Why You Need to Create An Exit Planning Team for Your Clients (And How to Do It)

No matter how you help business owners, you’re always looking for ways to ensure your clients succeed. In most cases, that means you’re either helping their business grow or you’re protecting their business in some way.

But you’re a specialist. You can only help your client in a limited way. Attorneys can’t help their clients with their marketing. Marketing teams can’t help their clients with business valuations.

You can’t cover all the bases by yourself, which means your client might be vulnerable to potential problems. When it’s time for them to exit the business, there might be some serious problems that you can’t help them with.

If you want your client to succeed — whether by successfully selling their business or by making their business more valuable right now — you need to build a network of business advisors, people you can send your clients to for every problem they might have.

The Exit Planning Team

When it’s time to sell, all these people can help. We call this an exit planning team. Exit planning can take years — and along the way, your clients will need your services (and possibly more than they’ve ever needed in the past).

To put it simply, helping your clients prepare to exit their business can be extremely profitable for yours.

When you put together an exit planning team for your clients, they’re more likely to successfully sell. If you have a network of other professionals who you’re sending your clients to, they’re going to do the same in return.

You get more business. They get more business. Your clients and their clients succeed. Everybody wins.

Here’s who you need on your exit planning team.

Who You Need on Your Exit Planning Team

An exit planning team is all the professionals your clients will need to successfully exit their business.

This includes:

  • A CPA
  • A wealth manager
  • Attorney(s)
  • A fractional CFO or marketing consultant
  • A value advisor
  • A business coach
  • A marketing and advertising firm
  • A business valuation expert
  • A business broker

Even a personal coach, therapist, or counselor could play a role.

All of these people prepare your clients in some crucial way to exit their business.

That means you need to be extra careful when picking them.

Choose the Right People for Your Exit Planning Team

Look for people who have the following traits:

  • Proven experience and expertise
  • Strong business sense
  • Willingness to collaborate
  • Direct access to business owners

Proven Experience and Expertise

Selling a business is tough in the best of times. For your clients to succeed, they need advisors who not only know what they’re doing but who have a lot of experience doing it.

You don’t want someone fresh out of college telling your clients how to market their business. You don’t want a brand new attorney helping them draft critical documents.

You also don’t want someone who has a spotty record of success.

One of the biggest reasons you don’t want these people on your team is that it can reflect poorly on you. Your clients trust you — if you recommend someone to them, and that person does a bad job, it damages your relationship.

Make sure that you thoroughly vet anyone you decide to add to your exit planning team. They need to have plenty of years of experience and a proven track record before you even begin to consider them for your team.

Strong Business Sense

There are plenty of professionals out there who are great at what they do… and not so great at actually running a business (or understanding the needs of a business).

Your goal isn’t just to find a great attorney to help your client — you want a great attorney who understands how to help someone grow and sell their business, how what they do fits with what all the other advisors do.

If you know someone who is great at what they do but isn’t an expert in the industries your clients are in, that might be okay as long as they have good business sense.

You can always educate someone on an industry.

Willingness to Collaborate

Everyone on your exit planning team should be willing to work with others and see the value in that — they shouldn’t just be willing to work with you.

The vast majority of businesses do not sell successfully. Everyone on your team needs to be willing to work together if you want the best chance to sell.

There are so many moving parts to a business (and so much overlap). Attorneys, marketers, insurance agents, and all the other people on your team all need to work hand-in-hand to give your clients the best chance possible.

If a potential member of the team doesn’t work well with others, you should find someone else.

Direct Access to Business Owners

All of the above is great, but if your potential team members don’t have direct access to potential clients, they’re not going to be sending you any leads.

Sure, if you find someone who is great at what they do, this might be something you’re willing to overlook, but your goal should be to grow your business at the same time you’re helping them grow theirs.

Create a Group Mastermind

Once your team is assembled, it’s time to start generating business.

One great way to do this is to create a group mastermind or to create coaching or roundtable opportunities for everyone’s clients

This allows you to put each member of the team in front of each other’s clients. If you create a roundtable where everyone on your team is present and each team member brings one or two clients, then all of you have the chance to show those clients how you can help them too.

After the event, you can hand out business cards, network, and set up meetings with potential clients to discuss how you can help them grow their business and plan for an exit.

Setting up these events can be a pain, which is why we created the Get a Grip program. It helps you quickly and easily set up networking events like these for your clients.

Advisor’s Edge members have access to the Get a Grip program — along with a wealth of other information that will help you educate your clients and grow your own business.

The Advisor’s Edge — The Education You (and Your Clients) Need

The Advisor’s Edge provides a library of content that you can use to educate potential and existing clients on exit planning — and you can use it to educate yourself as well.

Instead of giving every client an individual presentation, you can send them content that answers their questions and educates them — and all you have to do is send an email.

The Advisor’s Edge includes documents and videos that explain just about every aspect of what CEPAs, financial professionals, and other business advisors do in a way that’s clear and highly professional.

The content is extremely high quality and has been created by top professionals in the exit planning industry.

This means your potential clients will see you not just as a resource and someone they can trust, but as someone who is a true expert, who really knows what they’re talking about.

You also get access to the Get a Grip program, an invaluable tool for your exit planning team. And you’ll have the opportunity to network with other advisors who can help you build your team.

Learn more about what The Advisor’s Edge can do for you.