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Business owners would be aghast if their salespeople did the following:

  • Ramble on and on about the product without asking questions to see what problems they can solve for the customer.
  • Discuss price before value.
  • Ignore the team standing behind the product.

Yet when it comes time to sell their business, many owners turn off the salesperson-skills-switch and go into “lousy presenter” mode. Just this week an owner told me she is “tired of working too many 16 hour days.” Now that will impress a buyer, won’t it? Better take $100,000 off the profits to cover the cost of a new employee.

To play off the above three points, business sellers should:

  • Discuss, in concrete terms, the upside of the industry and business (not just use the words “great potential). Forget about discussing how you could cut expenses if you wanted to.
  • Not ignore their team, unless of course there is no team, and if that’s the case, you have a job not a business. No buyer wants a business dependent on the owner.
  • Ask the buyer questions to find out where the buyer thinks she can add value to the business.

Take a hint from the word “selling” in the term “selling your business.” You have to be a good salesperson (not slick, just good; by asking questions and discussing opportunity).

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