Behind the Scenes - Is Your Client Emotionally Ready to Leave?

Fri, 04/30/2021 - 10:00


Mark Dorman, President and Co-Founder of Legacy Business Advisors, has been a BEI Member for the last 10 years. Mark has been working closely with business owners for over three decades and has grown his company immensely over the years.

Legacy Business Advisors is a dedicated Team of Financial Service Professionals which provides service to Affluent & Emerging Affluent Individuals, Business Owners, Executives, & Retirees.

BEI: Why did you decide to work with business owners to help them exit their business?  

Mark: I got involved in the financial industry 34 years ago and have always enjoyed working with business owners. Giving owners a sense of direction and security is very fulfilling work. I primarily work with a range of small privately-held businesses and corporate middle-market companies.

I consider myself a bit of an early adopter in the Exit Planning space, as I noticed the need for Exit Planning quite a few years ago before many advisors or even business owners had even heard of the term “Exit Planning.

I also noticed early on that not many advisors can work in the Exit Planning space effectively. Many advisors don’t have the extensive skills set it takes to lead a team of business owners and other advisors through a successful exit strategy. They simply do not have the knowledge, expertise, resources, or confidence to put together a comprehensive plan.

I love what I do for a living. It is incredibly, intellectually stimulating. I never get bored of the work that I do. Every day and every case is different. Yet the one similarity that holds true for each case I work on is the quality and the depth of the relationships that I am able to build with each client. I have a dramatically stronger relationship with most of my clients compared to other types of advisors because of the work that I am able to do for them. You truly become your client’s most trusted advisor when you start drafting the plan for their future. I really cherish this aspect of my role.

BEI: Tell us about an unexpected challenge you have encountered while working with business owners. How did it impact you or your practice and how did you overcome the problem?  

Mark: A common theme that tends to occur in my line of work is the unknown answer to the daunting question of “what am I going to do next?” By developing a candid relationship with my clients, I have learned to be empathetic of this common concern. I reassure them that the feelings they are having are completely normal and remind them of the various options and opportunities they have in front of them.

My strong people skills, or “soft skills,” have significantly helped build my client relationships. I consider one of my primary roles to be able to ensure my owner clients are emotionally ready to leave.

BEI: How has your involvement with BEI impacted your practice? 

Mark: BEI has been terrific over the past 10 years. I have a great relationship with the BEI leadership team. I always know that if I run into a situation that I have not seen before, I have resources within BEI and within the BEI family I can turn to for assistance.

I really missed the 2020 BEI National Conference - year after year it is very well put together and always has excellent speakers. I can rub shoulders with some of the most talented people in the industry every year!  I am really looking forward to the 2021 Conference in August.

BEI: What advice would you give to a new advisor in the industry?

Mark: Identify people in the industry that you can trust and work with throughout your career. The planning process obviously requires many kinds of advisors and experts. Start building a list of advisors you can trust and count on at any given time.

Whatever planning process you have in place, you must be able to work with people that have done this planning work before and know what they are doing. There is no shame in reaching out to other experts in the industry that have more knowledge in specific areas.

Now that we have proven that meetings and deals can be conducted across the nation over Zoom, don’t limit yourself to only working with advisors and business owners in your area. Expand your reach and collaborate with people in the industry nationwide.