In an earlier issue of The Bridge, we introduced a new series, Moving on Up. Many of the newer members of the M&A Source found it helpful as they move upmarket in their deal making. In this issue, we address strategies to leverage your M&A Source membership to establish your expertise and source the “bigger” transactions. Three strategies we discuss in this article are: using the M&A brand for the promotion of your firm, establishing yourself an M&A expert within your market, and leveraging the M&A Source’s expansive network of industry veterans to make you a more effective deal maker.
Promotion of Your Firm
Use the M&A Source logo on all company collateral including letterhead, business cards, all website pages, email signatures, LinkedIn pages, press releases, and all social media you use.
Send a press release to announce your membership to all business focused media in your market to let them know that you are a member, even if you have been a member for a while. Post this press release to your website, LinkedIn pages, and social media. Local business media is always looking for content and they may interview you to talk about what you see in the market today.
Establishing Yourself as an Expert
Periodically review the M&A Source website, and read the monthly email newsletter, The Bridge. These contain valuable content that you can use to create email blasts for drip marketing campaigns to potential sellers, white papers to include in your proposals, and press releases to the media.
Use your knowledge and expertise to write and distribute your own newsletter to CPAs, attorneys, and other referral sources. Email blasts that include recent multiples have the highest open rate at our firm. Regular recurring communication will reinforce that you are the local expert and when they are asked to refer an exit advisor, you are the one they recommend.
Obtain credentials that show you have acquired the knowledge and experience to provide exemplary service to potential clients. The M&A Source offers the Mergers & Acquisitions Master Intermediary (M&AMI) designation and the Certified Mergers & Acquisitions Professional (CM&AP) through Coles College.
Leveraging the M&A Network
This is the most important and valuable resource available to M&A Source members. M&A Source Conferences are an excellent opportunity to meet your fellow advisors. Joining a committee is another great way to connect with other members. Committees include Communications, Marketing, Membership, Member Benefits and Conference Planning. Many of them are seasoned veterans who have done a multitude of deals throughout their careers. They are salespeople by their nature and they love to talk. Connect with fellow members, say something that will help them to remember you, and then get their contact information. Follow up after the Conference to reinforce your connection. When you get back to your universe of dealmaking, if you have questions or concerns on a particular deal – or want to bone up on an industry prior to a client meeting – they are an excellent resource. It is also helpful to connect with other advisors just to share stories and commiserate. Many of us are on our own and it can get lonely out there.
Your M&A Source membership provides considerable value to your potential clients. It establishes you as a “professional” advisor as business owners know that individuals who belong to their industry association are serious about their profession, knowledgeable, and tapped into a network of other professionals. This provides the feeling of confidence that a seller needs in an advisor who will represent them in the largest transaction they will most likely ever make in their lifetime.
Kathlene Thiel, MBA, CBI, M&AMI, CVA, is owner of ThielGroup, LLC. a business advisory for the sale, acquisition, and valuation of privately owned businesses in Upstate New York and New England. She is the Chair of the M&A Source Communications Committee and is always looking for new members to join. Interested? Please email, [email protected].