1. Why did you reach out to me?
Although business broker websites exist so that buyers and sellers can get in contact with them, many times, business brokers receive leads and make phone calls to prospective sellers. Sometimes they even go door-to-door pitching their services. It’s not uncommon that he’ll say they have a buyer for a business similar to yours. Don’t be afraid to probe them about how much they know about your business, to get an idea of how specified their contacting you actually is.
2. Tell me about the best buyer you currently have for a business like mine?
This question will really put them on the spot to give you some specific information about other people they’ve been working with. It’s also an easy way to judge whether or not, you could get the ball rolling soon on selling your business, if you’re actually in the market to sell, that is.
3. What are the buyers you’ve talked to lately, looking for?
Ask yourself “can my business offer what they’re looking for?” Vary your questions to discover if the current buyer’s market, and how it relates to your company.
4. How many different buyers and sellers are you currently working with?
Asking this will give you a general idea of the volume of business that your particular broker is handling. Too many clients might be a sign that his or her services are personalized, to few will obviously give you the impression that they aren’t very skilled at what they do.
5. How many businesses have sued your business brokerage firm?
As amazing a track record as any business service can have, business relationships can still break down, and lead to litigation. Find out as much detail as you can about these matters, and how they resolved them.
6. How long of a listing period do you request?
Usually, business brokers try to get you to work with them for about half a year, but tend to settle for a much shorter span of time. Some brokers even try to get you to sign up for a one year listing, and if this is the case, simply ask them why they want you to work with them for so long, if they can can sell your business promptly? The broker will likely tell you that it’s not about selling your business as quickly as possible, it’s having a greater pool of buyers to select from, and sometimes this requires more a bit time. All in all, it’s best to do a shorter trial with them, than risk signing on for a year, with no results to show for it.