Succession Link is quickly becoming the premier place online to the leading networking and communication platform connecting financial advisors who are interested in buying, selling or merging their practices. If you’re looking to buy or merge a financial practice in the near future, step one should be creating a profile on the Succession Link Marketplace. Once you do that, potential sellers will be able to find your practice, review your info, and respond to your inquiry if they are interested.
Of course, because Succession Links has grown so quickly, you may find that you’re competing with a lot of other buyers. How do you make your profile stand out so you can get in front of the right seller?
Try implementing the four tips below into your Succession Links profile. If you do, you’ll likely get more attention and more responses from advisors looking to sell their business.
What makes you stand out?
If you’re like most successful financial practices, you’ve probably carved out a niche for yourself in your community. Maybe you work with a specific type of client, such as a certain occupation or people who are facing similar challenges in life. Or perhaps you have specific technical knowledge that helps you service a niche market.
Either way, make sure you clearly define what makes you different and how you stand out from other practices in your area. You may find a seller with an established business in the same or similar niche. They may only be considering the sale of their business to advisors with the same focus. Or your listing and description may inspire a seller to think about a potential sale in a new way.
Be specific about what makes you shine and stand out. By being too generic, you risk getting lost in the shuffle.
Provide detailed information about your practice.
Your description and initial message to seller may catch their attention, but your financials and other information will help them take the next step and respond. Many sellers don’t want to waste their time on a buyer that ultimately won’t meet their standards, so they try to do as much vetting online as possible. You can help them make a quick decision about contacting you by providing as much information as possible.
Specifically, from a financial information standpoint, sellers will want to know what kind of assets you have under management, what your revenue is, and how that revenue is generated. Include information on whether your revenue is commission- or fee-based. Also, they may want to know what your client mix is. How many clients do you have? What’s the average age? What are their income and asset demographics?
Give potential sellers enough information to develop some interest and to make a quick decision to learn more.
List your priorities.
Seller also don’t want to waste time negotiating a deal with someone who isn’t a suitable partner. You probably don’t want to waste your time either. That’s why it’s always wise to list your top priorities in your search for a practice acquisition.
What does your ideal seller or practice acquisition target look like? Do you want to partner with this advisor for a short period of time or a long period of time? What are you seeking in a partner? Are you flexible in your terms for buying out the practice? Do you want someone whose personality and consultative style will mesh well with yours?
There’s no right or wrong answer to these questions. However, by making these priorities known on your profile, you can make sure that you are giving enough information to entice a seller to respond.
Describe your planned role after the acquisition.
The role of the buyer and your team after the deal is complete can also be a complex sticking point. How do you plan to help a seller transition their practice? Do you have experience having done this before? If not, does your firm have that experience?
Some sellers may not have an idea of what life will look like after the sale of their business. So therefore, do your best to help them visualize what that could look like by selling to you.
If you have a clear plan, say that in your profile and initial communication with the seller. If you don’t, or want to remain flexible, state that as well.
There really is no right and wrong, but there must be a thoughtful way to express your intentions.