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How to sell an online business

One of the most important things to think about before selling any business is to think about the person you’re selling to. Put yourself in the buyer’s seat. It’s well-known that people buy things based on emotion. As the seller, finding a way to appeal to someone’s emotions is the best selling technique there is. 

While emotions can play a role, there are buyers that make a conscious effort of only looking at the facts. These buyers judge a business based on the figures at the end of the day, as they want to ensure there’s a potential return on investment.

Some buyers want to scale up their business and expand on their current one. What the seller needs to do is to understand whom they are selling to so that they’re strategy creates interest from the right buyer. Creating a strategy that covers all of the above—emotion and one that promises return on investment—will be the winner.

Combining emotion and ROI to sell an online business

A business that is too well established could alienate the buyer. Most buyers will be looking at your company and how they can build on it. They want to be able to grow it, spot its potential and develop the business their way.

So a great selling strategy is to show a business as a whole, with its flaws that could be improved upon. The seller will envision himself or herself running the business—that’s the emotional connection I mentioned earlier—and start to think beyond the numbers that the business’s currently showing. They start to think: ‘If I were to solve these problems, this is what the business could do…’

The perfect match

At LINK Business Brokers, we understand that every buyer is different. That’s why our first step is to try and build some rapport with the buyer so we can get a firm understanding of what they’re looking for. We want to know what types of things they get excited about. Once we’ve established that rapport, the rest is easy.

Put simply, when we understand the buyer’s needs, we can match them up with the right business they’re looking for. This would be next to impossible if we only relied on one telephone conversation to help find the right buyer for a business we’re selling.

Ultimately, we represent the vendor—the person looking to sell the business. On the other side of that though is a buyer looking for the best deal that suits them. It’s my role to find the middle ground.

Learning your needs

In any instance, I would encourage the buyers—once they’re investigated the business I’ve presented to them, of course—to give me feedback on the business. I can use that feedback in many ways; it helps me to create more of a shortlist for them and assists me in refining the sales approach for that business.


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Dan Levitus
Business Broker