When it comes to investment banker references, there are vital things you must ask.
Do you know what these essential things are for investment banker references?
Unfortunately, for most business owners, the answer is a resounding “no.”
The skills that built your business are not the same ones to sell it. Investment banker references are one small example of this truth.
When it comes to selling your business, you have one chance to get it right, and you better make it count.
You can have the best business in the world, but if you select the wrong investment banker, you’ll lose.
Who am I, and how do I know?
I was that kid who started his business right out of school with no money, experience, or team. The truth is that I had no business being in business, and the results showed.
My grit and passion kept me in the game long enough to experience success. With success came an unsolicited offer from a sophisticated and experienced buyer.
The unsolicited offer was 7-figures based on three times EBITDA. I said “no” to the unsolicited offer and “yes” to mastering the art and science of mastering selling a business.
Two years later, I said “yes” to a different buyer with a 9-figure offer based on 13-times EBITDA.
How did I increase my business value 10X and go from a 7-figure to a 9-figure exit?
One of the many things I learned was how to select the right investment banker.
Today I help business owners do two critical things. First, to protect business owners on their exit. Second, helping business owners maximize enterprise value.
What did I say or do on my investment banker references?
There’s only one way to find out.
Look For Investment Bankers Who Do What They Said They Would Do
Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out – Robert Collier
Investment banker references should ensure that investment bankers do what they.
Can your exit success be as simple as investment bankers doing what they say and saying what they do?
Yes and no.
An investment banker who is consistent does not guarantee success on your exit. What consistency does get you is the confidence that what gets said is what gets done.
Selling a business has many moving parts that demand your time and attention. You need to know that every member on your exit team gets the job done. Day in and day out.
In mergers and acquisitions, the currency is not money, but instead, trust. You must have absolute trust in your investment bank in both words and actions.
All too often, sellers buy into a slick presentation from an investment banker. You don’t want to find out after the fact that the best selling job was the presentation itself.
Read and prosper from “Dominate And Win When You Know How To Choose An Investment Banker.”
Investment banker references give you the opportunity to speak with other business owners. Make it your mission to find out if the investment banker came through on the promises given.
If your investment banker references give you any doubt in this area, it’s time to find another banker.
Do you know the one question to ask when it comes to valuation?
Investment Banker References Must Confirm That The Bait And Switch Game Wasn’t Played
Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it – Chuck Noll
A key outcome of investment banker references is to ensure the bait and switch game wasn’t played.
Buyers often give a high enterprise value in the Letter of Intent (LOI). The bait and switch game has the high enterprise value replaced with a much lower one.
Buyers count on sellers becoming exhausted from the process, and as a result, do the deal anyway.
Buyers also know that sellers take the risk of lost momentum with other buyers if sellers say “no” to the offer.
As a result, sellers leave untold millions of dollars on the table at best or lose the deal at worst.
The irony is that the bait and switch game doesn’t need to happen.
Read and prosper from “Everything You Need To Know Before You Hire An Investment Banker.”
Here’s a question for you.
Do investment bankers prefer a guaranteed $100M deal or a challenging $120M one?
Most sellers believe investment bankers will try for the $120M deal.
After all, aren’t investment bankers are all about the higher commission?
Not a chance.
The incremental difference in commission for the investment banker isn’t worth the risk.
Left unchecked, your investment banker had you leave $20M on the table.
What can you do?
Enter investment banker references.
Your mission is to find out two things. First, learn if the bait and switch game took place. Second, find out how the investment banker dealt with offers of different values.
Knowledge is power, but only if you act.
Do you know the critical question you must ask on investment banker references?
Don’t Ask What You Paid, And Instead, Ask If The Work Was Worth The Money Paid
Winners focus on the value. Losers focus on the price. – Jeffrey Feldberg
Investment banker references are like a time machine that can show you the future.
The right questions help you determine if you like the future that you are seeing.
All too often, sellers ask the wrong questions, and as a result, get the wrong answers.
If you want to change both your life and increase the success of your exit, ask the right questions.
Don’t fall into the trap of asking what the investment banker charged for a completed exit.
Instead, ask if the work done was worth the money paid.
Paying the lowest amount of money for a service is worthless if you don’t get what you need.
