My lawyer or accountant can help me with the sale of my business, can’t they?
Sure, maybe they can help you with that root canal or hip replacement you need, too.
OK, so maybe I’m being a little facetious, but only a little. Look, lawyers and accountants are important, critical parts of your sale transaction team, but as one of my favorite commercials states, "being just OK at something is not good enough." When it comes to running an M&A process, my response to the lawyers and accountants is “stay in your lane, bro.”
Think of it this way - could Randall Cobb play quarterback for the Packers? The answer is 100% yes, he played QB in high school and was the back up at Kentucky. Do you want him leading the team down the field as QB in the Super Bowl? Hell no. You want Randall Cobb as a receiver, you need Randall Cobb as a receiver, he plays a critical role in the Super Bowl, but not as the quarterback.
In your Super Bowl, the sale of your business, something you’ve worked your entire business life preparing for, you want the best players in their best positions. Let the lawyers lawyer, the accountants account, and the investment bankers run the process (I know, it wasn’t as catchy as the first two, but hopefully you get the point).
It is hard to be a good lawyer (I know, I worked hard at it for 10 years as I practiced as an M&A attorney), it is hard to be a good accountant, it is hard to be a good investment banker. When it comes time to sell your business, don’t you want someone that specializes in selling businesses and is not just “doing it on the side?” The age-old adage applies here: you get what you pay for. If you hire a lawyer to do an investment banker’s job, it is going to show.