Though we try very hard to answer all inquiries in a timely manner, the number-one complaint I hear from buyers is that many brokers don’t respond to their inquiries.
With at least ten buyers for every seller and very few really good businesses available, most brokers are inundated with buyer inquiries. Unless YOU provide information to separate yourself from the rest of the pack, you won’t make much progress.
The biggest mistake buyers make is to email an inquiry for a listing of interest and state something like: “Please send more info.” That email is going right to the delete folder – guaranteed!
The best one I ever received was: “Please send me three years’ tax returns, all financials and the address for this company.” While that is an extreme example, no broker/seller is going to provide you with any meaningful data until they know (i) who you are, (ii) if you’re qualified, and (iii) you have executed the appropriate non-disclosure documents or other forms they may require.
Your emails and calls are your “sales pitch”.
You must convey three things to a broker or seller:
You are serious
You have a “need” to buy (they are not interested in more lookers)
You have the means to complete a deal
From now on, when you contact a broker or seller online, or by phone, your comments should strictly be: “I am interested in this listing. I am ready to buy a business immediately. Please send me the necessary non-disclosure forms and any other documents you may require so I can get additional information.”
With every email, include your full name, phone number and email address.
I believe it’s a great idea to also call them – especially if you get an auto-response to an email inquiry. Repeat your introduction and let them know that you have also emailed them. If a broker gets two contacts from you, any decent one will put you at the top of their list.
Write down the listing number, a brief description of it and where you found it. You may have a few prospective businesses on the go and you want to have the information handy.
When they send you the forms, complete and return them immediately.
If you do not hear back within two days of any inquiry, contact them again.
The lesson here is simple: Take control of the process. Distinguish yourself from all the “tire-kickers”. Unfortunately, you may meet some uncooperative brokers. Chase them down – get the information you need. They want to sell their listings, but they must spend their time with buyers, not lookers. Follow these steps and you will make an impact.