This sale is probably the family’s most financially significant occurrence, which will likely affect several generations. So, what are the important and ultimately valuable issues to consider when selecting a consultant to focus on the sale of a business?
Experience: How many transactions has the representative successfully closed? What is the sale price range of the bulk of these transactions? What industries or specific focus are these sold companies?
Buyers: Where does the representative locate the potential buyers? What is their existing buyer database focus and how many? Can additional buyers supplement those obvious industry buyers to provide an outside perspective on value and also create competition?
Failed Transactions: Of the transactions that were listed and did not sell what cause these outcomes?
Past Sellers: Provide a list of completed transactions and the contact information for 4-6 that are available to be contacted for a reference.
Upfront Cost: Is there a retainer? Why is it necessary to pay without knowing the outcome?
Fee Schedule: Is the fee schedule formula very motivating for the representative? There should be a much larger percentage to push the price beyond an acceptable minimum.
Listing Agreement: Is the agreement cancellable at any time without penalty? If the negative outcome is apparent then why not move on?
Referrals: Does the consultant have well-qualified and experienced specialist such as merger and acquisition attorneys to recommend that have worked closely with them in the past? Wealth managers? Accountants?
Confidentiality: Would the consultant agree to provide a list of potential buyers that need pre-approval before contacting? Issues: What operational or financial issues of the company could hold the price down and what are their recommendations to combat these?