How Owner Roundtables Help Exit Planners Get Paid to Prospect

Capturing the attention of busy owners to discuss something they probably think is decades away—exit planning—can sometimes seem impossible. Exit planners and value builders know better than anyone that many business owners, preoccupied with day-to-day operations, overlook the importance of preparing their business for a future sale.

That’s why we’ve been helping our clients to use a unique approach that gets busy business owners to pay attention—and often hire them for their exit planning needs.

That approach? Owner roundtables.

The premise is simple. For 30–60 minutes a week over the course of 5-7 weeks, you lead a small cohort of business owners through pre-defined lessons on a wide variety of exit-planning topics. This is something the business owners pay you for—access to your knowledge and expertise each week.

They’re also not doing it alone—they’re surrounded by their peers in a supportive environment, something many business owners rarely have access to. Because you’re not directly selling to them but rather providing value, they come to see you as a partner and guide—not just someone trying to sell them services.

When they’re finally ready to get serious about exit planning, guess who they’ll turn to?

Owners are given a few tasks along the way, and they are encouraged to keep each other accountable—your job is to both facilitate the process and offer your expertise when they have questions.

This is an incredible prospecting tool for exit planners and value builders seeking to engage and educate prospective clients effectively. It showcases your expertise while pushing business owners toward engaging you for your services—and you get paid to do it.

The best part? People who think they know better than you or who aren’t going to complete the tasks you give them aren’t going to waste your time by signing up. You’re most likely to get people who are actually interested in exit planning and who value what you have to say.

Why Owner Roundtables Are Incredibly Effective

One of the biggest reasons owner roundtables are so effective is that they introduce busy business owners to the bigger problems related to exit planning:

  • Selling in today’s market is tough right now thanks to the flood of Baby Boomers retiring and selling their businesses
  • The market isn’t going to get better anytime soon…
  • If something unexpected happens and they’re not ready, they may be forced to exit with very little profit from a sale…
  • If they’re not ready, they may not be able to sell at all
  • Their business probably isn’t worth nearly as much as they think

Each owner roundtable lasts only about an hour each week and is designed with the busy business owner in mind—it delivers a high level of value in a short amount of time, making it highly likely that business owners will sign up for it if marketed effectively.

There are a few other major benefits of owner roundtables:

  • Engagement: Roundtables capture the attention of busy business owners, giving them highly valuable information that forces them to think about the bigger problems facing them—problems they may not have even realized existed.
  • Education: Business owners are introduced to practical and relevant topics that are crucial for their future while being shown very clearly how much work they have ahead of them and how much they need your services.
  • Conversion: Participants of these roundtables are more likely to hire you, recognizing the value and insights gained and the huge amount of work ahead of them. Existing clients who are dragging their feet will become more likely to take action as they see their peers doing so.

Key Components of Successful Owner Roundtables

To make the most out of each owner roundtable, you have to take a few key actions. Learning to facilitate these sessions effectively is crucial. The focus is on creating an open, engaging environment where business owners feel comfortable sharing and learning.

Marketing is just as important. Attracting the right participants requires targeted marketing strategies that highlight the benefits and unique value proposition of the roundtable experience (don’t worry, we’ve got tons of marketing materials that can help you with this).

Testimonials from Previous Participants at Owner Roundtables

Business owners always have a great experience when they sign up for an owner roundtable. Here is what a few past participants have to say about their journey through the program.

“What I appreciated the most about the owner roundtable program was that it was a safe place to think about my future and the future of my business with other business owners and professional consultants. I wish I would have taken a course like this 10 years ago when I was just starting my business. The subjects are practical and extremely relevant. The materials are clear, concise, and very helpful. The facilitators are professional, punctual, and genuinely curious. I would encourage every business owner to take the time now to start thinking about what they want to do with their business now, and in the future. It’s money well invested!”

—Tim C., Real Retention, Inc.

“I could not recommend participation in the owner roundtable program any higher than to say that all business owners, regardless of intent to grow or sell, should join ASAP! I wish I had this information ten years ago as I was starting my business. In fact, I think this should be considered a requirement for business owners. particularly in franchise businesses, or in partnership. All of the questions you might want to have answered from day one of business ownership are answered, as well as, questions and circumstances that you never knew to consider. Hands down, the most valuable information available, and from the most trusted resource! I look forward to taking the information I learned and using it to grow my business!” 

—Jenni Blake, Touching Hearts at Home

Learn More About How You Can Start Your Own Owner Roundtables

For exit planners and value builders, owner roundtables are powerful tools in your marketing toolkit, allowing you to educate, engage, and convert business owners into long-term clients.

Learn more about how we can help you launch your first owner roundtable.


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