Jason Yelowitz is a Reno, NV based serial entrepreneur who has founded seven companies in the internet and real estate verticals.
As an advisor for Quiet Light, he has sold online businesses including FBA, ecommerce, SaaS, content websites, etc. for the past 11 years, and has generated tens of millions of dollars of completed M&A. He enjoys travel, time with his family and chatting about business with entrepreneurs. He volunteers for Jr. Achievement to teach financial literacy to kids, and is the author of The Bathrobe Millionaire.
[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]
Umar Hameed 0:01
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone. My name is Umar Hameed, I'm your host on the No Limits Selling Podcast where industry leaders share their tips, strategies, and advice on how you can become better, stronger, faster. Just before we get started, I've got a question for you. Do you have a negative voice inside your head? We all do, right? I'm gonna help you remove that voice and under 30 days guaranteed not only remove it but transform it. So instead of the voice that sabotages you, there's one that propels you too much higher levels of performance and success. There's a link in the show notes. Click on it to find out more. All right, let's get started.
Umar Hameed 0:41
Welcome, everyone to the No Limits Selling Podcast. One of the things that's fascinated me these days is that negative voice inside your head, how that little voice has the power to sabotage your efforts. And I'm on a campaign to help people read that voice inside their heads. So they show up and live more powerfully more confidently with certainty of action. And in today's episode, I've got the pleasure of having Jason Yelowitz here. He's from Quiet Voice and he sells internet businesses. Jason, welcome to the program.
Jason Yelowitz 1:13
Great. Thanks. It's Yeah, Quiet Light, actually. But yes.
Umar Hameed 1:17
Jason Yelowitz 1:18
Yeah. Thanks for having me.
Umar Hameed 1:18
The first time you said he said so quietly. I didn't hear it correctly.
Jason Yelowitz 1:21
Yeah, Quite. Quiet Light Correct.
Umar Hameed 1:24
Excellent. So Jason, tell us about you and the company.
Jason Yelowitz 1:29
Sure. Okay. So what we do is we sell internet businesses, there are a lot of entrepreneurs who run some sort of internet business, they might be selling, you know, pens on the internet, or staplers or whatever. A lot of people are selling things on Amazon or eBay. A lot of people have a website that's got content, or software as a service assess business. And they get to a point in their career where they're like, wow, maybe I want to exit my business. That's where we come in, we can help them sell it. We've got the buyers, we've, you know, we value it, we help figure out, you know, who's gonna want it, that kind of thing. And we've been doing this since 2006.
Umar Hameed 2:14
So tell me about one of your deals, like how did you find the company that was an internet company? What was it? What were the challenges? How did you package it? And then ultimately, how did you find the right buyer?
Jason Yelowitz 2:25
Okay, great. Um, so let me think of a couple deals I've got in the pipeline right now, by way of examples. Okay. So generally, the sellers are finding us, um, you know, usually they've heard of us through a referral, or, you know, Internet search, or seen us on a podcast or a blog or something like that. And usually, they start out very tentative, like, Hey, I don't want any pressure, I just want to find out is my business sellable, that kind of thing. Um, so I have lots of those kinds of conversations, and they can last for years. Um, so here's an example that I sold about two months ago, I started talking to this seller, about five years ago, he was friends of someone else whose business side sold, he called me and said, What's my business worth? And I said, it's worth x. And I didn't hear back from him. About a year later, he said, What's my business worth? I said, it's worth x plus 10%. Now called me two years later, x plus 20%. His business kept going up in value. Finally, around November of last year, he said, Okay, I'm ready to sell. He had a subscription-based business, where teachers were buying a subscription to some content, some online content that he had created. My job was to figure out.
Umar Hameed 3:51
Jason Yelowitz 3:52
What are the metrics? You know, not only how much did the business make in the last couple years, but what's it looking like going forward? What are the things that are sustainable? What are the things that are questionable, that kind of thing, then I put it into a summary. I try to speak in plain English as much as possible. I just like most of us, I roll my eyes when people speak in buzzwords and acronyms. I, you know.
Umar Hameed 4:19
Jason Yelowitz 4:19
I just speak in plain English to anyone I'm talking to and say, the reason I like this business is because A, B, and C, the things that make me nervous are x, y, and z. However, the X, Y & Z doesn't make me so nervous, therefore, I think it's a good buy at a certain price. And it's very consultative. So, you know, I put the business summary together, I put his financials together. Then we do an email blast. We have a list of 10s of 1000s of business buyers who want to hear every time we've got, you know, a brand new listing. So, out of that, I get a couple of 100 leads. Have those leads, it's kind of a funnel, I started talking to the buyers figure out how serious they are, how qualified they are, you know, not only to run the business but financially can they actually afford it, how realistic their expectations are, how realistic my sellers' expectations are. And then we get them all together for a chat, you know, usually, tongue zoom and we ended up talking to five to 10 of the buyers with the seller and myself, we ended up getting a handful of offers, and from those, we choose the right one, and then we have to go through due diligence, the deal doesn't close the day that we get an offer, the buyer has the right to look at the financials and really kick the tires of the business. Um, but then usually within about four to eight weeks after we get an offer, we close the deal. The seller gets paid, the buyer gets their business and, you know, in most situations, it works out really well.
