The best verification a business broker can receive that they did a quality job representing a client in the sale of their business occurs when that party refers a family member, friend, or colleague to the business broker for representation in the sale of a business in the future. This endorsement of the experience, knowledge, and skill employed by our mergers & acquisitions professionals in the representation of our clients occurs commonly at IBA. The most recent example of a business sale process being initiated with this type of referral occurred at the end of June 2017, when IBA successfully facilitated the sale of Ventmasters. This representation project started with a referral from a past client, Brad Vogel. Mr. Vogel sold his company, Vogel’s Carpets, in January of 2016. The quality of the businesses represented by IBA for sale and our professional practices to work with on a transaction were further endorsed in this specific situation, as the buyer was Ray Myers, a former business broker who had previously facilitated negotiations on behalf of buyers with IBA. Mr. Myers could have purchased a business from any of business brokerage firm in the Pacific Northwest. He elected to buy a business represented for sale by IBA.
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, famously said, “People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. “
In business brokerage, a firm and its brokers have four attributes of value to offer potential clients. The attributes are experience, knowledge, professional deal negotiation & facilitation skill, and a reputation built on a foundation of successfully completed transaction. IBA is proud to be a Pacific Northwest market leader in all four of these attributes. Our positive reputation was built on over 4000 successfully completed transactions in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, & Alaska since 1975. No other firm in the Pacific Northwest has completed more transactions over a similar time period.
Market verification of our experience, knowledge, and professional deal negotiation & facilitation skill is best verified by the referrals we receive recommending our representation services. Referrals of clients to IBA come from a variety of sources. As mentioned earlier, one of the best testimonials of a job well done at IBA is when a past client refers an entrepreneur to IBA for the sale of their business. IBA is a “sell side” business brokerage firm, so a significant majority of our referrals from past clients come based on a positive seller side experience. However, we also commonly receive referrals from the buyers in the transactions we facilitate involving the sale of privately held companies and family owned businesses. These referrals have special value to the business brokers who receive them because the party making the referral was on the other side of the negotiating table and provide evidence a “win-win” transaction was negotiated in an environment of full disclosure & transparency employing best practices. My personal record for selling an individual business is four separate transactions over a period of approximately twenty years. Motivations for sale were diverse including retirement, physical injury, and corporate opportunity. The business continues successful operation today by a husband & wife entrepreneur team.
Referrals from parties directly involved in transactions facilitated by IBA are highly valued. However, they are not the only source of referrals to IBA for quality representation in the sale of businesses. IBA also regularly receives client referrals from CPA’s, attorneys, bankers, commercial & residential real estate professionals, and wealth advisers. The parties making these referrals are seeking the highest caliber of service, knowledge, and experience available in the marketplace for their clients and select IBA. They recognize, as we do when we make a referral, that a referral is a reflection of ourselves and should not be made lightly without proper vetting and a base of knowledge. We are honored to receive referrals from these professionals and provide them with a standard of care in line with what we would provide if we were representing a family member in the sale of their business.
The reputation of a mergers & acquisitions professional or business brokerage firm is built one successfully completed transaction at a time. The best method to start the process associated with selecting a business broker is to seek a referral from someone who has seen them in action and witnessed their experience, knowledge, and professionalism firsthand. The sale of a business is a sophisticated process with financial, legal, accounting, and tax implications. Verification of prior achievement and best practices is prudent prior to selecting a business broker for professional representation.
IBA, the Pacific Northwest’s premier business brokerage firm since 1975, is available as an information resource to the media, business brokerage, and mergers & acquisitions community on subjects relevant to the purchase & sale of privately held companies and family owned businesses. IBA is recognized as one of the best business brokerage firms in the nation based on its long track record of successfully negotiating “win-win” business sale transactions in environments of full disclosure employing “best practices”.