I was recently asked, how do I find such great companies for sale? You may find my answer helpful.
Prospecting for great companies has always been easy for me. I use primarily three methods to get on an inside track with potential sellers in a target industry.
1. Cultivation of centers of influence. Simply stated, I have developed relationships with bankers, attorneys and CPA's who know when their clients are coming for sale well before the businesses are listed. I similarly develop relationships with B2B sales persons who physically call on companies in the target industry. Good sales people get plugged into the rumor mill at companies they call on and tap into the buzz when employees suspect that their employer may want to sell.
2. Direct mail campaigns to a target industry in a specific geographical region. For very little money, I purchase the mailing list of the trade association or trade publication that services the target industry. I pre-qualify names by sales volume, market segment, and geographical area. Then I send them a simple letter telling them of my interest in possibly buying their company. Responses to a well worded letter refined over many years run between a cool 7% and an astounding 38% who contact me within a week from the mail-out date.
3. Training people worldwide to buy and sell businesses. One of the benefits of my training program is deal flow. People seek me out to train them to purchase or sell a business. Buyer’s sometimes get in over their head and ask to partner up with me for the purchase or decide to birddog the purchase for me for a fee or a percent of the company. Sellers are often happy to give me first crack at buying the company and enjoy using the techniques I taught them to realize a higher sales price and better terms. This actually works out to be good for them and good for me. We don't dicker over a few percentage points in valuation. We just get the deal done.
I’m always looking to partner up with people who can make purchases or otherwise get deals done. I’d love to communicate more with you. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.