Business Broker Bulletin™

Welcome to your monthly Newsletter about Business Brokerage.

HOW TO DEAL WITH A STUBBORN VENDOR?

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Most Agents reading this right now will most likely have, at some time or another, have come across a stubborn Vendor – someone who has a high degree of difficulty in understanding how the process actually works.

This often begins with some Vendors who wish to list their business at an unrealistic price. Different brokers deal with this in different ways: some will list it and hope that the Vendor will come to his/her senses sooner or later others outright refuse it.

In any event, there are a number of situations in which a Stubborn Vendor becomes his/her own worst enemy:

Sometimes Vendors present themselves during an initial inspection with an interested potential buyer, as “heroes” and have no shame in claiming that they are the ones who produce, who sell, who buy, who clean, who invoices, etc etc

This is highly unattractive, from the point-of-view of the buyer. But how does one avoid that?

A while back we created a “Step-by-Step Guide” for Vendors. In this document, we tell the Vendor all steps from Listing all the way through to Settlement. At the Inspection section of this roadmap, we emphasise that such actions do not help in any way. Rather, it discourages buyers. Moreover, it makes them seem foolish.

We have encountered Vendors who insist in taking home a number of small items because “they are of personal use”. This situation in particular reinforced to us the need for a full list of equipment to be written (and signed!) from the onset. Ask them also to give you a list of personal items currently at the business premises – and after they do so, ask them to immediately remove them from site and take them back home before inspections even begin.

(Note: It’s imperative to remind them that they truly must be personal items for personal use only – if the buyer will need to replace it, then it’s not personal)

The examples of this are multiple – and we believe that even as you read this, you are probably thinking of some yourself.

So, how do you deal with it?

The answer can be summed up in 2 words: ANTICIPATE IT.

Try resolving issues before they come up. Write down your own list (based on your experience or that of your colleagues) of potential issues) and anticipate solutions to each one.

This is the key here: prevent it, don’t remedy it.

When you list a business you should easily be able to ascertain whether a Vendor is keen to sell or is reluctant to do so. If they are anxious to sell – make clear from the onset that this is often a long process and that it rarely takes less than 6 months. Tell them in advance how often you will be contacting them and ask if they are satisfied with this frequency.

At the end of the day, the worst thing than a stubborn Vendor is a stubborn Broker who does not understand that part of his/her job is to deal with and manage his Vendors’ expectations.

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