Sellers ghosting you? Learn how to re-engage them
Last updated: July 25th, 2023
You can only do so much if a seller doesn’t respond to access requests and messages. It might just mean you're not a good fit. But here are a few tips to re-ignite their interest.
1. Lead with an engaging opening message
Send a message along with your access request. Introduce yourself and explain why you're interested in their listing. A friendly opening message can build instant rapport and show the seller you're serious about getting the deal done. Let them know:
- Who you are
- Why you’re interested in the listing
- Your background in entrepreneurship
- How you plan on funding the transaction
Once you get the ball rolling, the seller should reciprocate and share info about themselves and their startup.
2. Establish a follow-up schedule if they don’t respond in 24 hours
We encourage sellers to respond to access requests and messages within 24 hours.
Some sellers get swamped, and messages get lost in the shuffle of inquiries. That doesn’t mean they’re not interested. You just need to catch them at the right time.
Remind the seller you're interested in chatting further about acquisition. As a guide, check in every few days, or once per week, but probably no more than four or five times (you don't want to pester them). If they don't get back to you after a few weeks of chasing, they probably aren't interested in pursuing a deal.
Establish a clear timeline in your check-in messages so the seller knows when you need to hear a response. Your time is valuable too, and if you want to close sooner than later, tell that to the seller. Give them a date you need a response by so you can either advance the deal or move on to other sellers.
3. Show you're a committed, serious buyer
Sellers do their due diligence on you as much as you would their business.
Show them you're a serious buyer by giving them as much information about yourself and your circumstances as possible:
- Verify your ID and available acquisition funds.
- Fully complete your buyer profile with as much detail as possible, including past acquisition and industry experience.
- Connect your LinkedIn so sellers can review your background and experience.
The more information you give about yourself, the easier it is for sellers to decide whether you're a good fit. Your profile should sell your ability to close and do right by the seller's business.
Even if you think you found the perfect startup to acquire, a deal can’t advance if the seller won’t talk to you. Don’t get so hung up on one business that you close yourself off to another potential deal. Send out your reminder messages, but continue browsing the marketplace too.
New listings go live every day, and one of those startups could meet your acquisition goals just as well as the one you’re waiting on. Open yourself up to multiple options until you’re ready to make an offer for one or more startups.
Learn how to engage sellers with Fork Equity partner, Ryan Kulp, in our FREE buyer course, How to Buy, Grow, and Sell Startups.
- Buyer Etiquette: 7 Behaviors That Will Help You Close Your Dream Deal (acquire.com)
- Seller Etiquette: 5 Behaviors That Help You Build Trust With Buyers (acquire.com)