Tuesday, 20 November 2012

2 Questions Buyers and Sellers Should Ask

At the tip of a buyers tongue are 2 popular questions, however they often go overlooked with sellers.

It’s common, once you get beyond the pleasantries of making the first connection between buyer and seller, for the buyer to ask “why are you selling?” and “What are your financial results?”

They form the basis of a buyer’s logical progress from curiosity to genuine interest.  They are also two questions the Seller should be asking!

“Mr. or Mrs. Buyer why are you buying?” and “What is your financial status?”

If a buyer does not have the financial wherewithal and they cannot describe and articulate the resources of their financial position don’t spend your time talking them.

Many buyers will say they will produce their financial position at some future point in time, when they are prepared to move forward with the acquisition.  Alternatively, a common explanation is that there is some partner waiting in the wings who will finance the purchase.

While the excuses may, on some level, be valid what they often mean is the buyer does not have enough money to make the purchase.

By asking and requiring buyers to produce their financial statements and relevant information at a carefully selected point in time of their investigation will cull out the truly serious buyers .  Qualified and serious buyers are happy to produce the information needed to check them out.

Do you have a small business question you would like answered about this article or others?
Bill Sivell is a salesperson with VR Windsor Inc. [www.vrwindsor.com] 519-903-7807, which sells businesses to buyers across Canada and around the world. His 14-year career includes diverse senior management positions in marketing, advertising, sales management and operations management. His blog appears every Tuesday.



  1. The buying and selling process is very complex. That's why it's advisable to work with a business broker that can guide you through the process.

  2. Thanks for the comment Peter.
    I couldn't agree with you more.