“Coffee is for closers”…..an immortal line from the movie Glengarry Glen Ross.
Not long ago, sales aptitude was measured by one’s ability to listen, overcome objections, and leave the buyer with no logical choice but to buy your wares. Generations of successful salesmen flourished using the vaunted Xerox selling regimen. If they didn’t fend off five sets of objections before giving up, they weren’t doing their job.
Unfortunately (or, rather, fortunately), that type of hard sell doesn’t work in the world of M&A. Acquirors won’t suffer sellers (or their advisors) attempting to overcome their resistance like a car salesman. Experienced buyers have well-defined parameters for their acquisition activity, and seek acquisitions typically to solve a particular need, such as patching an intellectual property deficiency, gaining new customers, or enhancing their suite of products/services. If you are selling your company, buyers will usually give you a chance to briefly describe your company, but if you want a full hearing, you need to tell the buyer why your company would be a good fit. This requires a bit of homework before making the approach and employing a few vital tactics:
While it may seem counterintuitive, selling your company is very different than selling your product or service. Attracting the right buyer entails a long sales cycle, and the highest chance for success comes from positioning yourself such that when the timing is right, you’ll get the call.