Business Brokers vs. M&A Firms - Does Anyone Care?

Thanks to the current frothy M&A market, many business brokers and lower middle market advisors are making a move up market.  Sound familiar?

If it does, you are probably going to start modifying your marketing strategy to focus on more ‘up market’ keywords, leaving the business broker keywords behind for the main street guys to fight over.  After all, you do not want the CEO of your next $20MD deal to think you are a business broker!

Or do you?

Nearly every M&A Advisor cringes at being thought of as a business broker, and many business brokers feel the same way about Investment Bankers.  While we want to be aware of our client’s feelings on the matter, data supports that even larger middle market company owners start the search for an M&A advisor using search terms that are commonly associated with business brokers.

So many owners of great, sellable business are simply not educated enough on the matter to tell the difference between a broker and advisor so they start with what they know, and for most that is a business broker.

By focusing your SEO or PPC efforts way up market you are likely missing out on many opportunities that simply do not understand the different between banker, broker and advisor.

Does marketing down market create a lot of noise and time suck?

The short answer is no – not if you don’t let it.  You can easily filter down market leads by modifying your contact form strategy online to ensure that clients have to self-identify prior to receiving a call from a professional.  Ask about company size range, and profitability within your contact form.  You may think business owners will not share this information but they do…we see it every day. Additionally, by clearly starting your range of expertise in both vertical and company size, smaller non-fitting prospects will be less likely to convert.

These two small changes can ensure you do not miss out on any leads during your up market repositioning and keep your added time commitment to a minimum.

Don’t take my word for it…

M&A search trends
M&A Search Trends

The sheer volume of business broker related keywords is exponentially greater than M&A related keywords so much so that one has to wonder, how many M&A deals you might be missing out on by simply trying to be perceived too far up market.

Plug time

If you are interested in learning how we help M&A firms grow through better search ranking and targeted paid advertising online, contact us today.  We are the only full-service digital marketing firm dedicated exclusively to middle market deal makers.  Learn more at

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