The one secret that gets 300% more buyers for your business
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There is one simple mistake that almost every seller makes and it's losing them valuable enquiries. In fact, over a third of the investors who ARE interested in buying your business are slipping through your fingers because of this one mistake.
You can't afford to lose even one potential investor - any one of them could be the individual with the deepest pockets and the keenest interest in making this acquistion!
How buyers exclude your business
Introduction - A Quick Background On How The Sale Process Works
I'll keep this brief, but you need to know two things about how selling a business typically works.
1. The process tends to start with the sellers (or their business broker) posting a "teaser ad" to tempt buyers to complete a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) after which the buyer is sent details such as the name of the company and the full "Confidential Information Memorandum" (CIM).
2. What happens after the ad is posted publicly (or selectively sent to prospects)? It gets ignored.
The market is filled with junk. There are thousands and thousands of listings at the various marketplaces and 99% of these are a waste of time. Any buyer worth his salt has developed techniques for shortlisting a few of the ads for a closer look. They need to be ruthless here. Successfully finding a business to acquire depends not on how good a finder the buyer is, but on how good & quick he is at eliminating the flotsam and jetsam.
If your "teaser ad" doesn't pass the initial sniff test, whether the test is done manually or algorithmically, your business won't make the shortlist. As simple as that. And there's a high chance your teaser ad has at least one of the negative signals that's causing it to be eliminated right at the start, to never reach the human eyes for which it was intended!
Some Of The Techniques Buyers Use To Filter Out Your Ad
The low tech option is to hire and train a human filter to go through thousands of listings and pick out the ones that match the criteria but, let's face it, we are talking savvy investors here. These are people who have the money to develop sophisticated solutions to automate this work.
And they have!
If you know how the processing of CVs is done at large HR departments, you'll have some ideas of how clever software can be. CVs are all scanned into the computer, an OCR programme converts them to the text that the algorithm then sorts. It's looking for certain keywords and attributes in the CV, and if your CV doesn't have them it'll get completely ignored.
To know what filtering is being applied to business listings / teaser ads you need to get into the mind of the buyer. What's he looking for? What's he trying to avoid? What are the worst offenders on the listing site that he's trying to exclude?
Bear in mind that the exact keywords, clues, contradictions, sectors, claims etc., that are being filtered vary from buyer to buyer.
Here are some terms buyers filter against:
- "potential". Buyers hate it when sellers claim potential. Claiming potential is so, so clichéd. Every seller claims potential. Also, buyers see "potential" as a euphemism. What you're saying is that the buyer can easily make a lot more money with this business ie. it has "potential". What the buyer is hearing is that this business is a piece of crap that needs a lot of TLC before he can get proper returns.
What do you think when an estate agent tells you that a property has potential or that is offers the opportunity for you to "put your own stamp on it"?
- "sole proprietor", "no staff" etc. One man businesses aren't popular with buyers so they'll be filtering against copy which suggests that the business is reliant on the owner's skills.
- "just needs marketing". No, it's not to your advantage if your sales so far have been achieved without marketing. It just means you have no marketing stats, no history with PPC, no evidence of what marketing works and what doesn't work ... This is a negative, not a positive.
- "once in a lifetime opportunity". Yucks! Buyers want facts, not opinions. And they certainly do not want your opinions! Your opinions are the least useful because you're the one selling the business and there's nobody more biased than you. They don't give a monkey's what you think. Always, always, always avoid anything that looks remotely like an opinion. And if your copy has the phrase "in our opinion" it is more likely it will get dumped at the software filtering stage itself.
- "x number of followers in Facebook / Twitter". Claims of social followers are also viewed highly suspiciously as it's easy to buy followers by the thousands for just $10 or $20. Why then would someone claim this as a top feature of their business?
- "top rankings in Google". Again, this is one of those attributes that most sellers believe adds value to their offering, but it does exactly the opposite! Smart buyers do not want businesses that are reliant on free Google traffic. (BTW, don't bother arguing that your "white hat" SEO means that your rankings are safe!) If your site does well in Google, there's a smart way to play this ...but including this in your ad isn't smart. It gets you filtered.
Unfortunately, many of the words and phrases first time sellers uses in their ads are words and phrases against which buyers are aggressively filtering.
Having experience of being a buyer on numerous occasions (and having developed filtering tools), I know the problems first hand. Now, when acting for my clients, I put the buyer's hat on once again, this time to do dummy runs on various listing sites to see where buyers experience frustrations and I make an educated guess on what buyers are likely to be blocking against.
I won't disclose exact results from tests I've done for clients, but it wouldn't be fair to leave you without a taster i.e. a sneak preview of general rules used by most buyers in first-stage filtering.
Bear the below rules in mind when writing your copy & you'll have a minimum of 300% more buyers getting in touch! And they'll be the RIGHT type of buyers (How to tell the right buyers from the wrong ones?)
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