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What do business sellers and buyers really want?

  |   Business and Personal Transition, investment banking, selling a business, small business

Many people in Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) talk about “the deal” as the ultimate prize. In part that is true, but if you think about it more deeply, I think it is far more than that.

The deal (the sale of the business) represents an ending for the seller and a beginning for the buyer.

The seller has worked hard for years – even decades – to provide an income and (hopefully) wealth.

The buyer is seeking an income with the opportunity to create wealth (at least after they pay off the acquisition note).

But that is only the financial aspect. We need to remember the human aspect.

What I think buyers and sellers are really seeking is peace-of mind.

The process is worrisome for both sides.

For buyers, they wonder: Will the business succeed under my (new) management? Will the employees and customer stay? Will financing come through?

For sellers, they wonder: Is this the best deal? Will it be enough for me to retire? What will I do after I sell?

The worries go on and on.

For the seller, they accept that this life chapter must end, so they get to move on to a new chapter, retirement or some other new beginning.

For the buyer, they get to launch their next adventure.

I think buyers and sellers are all seeking a life with these elements:

• Freedom
• Structure
• Happiness
• Fulfillment
• Significance

If business advisors and M&A professionals take the time to consider the fears and hopes of buyers and sellers, we are really embracing our humanity, and theirs.

And when we do so consistently, we can deliver to our clients what they really want: peace-of-mind.


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What’s Next for Your Future?