In my last blog, I asserted that some brokers lie in order to induce practice owners to list their firms. So, how should a broker approach a practice owner? They should be upfront and honest.
First, I think it is very important to learn information about the practice and the owner before we talk about price and terms. This frustrates some practice owners because they usually ask about price and terms early in our conversation.
Ultimately, it is not fair to a potential seller for me to tell them the price they want to hear just so I can get the firm listed for sale. My reluctance to inflate a price means sometimes I lose a practice listing to another broker because they “quote” a higher price. That is OK with me.
Next, even if I think I know who the buyer might be, I still want to market the firm to many prospective buyers as if I do not know who the buyer might be. That may cost my company a little more in advertising and marketing the firm for sale, but it is important that we identify the “right” buyer for a practice and not sell to the buyer we just happen to have in our back pocket. It is important to me that I do not get calls from buyers and sellers a year later saying they made a bad deal or the firm was a poor fit. Frankly, I like to sleep at night.
I look at it this way, either I will get the listing down the line when they figure out the other broker’s tricks or maybe the other broker did have a desperate buyer that was willing to pay an unrealistic price. In both cases my goal is met, a happy seller and buyer.