If you are looking at businesses to buy or are thinking about selling the business you own, you should really, really care about referrals.
Buying and selling businesses can be a tough and messy thing to do, so there are professionals out there called business brokers who help buyers and sellers reach a closing table.
Like any industry, there are business brokers who are fantastic and there are business brokers who are terrible at their job. How can you as a buyer or seller figure out if the broker you are considering working with is at the top of the game? Ask them a very simple question.
How much of your business comes from referrals?
Referrals happen when previous clients or industry professionals like accountants, real estate agents or attorneys find out that someone is looking to buy or sell a business. They refer that person to a business broker they have previously worked with or know on a professional basis.
No one is going to give someone the name of a business broker they hate, so if you are working with a broker who gets the bulk of their business from referrals – it can tell you as a potential client a great deal about how this person conducts themselves in a business transaction.
We, for instance, get a great deal of our business through the referral process. Like 80% or more. Does this mean that we’ve made every client absolutely happy? Nope. But it does mean that we work very hard to get our clients to their goal. We do more than is expected and our past clients see that – especially when the other broker in the transaction does little to nothing to help the deal along. The difference between what we do and what some other brokers don’t do is the reason people send their friends our way.
The same goes for the professionals we work with throughout the transaction process, like attorneys and accountants. They’ve typically worked with other brokers who make big mistakes and expect everyone else to do the work for them – and after working with us they send any potential business our way instead.
If you want the best help on your journey to buy or sell a business, your best bet is to ask any broker about their referral rate. The good ones will be happy to tell you that they get a good chunk of their business from past clients and business associates. The bad ones will probably change the subject – and that’s a big red flag.
Would you like to know more about what business brokers can do to help buyers and sellers in a business transaction? Do you have questions about our referral rate? Ask us! Feel free to leave any questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.
12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907