Contacting Owners and First Meetings

How do you convince an owner to sell? Tips and tricks for contacting owners of privately held not-for-sale companies

When do you let an owner of a privately-held not-for-sale company know you are interested in acquisition? While, I’ve mentioned that an owner will not sell their company over the phone, this doesn’t mean you should hide your interest in acquisition. You should introduce acquisition at the beginning of the process. In your first call […]

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“Hello, I’d like to buy your company.” If this were the way I began my phone calls with owners, none of our deals would be successful. Speaking with owners, particularly of privately held, not-for-sale companies, requires the right strategy and approach. After all, you only have one chance to make a first impression and your goal in […]

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As an M&A consultant, I’m often asked exactly how we persuade the owners of not-for-sale companies to sell.  My years of experience speaking with owners and facilitating acquisitions makes the process easier, but the real secret is understanding owner psychology. In contacting an owner, you can’t lay out a detailed acquisition plan. The key is […]

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Here is a thought that many miss when they embark on an acquisition process: There is an inherent asymmetry in acquisition that puts the buyer and seller on different planes. You can buy companies over and over again, but the owner can sell his company only once. Though you, the buyer, may be taking significant […]

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Making first contact with an owner and important step in the acquisition process. It is your opportunity to get your foot in the door and start a positive relationship that could lead to acquisition. So, how do you go about contacting owners? In my post for the ACG National Capital Blog I outline how to initiate […]

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Personal connection matters, especially when it comes to the first connection with an owner of an acquisition prospect. This first connection is a decisive step.  Handled correctly, it can initiate a positive relationship that may eventually lead to union. Handled poorly, that one phone call can terminate your opportunity to buy. When initiating contact with […]

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I have rarely found an owner who, when asked if he would consider selling his business, immediately says, ‘‘Yes, I want to sell, and I want to sell now.’’ If you did actually get an immediate yes, this might well indicate weakness on the part of the prospect. Most often, though, the responses you will […]

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When a company is ‘‘not for sale,’’ that simply means it isn’t actively seeking a buyer. If through your search and screening process you discover a company that could be the right fit for your acquisition criteria, then it should be pursued, even if it is ostensibly not for sale. The central point here is that every […]

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This post was submitted by Capstone Managing Director John Dearing: When you meet with a target company OWNER, make sure you capture your thoughts immediately thereafter. There are several reasons this is important: 1. You will (if properly prepared) undoubtedly gain valuable insights into the inner workings of the company 2. This data should be […]

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“The First Date”: Contacting Owners and Successful First Meetings CPE Credit Awarded Thursday, July, 29 2010; 11:00 AM ET Hosted by David Braun, Capstone CEO David Braun, CEO of Washington, DC- based external growth consulting firm Capstone, is hosting a webinar with Capstone Project Manager Gretchen Johnson. Having identified the target companies you would like […]

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Clients always want to know how  we can quickly understand the perspective of the owner of the acquisition target.  Over the past 15 years focusing on the privately-held, not-for-sale space, we have a 98% success rate getting our clients in meaningful conversations and meetings with companies that are deemed to be a strategic fit. The […]

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