4 simple ways M&A firms sign up more clients

Gabe Galvez

#1 Focus on a single vertical or geography only

Seem counter intuitive right? After all, the more diverse your service and market are the more clients you can win.  

While that is true in theory, it is very hard to do in practice.

Acting as industry agnostic an covering a wide area means that:

  • You may look like any other M&A firm – it is hard to differentiate.
  • You will feel the internal struggle of trying to pull the company in all directions which can slow growth and client accusation.
  • You opt in to competing against much more competition.

Now, let’s consider the benefits of a specialized approach:

  • You provide more value to the client by simply doing what you do best.
  • You can focus your sales and marketing efforts – with a small team this is key.
  • You immediately make your M&A firm different than most.

#2 Define ideal prospect profile

This may seem obvious, and maybe it is, but many M&A professionals talk to non fitting leads wasting huge amounts of time and effort.

Best selling author Michael Port calls this the Red Velvet Rope Policy – wherein you only accept the most ideal clients.  A good way to understand who this idea client may be is to look at your past successful engagements.  

Ask your self questions beyond deal structure, like:

  • What was the seller background?
  • How old was the seller?
  • What type of client best supports the business sale process?

Understanding what type of client works best with your business model and bedside manner AND vetting/engaging this prospect only will increase close rates and reduce time spent chasing leads that may not be a fit anyway.

#3 Distribute marketing efforts among your team

This is a common mistake:

When things slow down you generate new leads through cold calling, cold emailing and trade show attendance (among other activities).

With all hands focused on the next deal you forget one of the most critical trust and value building pieces of the puzzle – marketing.

There is no shortage of excuses as to why we neglect marketing, the most common being time… you just don’t have time right?

If this is indeed the case, consider distributing your marketing efforts among your team.  If your team is small and deal maker focused, consider hiring deal makers that have cross functional backgrounds to add more value to the firm as a whole. The distribution could look like something like this:

  • 1 person post to your websites blog once per week/month
  • 1 person keeps an eye on social media activities
  • 1 person can maintain your sales peripherals

If you are a one person team or if your team simply doesn’t have the background to manage these processes consider working with Merger Labs – a low cost provider of all sorts of digital marketing services to M&A firms.

#4 Don’t ignore the back office

Potential clients are being vetted by many of your competitors constantly.  The M&A service provider count has nearly doubled in the last ten years. Your potential clients may have no issue with your firm being small but they will certainly not work with a firm that has limited capacity or back office resources.  

We have worked with hundreds of great small firms that simply leave the M&A research tool selection and analyst fulfillment to us.  Committing to long term, fixed back office costs create less competitive firms.  By buying analyst coverage on a short term basis and no longer having to purchase data or tools annually you can be competitive in the market while making a much smaller investment.  Additionally, since we do all the work you can focus on client management, marketing and getting more deals done.

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