Emotional vs Commercial
So often, the reality is that the sale of a business is highly emotional for the seller and entirely commercial for the acquirer. As a seller, you need to be aware of this and take it into account when responding to an acquirer’s questions. For example, when an acquirer asks how you have managed to keep staff morale at a high level, one’s instinctive response may be to talk about the fact that the business is like a family and staff see you as their “father”. That would be an emotional response that can easily be taken the wrong way by the acquirer. The acquirer needs a commercial response that they can take back to their board of advisors. This is also a good reason to back up your statements in writing or with some form of proof that the business is not entirely dependent on you, and that there are strong systems in place that would satisfy a commercial approach.