WINNING: Success in Selling a Book of Business

January 8th, 2020 · 2 min read

Rick Wetzell, an independent advisor affiliated with Bennco:

“I wanted good people, and I wanted a fair price.” With those simple criteria in mind, veteran financial advisor Rick Wetzel set out to sell his book of business. To some extent, these guidelines were defined by his attempt several years prior to buy rather than sell an existing book.

“That experience, where I had looked at a couple of businesses but didn’t end up pullingthe trigger, taught me what I wanted to find as a seller,” says Wetzell, who is in the process of transitioning his book, formerly with Bennco in Colorado Springs, Colo., to anadvisor affiliated with independent broker-dealer Waddell & Reed.

To find and vet buyers to whom he could entrust clients he had known for decades, Wetzell used Succession Link, a Chalice Financial Network company.

“Succession Link, which is really a matching service for buyers and and sellers, was really good — with the understanding that so much of this stuff is hit-and-miss,” says Wetzel, who was educated in the field of robotic engineering. “I met some really nice people, maybe one or two with a slimy-used-car-salesman feel, but mainly good people, nice guys."

Wetzel also encountered a few window shoppers, which he took in stride. “Like me when I was thinking about buying, they weren’t quite ready to buy — and you have to make allowances for that, because it’s a part of the process many buyers go through.

”Adds Wetzel: “You have to work your way up to actually purchasing a book of business.”

But Wetzell credits Succession Link with helping him identify “people who were ready tobuy,” and he considers the M&A marketplace a big improvement over the days when there were no such tools, and the only way to bring buyers and sellers together was word of mouth.

This efficiency increase was quick to kick in for Wetzel. “I floundered around on my own for six to eight months, before I got on Succession Link, and when I did start using it, I was talking to two or three prospective buyers within a couple of months,” he says.

And now, with his book is almost fully transitioned, Wetzel credits “a lot of preparation, Succession Link and hard work” for his success. “I’ve worked harder in the last six months than I worked in the previous two tears.”

Thinking of buying, selling or M&A? Check out how Succession Link can help you with your next business goal.