests for additional information. Your ability to quickly respond to their requests and follow through with the information they’ve requested sends positive signals that you’re reliable and not hiding any skeletons in the closet.

Earning trust takes place all the way to the closing table. You don’t necessarily have to like your buyer, and there may be things that happen along the way that shakes your confidence in them. However, it’s what you do that makes the difference in getting to the closing table. Keeping the lines of communication open and taking action to earn their trust is a formula for deal success.

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