The same goes for paying an extraordinary amount of money to find out later that your needs weren’t met.
The sweet spot of a successful exit is knowing that what you paid for services was worth every penny and more.
If you don’t get your desired result, it doesn’t matter how much or how little you paid. In this instance, you’re better off not doing anything at all.
Remember, when it comes to selling your business, you have one chance to get it right. You better do everything in your power to make it count.
Investment banker references are a vital step to set yourself up for success.
For investment banker references, do you know what to ask when it comes to the process itself?
Do You Know Why Your Future Investment Banker Must Own The Process From Start To Finish?
An absent investment banker makes your exit like a ship without a rudder. – Jeffrey Feldberg
Do you know why your future investment banker must own the process from start to finish?
Your future and ultimate success depend on your investment banker owning the process.
End of story.
Read and prosper from “5 Unbelievably Stupid Exit Team Mistakes That Buyers Want You To Make.”
Know this and know this well.
Buyers are counting on you to make mistakes at every juncture.
Every mistake you make puts your hard-earned money in your buyer’s pocket.
Lazy investment bankers allow sellers to meet with buyers alone. Remember, your future buyer is smart, sophisticated, and experienced.
Your exit is likely your first and your last. In mergers and acquisitions, ignorance is not bliss.
Think of your investment banker like a conductor of an orchestra. A conductor of an orchestra gets the most out of the musicians and ensures everyone is in harmony.
Your investment banker keeps the exit process in harmony through:
- Ensuring meetings are on track
- Having buyers behave
- Providing protection throughout the process
- Reminding all parties of the vision
- Keeping you in check
How do you know if your investment banker will own the process from start to finish?
Investment banker references.
When speaking with former sellers, ensure you ask detailed questions. Remember, you have the upper hand because it’s two business owners talk with each other.
While you’re at it, don’t accept “yes” or “no” answers. Have the reference give you specific examples either way.
Speaking of references, do you know the one and final question to ask?
Investment Banker References Let You Know If The Seller Needed The Investment Banker
We’re only as needy as our unmet needs – John Bowlby
Investment banker references let you know if the seller needed the investment banker.
Isn’t it obvious that a client of an investment banker needed the banker?
The previous section discussed how investment bankers must control the process. You need to know that the investment is there from start to finish.
Controlling the process doesn’t mean that you still needed the investment banker.
Investment banker references, when done right, reveal everything you need to know.
When speaking to sellers, get detailed information on:
- Who put the marketing materials together?
- What role did the investment banker play in negotiations?
- Was the investment banker at all meetings?
- What percentage of the work did the investment banker do in the process?
- Did you need the investment banker?
In this instance, you’re not asking if the seller had a great deal or high enterprise value.
You need to find out if the investment banker did the majority of the work.
If you find out that the seller did most of the work, find another investment banker.
In the world of mergers and acquisitions, appearances can be deceiving.
How do you ensure a successful exit journey?
Prepare, prepare, and prepare. And when you’re done, prepare some more. Part of your preparation is performing due diligence on your future investment banker.
When you do investment banker references the right way, you do one of two things.
You’ll either confirm what you believe about the investment banker, or you won’t.
Either way, you go from believing to knowing. Both in life and business, it’s better to know with certainty than to believe.
Performing investment banker references today sets you up for massive success tomorrow.
What if you knew in advance that your investment banker did all the right things in selling your company?
You have one chance when selling your company, and you better make it count. A large part of optimizing your success is in choosing the right investment banker.
As a seller, you must go from believing you have the right investment banker to know that you do.
Investment banker references, when done right, is your key to making the right choice.
There are five key areas to cover in your investment banker references. Each of the five areas builds upon the next.
When you complete your investment banker references, you’re left with solid insights.
Both success and failure leave clues.
A crucial part of your preparation is knowing what to ask and where to look. You must know, with absolute certainty, that you’ve hired the right investment banker.
Both your future and the success of your exit depend on the depth of your preparation.
Where do you start, and what do you do?
Start with the first strategy for investment banker references and master it. Move on to the next strategy and do the same until you’ve mastered all five areas.
You can do it. I know you can.
Here’s to you and your success.
Your Biggest Raving Fan,