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What to do when buyers don’t respond

Not getting any interest? Learn how to re-engage existing buyers and connect with new ones

Last updated: September 29th, 2023

You might feel disheartened to list and not get any interest.

But think of it as a challenge. Every startup we list, we believe can sell.

It might not sell tomorrow, but it will sell...

...If you invest the time and effort into selling it.

Often, all you need to do is:

  • Reduce your asking price to reflect market conditions
  • Keep growing – maybe you need to scale a little faster to attract attention
  • Update buyers on company performance
  • Create urgency with your buyer pool to show them you're serious about selling
  • Upload a video to target people who reached out but haven’t taken that leap
  • Be patient and keep marketing your business until the right buyer finds you
  • Get help – ask the customer success team for expert guidance

Below, learn why startups don't get offers and what you can do about it. 

Why aren’t you getting offers?  

Even if you’ve invested tons of time in perfecting your listing, a number of things can scare buyers away. These are actions you can control. For example: 

  • Having an unrealistic expectation (asking price)
  • Not responding to requests quickly
  • Not giving buyers time to review materials
  • Being difficult to work with
  • Not being open to transition plans
  • Not clearly explaining the opportunity
  • Withholding information the buyer needs to make decisions

Some deals take longer to close than others, but addressing these actions can help cut down selling time. We recommend taking the following seven steps to attract buyers.

Seven ways to attract more buyer interest

1. Reduce the price

If your main goal is to sell quickly, reducing the price is the best way to attract new buyers or re-engage with older buyers who requested access to your startup.

You might not earn your ideal sale price, but if you’re looking to move on and start new projects, this is the quickest way to connect with more buyers. 

You can also let buyers know you’re open to other deal structures. Buyers who might’ve been reluctant to spend too much upfront might re-engage if you get pre-qualified for Boopos financing or offer seller financing. 

Finally, if you want buyers to know that you’re willing to negotiate the purchase price, invite them to calls. Build more goodwill between you to get them interested in a potential deal. 

If you drop your price on Acquire.com by 10 percent or more, we’ll notify all buyers with startup access of the price drop. This is the perfect chance to initiate new conversations with previous buyers who were hesitant to bite. 

2. Keep growing

Some buyers might be reluctant to act quickly because they want to see more growth from your startup. These buyers’ advice is invaluable – not only can it enhance your business, but it shows you how to market your startup to these buyers when you contact them again. 

Though it may take longer to sell than if you dropped the price, that additional growth could mean you sell for more than you thought. 

3. Update buyers on company performance

If your business has made significant improvements since you listed your startup, let buyers know. They want current data to inform their decisions, and there's nothing wrong with reminding them what your business has to offer. 

New product releases, stellar customer growth, expanded markets – these factors could all tip the buyer toward acquiring your startup. 

4. Create urgency within your buyer pool 

Don't wait too long to contact buyers. Once they sign a mutual NDA and request access to your startup, send an opening message within the first 24 hours. Introduce yourself, ask a few questions about the buyer, and see what they say. 

Also, include a deal schedule within your first few messages. Deal schedules show buyers you're serious about selling because you'll only accept initial buyer/seller calls until a certain deadline. Put pressure on the buyer to contact you before that deadline and begin deal-making. 

You can also build urgency with your buyers by telling them you're open to different deal structures. They may be reluctant to talk if they can't cover your asking price all in cash. But if they hear you're open to holdback, earnouts, or seller financing, that could push them to message you back. 

5. Upload a video to target hesitant buyers 

While you can't send video messages on-platform (yet), you can upload videos into your listing's files and documents section. Many times, these videos help introduce you to buyers and explain your business offering to them. 

If a group of buyers requested access to your startup but aren't talking much, target them with a new video uploaded to your listing. Cover different points than you did in previous videos, whether it's about company performance, growth opportunities, explaining the tech stack, etcetera. 

6. Be patient

Not every deal will close in a few weeks or even months.

The larger and more complex your business, the longer it can take to find buyers and close. Keep marketing your startup and following up with buyers who express interest. 

Don’t get discouraged if your startup takes longer to sell than you thought. The right buyer might not be ready to acquire as soon as you list on the market. But if you persevere and keep trying to sell, they’ll find you when the time is right. 

7. Ask us for help

Our customer success team and in-house M&A advisors are jacked into the acquisition market. They know what sells and why. You get free advice from our experts as part of your closing fee, so why not drop us a line if your sale has gone cold? 

We can't guarantee to help you sell overnight, but we can give the benefit of decades of acquisition advice. And you might just find the very thing that's missing. It's worth a shot, right? Get in touch at support@acquire.com. 

Still need help?

Please search the help desk again or contact support at support@acquire.com.