IBA – Negotiation Knowledge & Ability in the Sale of a Business

Aug 1, 2016

I attended the Junior Olympics in Sacramento, California at the end of July to watch my daughter run in two events. Track is a sport that requires athletic ability, preparation, and knowledge to be successful. In my opinion, 75% of success in track is contributed to individual athletic ability. Speed can be enhanced through training, but the foundation needs to be naturally in place or competitive potential will be limited. An event like the Junior Olympics features the “best of the best” in the United States with multiple athletes with similar natural athletic skills who have trained diligently; however the difference between those who compete and those who wear medals is knowledge. Start your finishing kick too soon in a race and an athlete is destined to be decreasing speed rather than increasing speed approaching the finish line. The knowledge of how to properly run a race can only be gained through coaching, practice, and implementation in a competitive environment.

There are many similarities between successfully running in competitive track & field events and successfully negotiating the sale of a business. The foundation of successfully selling a business is preparation for the negotiation. A superior business broker has a deep well of knowledge about the business being represented and the ability to intelligently & articulately respond to questions from business buyers. The level of preparation & knowledge about their product by a business broker is generally evident to a buyer in their first conversation with the business broker. IBA prides itself on having business brokers who understand their client’s business model & operations and on having the documentation & information to respond to a majority of questions available prior to taking the business to market.

The second component of successfully negotiating the sale of a business is ability. I fall into the camp of individuals that believe sales people are born and cannot be created. As the president & CEO of IBA, I have interviewed, hired, and mentored many individuals as members of our transaction team. I believe our business brokers have a mix of intelligence, sales acumen, problem solving ability, and empathy for the stresses associated with buying or selling a business that is uncommon in the business brokerage industry.

The final component of successfully negotiating the sale of a business is knowledge. A level of knowledge can be gained through mentorship by more experienced business sale intermediaries and training programs. IBA, as the oldest business brokerage firm in the Pacific Northwest, has years of knowledge and multiple resources available to our brokers to help facilitate business sales. However, the best place to gain the knowledge of how to successfully facilitate the sale of a business is from completing transactions. IBA business brokers have successfully sold over 4000 businesses in Washington, Oregon, & Alaska. This is an unrivaled track record of success in the Pacific Northwest. We recommend hiring the most knowledgeable, experienced, and best prepared firm when selling a business. Why trust the sale of your business to a party with less than that threshold of ability?

The video attached to this article provides client testimonials regarding IBA’s negotiating ability related to the sale of a business. The sale of a business is a sophisticated process with multiple tiers of elements that need to be negotiated. IBA business brokers have the ability to comprehensively represent their clients in negotiations ranging from financial price & terms to non-competition agreements and from tax allocation to employment contracts. All negotiated elements of a transaction are important and need to be addressed in a manner that achieves the best possible outcome. Our video establishes in the permanent record some of our past negotiating results in the field. To the best of my knowledge, it is the only video for a Pacific Northwest business brokerage firm where past clients provide testimonials about the results of prior negotiations.

IBA, the Pacific Northwest’s premier business brokerage firm since 1975, is available as an information resource to the media and the mergers & acquisitions community on confidentiality and any other subjects relevant to the purchase & sale of a business.