Before you start down the path of negotiating with a potential buyer, you'll most likely want to gauge their interest and financial capacity before you try to close the transaction. The following three ways will help you weed-out those with only a casual interest. If a buyer makes it past these, there is a better chance that he or she is seriously considering your business.
Sign a non-disclosure agreement
A non-disclosure agreement is a legal document signed by both seller and buyer in which both parties agree to keep each other's private/financial information confidential. A buyer who is willing to sign this agreement is at least interested enough in your business to sign a legally binding contract.
Ask for a buyer's personal financial summary and credit score
If the non-disclosure agreement did not scare away a not so serious buyer, this should. If a buyer is willing to provide sensitive personal financial information to you, he or she probably has more than just a casual interest in your business. This will also weed out any potential buyers who want to pitch the purchase to other buyers they find for a fee, instead of purchasing the business for themselves.
Set deadlines and stick to them
If a potential buyer wants to buy the business, they'll be more than willing to set deadlines for things like making an offer, signing any contracts, and closing the deal. If they can't stick to deadlines like these, then you shouldn't waste your time focusing on them as they're much less likely to actually close the deal.
Are you interested in selling your business? At RDA we can help!