The Best Way to Contact Potential Targets

Whether looking to sell a business or buy one, contacting potential targets is a key element of beginning the M&A process.

The first step is to make a list of potential targets. Try to get around 100 quality potential targets, as many will be unavailable or uninterested.

Do some research about the targets before contacting them so that you can speak confidently to them about why they should sell or purchase the business.

When contacting your target list, use the telephone. This will make it more difficult for them to ignore you, as sometimes it can often be difficult to reach anyone other than a secretary. If your call is screened, demand to speak with your target person. Do not accept “I’ll send them an email about it” or “I’ll take a message” as an answer, as this tactic is often masquerading for an attempt at getting you to disappear. Instead, ask to leave a voicemail or find out when they will be available to speak and call back.

When you finally get in contact with your target, have a script ready. Write down all of the key information that you want to go over with him or her that will cause them to want to learn more (but not be so knowledgeable that they don’t need to contact you again). This way you will not forget any important aspects for the conversation.

Be sure not to move forward with the first person that you get in contact with. This is the shopping period, and you should leave your options open (until a LOI is written), as the deal does not always go through the first time. If you're in need of advice, contact the professionals at George & Company.