Are You Getting Cold Feet?

Selling your insurance agency comes with many challenges. From the moment you make the decision to sell, you will have to overcome self-doubt, exhaustion and maybe even a few differences of opinion; before you finally complete the sale. These are challenges that must owners expect to meet. You have enough experience to see where the roadblocks might come from. There are, however, a few that catch a lot of owners off-guard.

The most common surprise is the ‘emotional moment’ most owners encounter when they decide to sell. When you finally get around to leaving behind your life’s work, you will find it emotionally draining. This surprise is so common we’ve taken to warning clients about it right at the beginning of the process. The one that often takes us by surprise is cold feet.

We expect owners to be unsure or reluctant to sell an insurance agency, but it’s unusual for that feeling to manifest itself just before the sale goes through. We have seen owners who get cold feet, just as they are about to complete the deal. They know they want to sell, they’re even eager to do so, but they can’t bring themselves to sign off on a buyer and close the sale.

If you find yourself in that situation, there are a few questions you need to ask.

Is It Just Cold Feet?

Are you simply delaying for the sake of delay? Is it possible that the actual letting go of the agency is more than you were ready for? It isn’t unusual to feel regret or longing as you sign away your business. We often tell owners they will fall back in love with their agency during the sale. If it is this feeling that’s preventing you from signing off, try to remember what led you to sell in the first place. As long as you had good reasons to start the process, completing it is still the right decision.

Am I Afraid Of Failure?

There will be times when each of us second-guesses our decision or has a sudden rethink. Most of the time, this is brought on by fear of failure. We don’t want to make a decision, in case it’s the wrong one. Nobody ever succeeded by doing nothing. The important thing is to review the reasons you were preparing to sell, the reason you chose this particular buyer and the reasons you are stalling. If you can’t quantify why you don’t want to sign, it may be no more than self-doubt.

Is There A Practical Reason?

When you review your feelings and your decision-making process, you might discover another factor holding you back. Is there something in the buyer’s proposal or the makeup of the deal that you are unhappy with? It is possible that your gut instinct is telling you that you’ve missed something. Go over the deal again with your advisor, your partners and yourself. If you have even the slightest question over any issue, it’s worth raising. Selling your agency is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life, you don’t want to go away wondering about one factor or another.

The act of signing your name may not sound like a huge challenge. When it’s the last step in the selling process, you might find the pen heavier than you expect. Luckily, as long as you’ve dealt effectively with the previous challenges, you will find the strength to lift it.



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