Storytelling and its Role in Selling a Business

There is more to selling a business than merely relaying information. Sometimes it’s more about the “why” than the “what”.  When communicating with buyers the company’s story should be emphasized. Since buyers make purchase decisions based upon facts and emotion they must have the history of the company and its potential for transformation shared with them. This means that business brokers and M&A advisors are also storytellers.

Since humans organize information through storytelling, it’s a fantastic way for buyers to get comfortable and a great approach to provide information about a company to potential buyers.


How to Tell Your Story

The financials, or simply the business’s fundamentals, come first. These facts will become the foundation of a buyer’s knowledge stack about the target company.  A story can be started to be written once the data has been acquired. There are numerous other methods to deliver that information, such as in a confidential business review (CBR) or confidential information memorandum (CIM).

While many, if not most, buyers and sellers may believe that they are methodical and cold like an animal on the hunt when it comes to business, the reality is more nuanced. Human nature is a common factor. It is no surprise that the art of buying and selling businesses relies on well-written stories because of their ability to communicate, inspire and motivate.


Emotions Influence Decisions

It’s crucial to take emotions into account when making decisions if we want to achieve the greatest results.  “In order to have anything like a complete theory of human rationality, we have to understand what role emotion plays in it,” Herbert Simon – American Nobel Laureate. [1]

Good stories capture the imagination and encourage readers to think outside the box in terms of what is and isn’t attainable. When potential buyers are thinking about purchasing a business, it’s critical for them to visualize themselves as the leader who transforms it and elevates it to the next level. It is a tale of growth and accomplishing one’s own objectives while also reaching new heights.

The fact that so much of today’s popular culture storytelling centers on sequels is not by accident. A strong motivating factor can be the idea that there is a “storytelling continuum” where a customer can connect to something with a past. The protagonist in most epic tales is a part of a continuum. To put it another way, the hero does not just materialize. The role of the hero is to alter the world in some way for the better. So the “Art of the Story” is just as important as properly recast financial statements.




Copyright: ENLIGN Business Brokers