When the time comes to qualify buyers for your automotive business sale, it can be difficult to know what to look for. Certainly, you’ve got your dream buyer in your mind’s eye, but what do you do if you never meet a prospect who checks every box on your list?


At AutoCenter Sales, we know qualifying the right prospects can make the difference between a successful sale and a stagnant listing because we’ve facilitated countless automotive business deals over the past 25 years. We’ve seen every type of prospective buyer out there, and the ones who possess the following five characteristics are invariably the most promising.   


#1: They Have Business Knowledge

Though a lack of previous business ownership doesn’t necessarily make prospective buyers poor candidates, an ideal automotive business buyer is one who has:


●        Business ownership experience

●        Industry experience

●        Leadership expertise

●        Necessary certifications for your industry


Potential buyers who don’t possess these qualities are unlikely to continue operations successfully because they simply lack the knowledge to do so. As well, it may be difficult for such individuals to secure financing for the purchase due to their lack of business expertise. 


#2: They Have Access to Capita  On Hand

Prospective buyers should already have access to funding before you begin discussing terms of the sale. You certainly don’t need to dedicate time and effort to negotiate with prospects if they haven’t yet considered their funding sources.


To assess your prospects' financial capability, you may request that each individual complete a personal financial statement demonstrating their ability to make the kind of down payment that will be necessary for a business loan and fund business operations for the first few months. You’ll also need to verify that your most promising prospects have the ability to secure funding for the total amount of the sale.


#3: They’re Eager to Proceed

Serious buyers are eager to learn about the finer details of your business, not just eager to complete the sale. Well-qualified prospects should be enthusiastic about discovering how the company operates. They’ll ask thoughtful questions about particulars, including:


●        The business’s history

●        Which assets are included in the deal

●        Your vendor relationships

●        Who your competitors are and what sets your business apart

●        Your current employees and their history with the company

●        What your company policies entail


Those who fail to ask educated questions or who disengage during operations-related discussions are unlikely to possess the knowledge or skill set necessary to run the company successfully.


#4: They Have Professional Support

Buying an automotive business is no small feat, and unfortunately, solo buyers often encounter difficulties due to their lack of experience and industry connections. To avoid the complications that often accompany do-it-yourself buyers, look for prospects who have a supportive, knowledgeable advisory team behind them.


A responsible business buyer is well aware that running a business is not a solo endeavor, which means they’ll rely on their advisory team. When you work with a buyer who has a qualified, professional team, you eliminate a mountain of stress from your business sale.


#5: They Have a Defined Timeframe

As you begin considering prospects, speak with each individual regarding their intended purchase timeline. Some buyers might be chomping at the bit to buy your company, while others are still in the initial planning stages and may not be ready to finalize a deal. The last thing you need (or want) is to have your business on the market for months because your qualified buyers aren’t quite ready to extend serious offers.


Selling Your Automotive Business? Let AutoCenter Sales Help You Succeed

At AutoCenter Sales, we’ve been facilitating automotive business sales and purchases throughout the United States for over 25 years. Our experienced team is committed to helping automotive business owners plan and complete successful, satisfying sales, and we’d love to bring your sale to fruition, too. If you’re ready to propel your business sale forward, feel free to reach out to our team at 800-874-5793 to learn more about how we can help you. Or, you can always leave us a message on our contact page, and we’ll be in touch.