The Crucial Element that Motivates Buyers But Is Forgotten by Most Sellers
Sell Your Business Faster and Easier by Using a Basic Copywriting Technique
“Find out what she’s REALLY thinking…”
“Here are three sure-fire ways to get his attention…”
You’ve probably seen these kinds of promises in a shady ad or in a suggested YouTube video with an implausibly large number of views.
They prey on our deepest insecurities and our hopes for a way to win over someone else’s mind and heart. As eye-roll inducing as they are, all these ads show an understanding of motivations and what people are really looking for, neatly packaged in copy that converts.
We won’t give you the same false hope that there’s a simple trick to get into buyers’ heads.
However, we will connect you with the forgotten principle that entrepreneurs often miss when trying to sell their business to buyers and explain how you can convert investor interest into cash in your pocket.
What Sellers Abandon When Trying to Exit
Entrepreneurs do a funny thing when they decide to sell their business.
When running a business, the marketer in us all understands that we need to appeal to our customers and target market — that’s Marketing 101.
We want our products or services to solve their problems, and we know that the best way to communicate that solution is through copywriting. So, we whip out our notebooks or laptops to write out ideas and iterate copy that we think will connect with our audience. We set out to be unignorable, in perfect alignment with what our customers truly want.
When we decide to sell our business, however, we often throw our copywriter hat in the trash. The very idea of aligning with what our desired buyer wants falls to the wayside.
Here’s the secret: if you want to sell your business in a smoother, faster, and more profitable way, you’re going to have to pick that hat back up.
With your copywriting thinking cap back on, you’ll be ready to attract buyers.
First, the Copywriting Principle
When selling anything, you need to consider your target market. To know what they want and what makes them tick, turn to psychology.
A basic but well-established principle in psychology is the pain and pleasure formula. It’s the idea that people actively avoid pain and pursue pleasure.
Copywriting is fundamentally driven by this truth. That’s why any good copywriting book will tell you not to focus on what features your product may have but instead to promote how your product can impact customers’ lives. It’s the pleasure factor that drives consumers to consume.
This works equally well when creating copy to sell your product to customers or trying to capture the attention of buyers for your business.
It’s simple: In order to position your business well to a buyer, you must first understand the pain they’re trying to solve and offer your business as the solution, or the pleasure, they wish to acquire.
But how do you find it? Every buyer is going to be unique — so how do you cater to what each is looking for?
How to Find a Buyer’s Real Motivation
While buyers are vastly different from each other, every savvy buyer will have one thing in common: due diligence criteria.
Buying criteria is what investors use to help them sort through deals and find what they actually want.
The due diligence checklists they use can be your copywriting key to understanding what they want and how to position your business as the solution to their problems.
For example, if a buyer wants a business that only takes 2–4 hours per week to run, we can conclude they are more lifestyle-focused. You can then position your business as the perfect lifestyle business — one that would enable them to run it in a handful of hours per week, from the beach of their choosing.
If a buyer’s due diligence prioritizes a business with multiple different products that can be scaled heavily through capital investment, then you know they’re looking for a business that has true scale potential. Position your business in this way, as one with white space in several markets and products ready to blossom with the right investment.
Even if your business has some flaws or shortcomings — let’s say, for instance, your SEO could use some work and your site could use new content — that’s absolutely something you can still position well to the right buyer. A buyer may be hunting for a site they can optimize or grow via content, in which case your struggle is their win.
It comes down to putting a buyer’s desires first to inform your strategy, keeping in mind that there are many ways to position your business to fit a range of buyers’ needs. To discover key buying criteria, here are a few methods you could use:
- Some brokerages offer exit planning calls to help sellers organize their future sales. A dedicated broker breaks down what buyers are looking for and helps the seller develop a plan to cater the business to buyers’ criteria.
- Going to specific buyer forums and online groups to scope out what buyers may be interested in.
- Interviewing individuals with portfolios to see what kinds of businesses they would buy and find out what their due diligence looks like.
With all this information, you can shape how you position your business. You could work on your own to find buyers who have expressed their criteria publicly and communicate with them about how your business fits their needs. Alternatively, a great way to position your business for success is to work with a broker to solidify your messaging and use that positioning to negotiate a better deal outcome.
Understand Your Market and Profit
When you go to sell your business, keep the copywriter hat on — it helps with so much more than compelling writing.
Get back to the basics. Treat every prospective buyer as your customer, and approach them with the same conversion methods you would use daily in your business.
When you do that, you can turn prospects into real buyers who are willing to pay a premium for your business because it fits everything they are looking for.
If you’re curious how much a potential buyer might pay for your business, check out our valuation tool.