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Thread: Cold calling, does not appear to be on the radar screen

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    Cold calling, does not appear to be on the radar screen

    I'm a newbie so be gentle.

    I've got two older websites that I'm developing an exit strategy for that my wife owns. I'm a retired entrepreneur and in the "old days" when I had to get rid of a business, we would go out hunting for a buyer . . . cold calling on likely buyers, either other business, or individuals.

    So I came to this group thinking I might see lots of discussion about strategies for developing prospect lists etc. But it appears as though everybody is looking for buyers who are already webmasters or other industry professionals. It seems to me these folks are only interested in bargain hunting.

    What about the Middle manager stuck in some corporate cubicle all day, who hates their job and has a fat 401K that they can tap into to buy some independence?

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    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Once you have an idea of the value of what you've got on your hands, you can start looking for potential buyers plus you'll have a better idea of where to look for them.

    I wouldn't say that cold calling is off the radar. It could be a very effective strategy in some ways but there would also be a lot of dangers involved - especially for someone who is new to selling. It's good to learn about creating your own exit strategy, and it sounds as though you have skills and experience in B&M businesses which will stand you in good stead in the online world too. But there are additional pitfalls involved in buying/selling an online business which you may not be aware of so tread carefully.

    You can go through the whole process yourself if you want: exit strategy, valuation, finding buyers, selling the sites. The advantage of doing this is that you will avoid having to pay professional fees to anyone for any of these services. The disadvantages are that you will have a lot to learn to be able to tackle the whole process by yourself and (the really scary one) is that there are plenty of traps to fall into and plenty of "buyers" who would like to cheat you out of your money or your website.

    Just like a B&M business, you will need to try to put some value on what you've got. And to do that, you'll need to look at the traffic and profit and also the website's assets. There are several other things a buyer will probably want to know, eg profit history, a breakdown of costs (including time needed to run the website), sources of traffic, skills/experience required to run the website, and so on. You will need to know all these before you can complete your exit strategy. A buyer will also require proof of the figures you claim so you will need to be able to provide them with some evidence to back up your claims.

    You have at least two choices. Do it all yourself with some guidance from us. Hand the job over to a broker (assuming your sites are in the right price range) and be prepared to pay their fees.

    So I came to this group thinking I might see lots of discussion about strategies for developing prospect lists etc. But it appears as though everybody is looking for buyers who are already webmasters or other industry professionals. It seems to me these folks are only interested in bargain hunting.
    I think most people would agree that it's a lot easier to deal with experienced buyers. The same goes for many buyers' preference for experienced sellers. They know the ropes, whereas an inexperienced buyer/seller probably needs guidance at every step. A buyer will be prepared to spend that time with an inexperienced seller if the price is right. Each hour they spend with you is a cost to them and reduces their ROI on the deal. Either they can recover some of that cost by lowering the price they'll offer you or, if they are an unscrupulous buyer, they don't care too much about the time spent getting the site off you because their plan is to rip you off anyway.

    There are other reasons why buyers prefer to deal with experienced sellers, eg experienced sellers know what they're doing and are more confident in going through the sale/purchase process. Inexperienced people, both buyers and sellers, very often get cold feet and back out of deals at the last minute. Inexperienced sellers are often time wasters. And inexperienced sellers frequently have pie in the sky ideas about how much their website is worth. These are just some reasons why it's often preferable to deal with an experienced seller or at least negotiate for a site which has been vetted by a professional as being worth a closer look.

    On the other hand an inexperienced seller might be sitting on a goldmine and not realise it, therefore it's possible they'd sell their site at a price considerably below its real market value. Sure, experienced buyers are interested in bargain hunting, and would be delighted if they found an undervalued site on a marketplace or by some other means (eg cold calling). But these undervalued sites for sale are usually rare to find and so there are also plenty of buyers who are interested in purchasing good sites which have a realistic value. There's so much rubbish for sale especially on some of the larger, better-known, marketplaces that it can be very time consuming to filter out all the dross. Even then a buyer could spend hours or even days searching and filtering and still come up with nothing worth pursuing. This is why there's a need for people, eg brokers, to bring together "premium buyers" and sellers with good sites which have a realistic price tag.

    What about the Middle manager stuck in some corporate cubicle all day, who hates their job and has a fat 401K that they can tap into to buy some independence?
    There are more than a few of these around, but they're usually inexperienced buyers and you'll face a lot of very similar problems in trying to sell to them. They need help every step of the way, they've no idea of the real value of the site they're interested in buying. And they very frequently pull out of deals at the last minute. There again, they're often quite easy to dupe into buying a dud. It's quite sad really to see someone gamble and lose their fat 401Ks, their life savings and their hopes of a comfortable retirement. We have people in that predicament here too often and I want to tear my hair out and scream, "Why didn't you ask us BEFORE you got into this mess". We try to help dig them out of their hole, but frankly it's often too late to be able to do anything much more than try to help them pick up the pieces.

    By all means keep your eyes peeled for prospective buyers. First you need to get some idea of the value of what you want to sell. Do you need help with that?
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



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    Thanks for your thoughtful reply. Lots to think about!

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    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    It's nice to be appreciated. However, we encourage the use of the thanks button rather than posting just to say thanks. It's the green thumbs up sign at the bottom of each post. There's plenty of info about avoiding making fluff postings in the forum rules and FAQ sections and also in this thread.
    http://experienced-people.net/forums...fluff-postings

    The no-fluff rule goes a long way towards keeping the quality of the forum high.

    Anyway, I'm glad to know that you find the info on here helpful. The feedback is always welcome.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



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    garyfugere (23 January 2014)

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    You definitely have to structure the sales process VERY differently when dealing with non-webmaster type buyers but there is a definitely a potential market there. However, I find that rather than targeting someone that has to be convinced owning a website is a good idea, I find that it easier to deal with people who already know they need a website. People in many local businesses need websites to generate leads for their business. If you know how to set up a good lead generating website and get it started generating leads, it can be worth a lot to those people. They can buy a producing asset from you rather than having to pay for web development and then promote the site themselves. The more income they can potentially generate from each lead, the more your site is worth to them. If you enjoy promoting websites, you can then also sell that as an ongoing service to them.

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to carlpruitt For This Useful Post:

    garyfugere (7 February 2014)

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