An Interview On How To Build Better Broker Relations

What You’ll Learn:
  • Why you need to reach out to business brokers
  • How dealing with business brokers can help you iterate your investment thesis
  • How to position yourself with business brokers
  • How to position Acquira when you begin reaching out to brokers
  • How to pitch yourself.

Broker relations are a crucial aspect of any business acquisition journey. While a major cornerstone of Acquira's Accelerator Program is our off-market search program, we still insist that everyone going through the Program analyze a few on-market deals. That means getting in touch with brokers.

We sat down with Acquisition Entrepreneur and Acquira Partner Ken Lavertu to discuss his own successes with business brokers, how he positioned himself and Acquira to help find great deals, and what advice he has to share with his fellow business buyers.

Ken’s Journey

When Ken came to Acquira he had just sold the real estate appraisal business he’d been running for the past eight years. As he began looking for ways to use his capital, he came across Acquisition Entrepreneurship and reached out to Acquira. After flying from his home in South Carolina to Canada to talk with the company’s CEO, Hayden Miyamoto, he quickly signed on for Acquira’s training and as a partner within the company.

As part of the training, Ken signed up for the Accelerator Program where his Success Coach, Daniel, began helping him work through the acquisition process. As Ken explains in the interview, that eventually led him to deal with brokers in Florida. But it wasn’t so simple as to type “business for sale Orlando” into a search engine, Ken had to pitch himself to local brokers.

“I thought with talking to brokers that everyone was doing that and that it was maybe an overused tactic,” Ken said. “I was encouraged by my coaches Daniel and Hayden to focus on developing those relationships and getting used to talking to people who were players in the market, starting with local brokers. Because that would be a really good exercise. I kind of yawned at the prospect of doing that, but I did it anyway because I trusted them, that they've been here, and they've done this before and all of that. So that's what I did.”

In doing this, Ken was able to create a rapport with these brokers and ensure that he was one of the first to see some of the best deals available. It’s also important to note that there are more resources than just BizBuySell available, but it requires doing some research to find a good business for sale. Google local brokers first and expand your search from there. 

Refining his pitch over time to a variety of different brokers actually led Ken to an ideal situation for any business buyer: he was able to see two businesses that hadn’t even hit the market yet and have two businesses under APA.

Note: Florida is a bit of a special case when it comes to Letters of Intent (LOI) vs. Asset Purchase Agreement (APA). Florida skips the LOI and goes directly to an APA. You’ll hear Ken use the terms interchangeably in the interview.

Evolving Your Pitch

We’ve talked at length in the past about how connecting with brokers can help you find more businesses, but it’s also worth noting how this process can help you improve your overall acquisition approach. 

As Ken lays out, speaking with brokers encouraged him to iterate and evolve his acquisition pitch. It also taught him how to position himself as capable caretaker of these businesses, especially given his relationship with Acquira.

“I started locally and called some brokers here locally, had some great conversations, really polished up my elevator pitch about what I was trying to do,” explained Ken. “It actually revealed some gaps in my investment thesis and what I wanted, because they asked a lot of great questions. So I kind of went back to my training with my investment thesis and what I was looking for. So I went back to some of the Acquira model training, to develop out exactly what I was looking for and why, and what qualified me as a buyer.”

It All Starts With The Accelerator

Buying a business takes a lot of work, and while many AEs are initially attracted to Acquira’s off-market sourcing program to help make the job easier, we insist that every member of the program reach out to brokers. It’s a way to refine your search, learn how to disqualify deals, and learn how to position yourself. After all, the best teacher in life is experience. 

By rolling up his sleeves and doing the work, Ken was able to find a number of deals relatively quickly.

By rolling up his sleeves and doing the work, Ken was able to find a number of deals relatively quickly. After all, it doesn’t matter if you find a business on-market or off-market. What matters is that you believe in the business you finally buy.

Have you had any interesting experiences with brokers during your own business buying journey? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Like all of our Acquisition Entrepreneurs, Ken’s journey began with the Acceleration Program. To get involved yourself, schedule a call with one of our representatives today.

Key Takeaways

  • Reaching out to brokers will allow you to refine your investment thesis.
  • Avoid appearing like a “tire-kicker” to business brokers.
  • There are a lot of business buyers talking to brokers, so figure out how to stand out.
  • Building a rapport with brokers helps you see the best deals before other buyers.
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