Obviously in our line of work, we deal with both buyers and sellers of accounting practices every day. One of the most important factors that should never be overlooked during the process is the buyer/seller initial meeting. This is more like an interview for both sides.
The buyer needs to impress the seller and show them that they are capable of taking care of their client. The sale will ultimately be based on the seller's decision but is not always decided by money. Sellers want to make sure that their clients will be taken care of appropriately. A buyer should come to meeting thinking this is an interview. They should dress appropriately and ask intelligent and meaningful questions. They should try to impress the seller with their knowledge and credentials. Personality will also play a large part in the interview process. The buyer and seller personalities should be comparable at least. The seller's clients are use to the seller’s personality, whatever it may be. If the buyer and seller have polar opposite personalities, then this may not be a good fit.
The seller should also try to impress the buyer. The buyer should already have some background information on the practice, such as financials, office information, employee information etc. and be interested enough to try and meet with the seller. This is a positive for the seller. The practice has in a sense already intrigued the buyer enough to take the next step. The seller should portray a clean and organized office and answer all questions with honestly and integrity. Obviously during the initial meeting the seller is not going to divulge confidential information such as tax returns, financials and client files but should be able to answer questions that address these topics. The practice should sell itself and the owner should provide additional confidence to the buyer.