12 Step Transaction Process


The steps to your success.

The Telling Group believes that in order to ensure the successful and profitable sale of a business, we must first familiarize our clients with the process itself.

The steps are listed below:

1. Initial discussion


A wide-ranging conversation regarding your needs, your company, and your desires. We will answer questions you have regarding the process, cost, time-frame, and commitment.  TGL believes in a hands-on, personal experience for our seller.  Now is the time to make sure we can develop a strong relationship for the steps ahead.

Edward Telling / Mark Travis
Telling Group, Ltd.
3938 Highland Rd.
Cortland, NY 13045
P: (607) 756-4073
F: (607) 753-3555
etelling@Tellinggroup.com or mark@Tellinggroup.com


2. Formal Engagement

This step is the kickoff to the next six to twelve weeks of preparation to bring your business to markets.  The marketing agreement is a formal contract between you and TGL detailing the terms of the agreement and the retainer required to get started.  Terms normally last two years and the retainer is credited to the fee after the sale.

Marketing Agreement


3. Confidential Workbook

The TGL Confidential Workbook is the main tool we use to gather information about your company.  Our goal is to produce a comprehensive collection of information about your business for the potential buyer.  This step takes some time and energy on your part to get the job done, but when complete, you will also be well on your way to answering the questions brought up during Due Diligence.

Confidential Workbook


4. FMV Evaluation

An evaluation will be completed to ascertain the Fair Market Value of your business.  The Red Apple Program evaluation is completed by Ed Telling internally.  The Gold Apple Program evaluation is completed by one of our partner appraisers.   Either way, we can assure you of a fair, reasonable FMV of your business.  This is a starting point for determining the highest selling price as we engage the buyers.


5. Buyer Targeting

TGL believes that the formula for your success includes talent, hard work, research, and understanding your goals.

Rules of Buyer Targeting:

  • Cast a wide net
  • Focus on strong, quality companies
  • Be cognizant of geographic location, revenue size, and profitability
  • Continually review the list of buyers
  • Don’t forget the most obvious buyers and reject those who should not be targeted
  • M&A Golden Rules
    • Look for the perfect buyer
    • Find backup buyers
    • Never quit working
    • Timing makes a difference


6. Presentation Package

The goal of the presentation package is to give the prospective buyer all of the important information in an accurate, honest, and compelling way.

7. Marketing/ Buyer Strategy

Marketing includes no-price marketing to multiple strategic buyers.  A generic profile (acquisition opportunity) and a confidentiality agreement are mailed to approved buyers.

Marketing Mailer  Confidential Agreement

Axial Market
IBG Business Services
M&A Owner’s Group

8. Negotiation

As a graduate of five Harvard/MIT negotiation courses including a graduating member of the elite PON master’s course plus an active M&A negotiator for 30 + years, I’m the one to call to negotiate your deal.

9. Deal Structuring / LOI

This is the point at which multiple disciplines from each of your elite teams (Broker, Attorney, CPA, and Tax-Planner) work together to accomplish your goals and objectives.  They will concentrate on the following areas

  • Contract negotiations
  • Deal structuring
  • Due Diligence
  • Closing

Each has a cause and effect relationship to the others and must work congruently to achieve the maximum payoff.


10. Due Diligence

A sensitive time when our resources, skill, and experience shines.


  • Use the TGL Dataroom for retrieval of documents by all necessary parties. 
  • Anticipate the Buyer’s concerns in order to provide prompt, well thought out answers to them. 
  • Clean up all aspects of your company while continuing to improve it during the engagement
  • Over-prepare everything
  • Be honest


11. Definitive Purchase Agreement

All sides agree on the structure of the sale as well as the details and costs surrounding it.


Since 1982, this is what we live for.