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  • Writer's picture Peter Flippen

Sellers Are The Underdogs

Something inside of us often wants to root for the underdog. I know for me it's hard to put my finger on exactly what it is but I've experienced it many times. A part of it could be that we love the audacity of a David believing they can take down a giant. It could also be that many of us have stories of overcoming our circumstances that helps us relate to the underdog. Maybe we just like seeing an overconfident bunch eat a piece or two of humble pie.

Whatever it is, culturally we tend to cheer for underdogs over favorites. While we primarily think of underdogs in the context of sports, we pull for them in business as well. This is why IEI Advisors only represents sellers in M&A transactions. Simply put, the buyers have all the firepower and IEI’s best service is in helping sellers win against the odds.

Think about it… in anything you have ever attempted, you gained proficiency through repetitions. Whether we are talking about shooting free throws, home improvement projects, or installing an HVAC unit, the more repetitions the better you become. And in something more complex like installing an HVAC unit, you would much rather learn the first time by working closely with someone who has done it before.

Now when it comes to selling a business, most HVAC sellers will only do it once in their life which is precisely what makes them the underdog. 99 times out of a 100, an owner will be selling to a larger company that’s made many acquisitions. In today’s active HVAC buyer market, most of the buyers have completed 30, 50, or even 100+ transactions. They’ve already done the repetitions and their proficiency is typically well beyond most sellers who simply don't know what they don't know. That’s where a good advisor can come in and offer to help you “install your first HVAC unit” so the project is a good experience for everyone involved.


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