Well that isn’t exactly what they said, but their actions and words were the same as if they had said that as we spoke. I was responding to an individual that had mentioned to me that they wanted to sell part of their convenience store business, because some of their stores no longer fit their business model and the stores were getting old and didn’t perform to the new standards of their company. And they believed that they would be better off to sell the underperforming assets and reinvest the money into new facilities. A wise choice on their part and I commended them on their decision. It takes a lot of foresight and courage to be able to constantly be reinventing your business, something that a lot of people talk about, but very few act on.
As the conversation continued it was obvious that even with all of their foresight into the business of growing and nurturing their business to the next level it was of extreme discomfort to them of the thought of using a broker to assist them in the selling of these underperforming assets they had been discussing with me. Now, since I am a business broker and I make my living by assisting other people in such task as helping them to determine the market value of an ongoing business and prepare marketing materials that will enhance and present the business in its best light when presenting to a buyer I probably should have been offended by this individuals feelings toward a broker. But, surprisingly I was not. It is not that I am callous to the these type of remarks it is that I too can relate with their thoughts about the use of broker and certain things that we just can’t bring ourselves to doing even though we know that we should even when it is the right thing to do. Like not wanting to pay someone to pump our gas when we know we could afford it, but can’t bring ourselves to paying someone else when we know we could do it ourselves. Like not wanting to pay someone to carry our bags or briefcase at a hotel, because we know how to do it. Like not letting anyone else drive the car while we talk on the phone or write a note, which would be more efficient for us, but not wanting to give up the control of the situation, because we know how to do it. Lots of little things that we just can’t seem to let go of. I am not trying to reason as to why, only recognizing the fact.
So in response to my friend who had made the statement about not ever wanting to use a broker, because they could do it themselves I said. I agree with you. I don’t like to use brokers either. As a matter of fact it drives me crazy when I have to use a broker to sell anything for me whether it is a piece of real estate or something small that could be sold on E-Bay. I concurred with their feelings and agreed. Now needless to say this isn’t going to do anything for my cash flow in the world of business brokering, but it was how I felt and I wanted to be truthful with the gentleman.
However, regardless of how he and I feel about the use of brokers the issue of needing someone or something to sell the underperforming assets still existed. All we had done at this point was have a good conversation with ourselves, but the issue of needing to sell the convenience stores was still at hand. I then asked him if he had anybody on his staff that was familiar with the stores in such a way that they understood the basics of the operation of a convenience store and could read and understand a profit and loss statement for a convenience store and he said yes that he did. He said that he had an individual that had a basic understanding of the income and expense side of the business and had helped them build a couple of stores and was presently working in their company in their real estate development and marketing side of the business.
I then asked him if the mentioned individual were presented with a prospective buyer for one of the convenience stores did he feel that they would be capable enough to work with the individual in supplying them with the needed information that a buyer would need to decide if they wanted to buy the convenience store and help them through the process of consummating the sale of the store and he said that they could do that. I then suggested that I had a solution to that nasty old broker situation that we both had discussed a few minutes earlier.
I explained to him that in order to be a successful broker it is not always about you the broker. True, you must have a pleasant personality and be reasonably educated and informed about the product or service that you are selling, but you must also have a system to get something sold. Having the ability to build rapport and work with people is very important, but without a system to back you up and guide you through the process of taking a buyer from the introduction of a business to the closing you must have a system and that is what makes a difference between the successful and not so successful brokers of the world. I suggested that if he had such an individual that he had mentioned earlier then I could probably help him in the selling of his underperforming convenience stores and implement a systematic approach to the selling process and not have to pay a brokerage fee in doing so. He was intrigued and interested.
I explained to him in the respect of selling convenience stores there was such a system that he could employ on a cost basis that could supply him with a selection of services that would accomplish the same thing that a broker would use, but without the cost of a broker. The services available included marketing packages that had been designed specifically for the convenience store industry that conveyed all of the pertinent information that a convenience store buyer was looking for and the marketing tools that brokers use to get the businesses they are selling in front of thousands of buyers who are looking to buy businesses. I also explained to him that there was a book that could guide him through the process of what it would take to sell a convenience store and included most of the forms needed to accomplish a sale and included a list of items to be on the lookout for when selling a convenience store. And that the cost of all of this was less than $500.00 and could save him literally thousands of dollars. Basically, I had given him the road map he was looking for and was going to save him lots of money.
He then asked me where could he get this information for such a small price and why would I as business broker be willing to share this information with him when this is what I do for a living? I explained to him that I understood his feelings about brokers and knew that in my heart of hearts that I was never going to get his business and I knew that there are times when either I or another business broker could not be available to serve his needs, but he still had the situation of needing to sell his stores and I wanted him to have all of the tools he could possibly have when selling his stores. Even though it could have impacted my business it is still human nature to want to help your fellow man and woman. Giving is a part of us and is what we must do to grow.
I can happily say that the gentleman did take my advice and he did contact the company that I had suggested and in the first 60 days had received over 170 buyer inquiries and is now entertaining offers with a closing pending on one of his convenience stores.
So if you feel the same as my friend who could not utter the word broker without leaving a bad taste in his mouth, but yet want to save the many thousands of dollars he is, feel free to contact me at and I will gladly share with you the same information that I did with my friend who is now in the process of putting buyers into the underperforming and cash draining stores that he once operated.