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Bad News in a Kind Way!

By Carl Grimes

Selling or buying a business is intensely personal whether you are a buyer or seller.

Having personally bought and sold numerous businesses and participated in over 800 business sales in my career as a Professional Business Intermediary, I know how downright scary it can be as you travel a trail never traveled before.

That’s why we here at CBI treat our clients (sellers) and customers (buyers) with respect and courtesy.

We have a process we follow that helps both clients and customers understand the steps before they get “into the weeds” of selling or buying.

This process is modeled on the world-renowned Mayo Clinic medical practice and is designed to help the patient (seller or buyer) get the right diagnosis for their needs.

We recently had a business owner who approached us about selling a business for him.

Following our process, we determined that the business was not going to fit the model our buyers are looking for and we had to deliver that bad news to the seller.

Here is his response,


“It was a pleasure to meet with you yesterday. I have enjoyed getting to know you.

Your counsel has been invaluable and the spreadsheets you provided show the information I needed to compile.

As I said yesterday, you even deliver bad news in a caring and professional manner that makes it much easier to hear than it otherwise might be. I also appreciate your initiating a personal meeting for a discussion that you could have easily handled by phone.

Please convey to your team my thanks for their help and for brainstorming about options for me going forward. CBI is a first-class operation and if and when I hear of an opportunity to make a referral to you, I’ll do so with complete confidence that you and the CBI team will graciously and professionally assist the referred party as you have me.

Please don’t hesitate to let me know if I can ever do anything for you.”

In fact, the business owner jokingly said, “I wish the girls I wanted to date in high school had let me down as gently as you have.”

Every business owner and every business buyer is different but all deserve respect and fair dealing.

That’s what we do every day at CBI.

Call 877-582-5200 or email us at to begin your journey to selling or buying a business.