Umar Hameed 5:58
So you've been selling for a long time in different modalities, different areas. How's it different selling these days over zoom versus what we used to do was face to face?
Jason Yelowitz 6:10
Yeah, so it's actually quite the same. I think he, you know, I always thought of the hierarchy as the least effective is email followed by phone calls, followed by zoom followed by face to face. Obviously, nowadays, there's not much face-to-face going on. And the key point that needs to carry through all of those, I think is just be authentic. You know, wait, when you're I get an email from someone, you can tell if it's spammy, or salesy, or a canned email, where there's they're sending exactly the same thing to 500 people. But you can also get a sense, hey, there's, there's a real person here, this is authentic, he or she said something that's very specific to me, it shows that they've done some research that they actually care. Those are the emails that get responded to. Same with zoom, we want to express in the first couple of minutes, hey, I'm listening, I'm hearing you. You know, you're a unique individual, I want to hear and understand what you need to say. And as long as we do that, the reality is, I've been selling businesses for 11 years, I've only met any clients in person, maybe two or three times out of dozens and dozens and dozens of deals. So certainly, face-to-face is preferable. But in a world economy where I'm dealing with people all over the world, it's just not practical.
Umar Hameed 7:42
Interesting. So you probably get business owners that have unreasonable expectations. Tell me about how you get them to get grounded. And because you know, it takes finesse.
Jason Yelowitz 7:53
Yeah, well, I mean, the truth is reality will get them grounded. So I'll have a business owner call me and say, I want $4 million for my business, because, you know, it's got this, that or the other.
Umar Hameed 8:07
I want it.
Jason Yelowitz 8:07
Yeah. Now, again, being on the front lines. It's not an exact science, but I might, I might be thinking, wow, I deal with a lot of buyers, this business is worth one to one and a half million, and this person wants for, I'm not going to try to convince them, I'm just going to say, look, I deal with a lot of buyers, based on what I see, the market is going to value at between one and one and a half million. Honestly, if it's worth 40, you don't sell. And what generally happens is one of two things either for them, it's just not worth it, in which case, they should keep it I'm not looking to twist, twist anyone's arm or have them do anything that's not in their best interest. Or what happens a lot of times is, the idea is that they thought we're going to make it worth 4 million reality, you know, comes into play eventually. And they realize it's just not getting where they thought it would be. And then they might call me back six months or a year later, with a totally different attitude. So I'm not looking to convince anyone or change their minds, I really just see myself as a messenger between what the seller expects and what the market will bear. And I'll try to communicate as best I can. You know, what's realistic? And then, you know, it's like a Venn diagram, sellers expectations, what the market will bear, if they overlap enough. Those are the deals where I'm willing to accept that accept them and sell them. And if they don't overlap, you know, if there is no Venn diagram, then I'm just gonna say I'm probably not the best person for you at this time.
Umar Hameed 9:46
Brilliant. So right now, if people have internet businesses, what should they be paying attention to get the most valuation and exit?
Jason Yelowitz 9:55
That? Okay, fantastic question. So there's a couple of things that matter. One. One is clean bookkeeping, I see a lot of people running really good businesses, where they don't have a great date, they're not keeping great track of their numbers, they've got an informal spreadsheet in some strange format. So it's worth it, hire a bookkeeper and have them put everything preferably into QuickBooks, it makes life much easier. So clean bookkeeping. Number two is transferability. Really think about your business? Can it? Or is it dependent on you personally, if it is, it's going to be much, much harder for me to sell it. So be thinking in advance, what can I do not to make it dependent on me, if I if it's a content website, and I'm writing all the articles, personally, let me outsource that for six months before I tried to sell it, that that kind of thing. And then number three says, are the metrics, I see a lot of people with internet businesses who say, Well, you know, my numbers went down last year, but that was because I chose not to work that hard, or I didn't, I chose not to order enough inventory, or whatever the reason, the issue is, um, the buyers are going to be looking at that pretty closely. So you want to have your best year and rising, going into the sale of your business if your goal is to maximize the profit. And, you know, uhm, are not everyone's goal is maximization, some people just want to get out. So even if you don't have all of these boxes.
Umar Hameed 11:44
Jason Yelowitz 11:44
We can, we can potentially sell it, but it may not be at the absolute maximum price.
Umar Hameed 11:50
Brilliant. So right now, if someone's thinking of starting an internet business, that will be like too tough but could be a good exit plan later on. You're seeing the landscape, what businesses should people get into?
Jason Yelowitz 12:03
Yeah, so I've seen more people become instant millionaires, with Amazon businesses than anything else. So an Amazon business, you know, some people don't know this. But when you buy a product on Amazon, something like 50 to 60% of those are not fulfilled by Amazon, there's an individual small entrepreneur somewhere that created the product, what I'm seeing a lot of is people get an idea for a product, they find a manufacturer, a manufacturing factory, usually in Asia, they test that product, they'll have 10 of them belt, they'll try to set up an Amazon account, they'll try to sell the product. If those 10 products sell out in half, half an hour, then you're onto something, then go order 10,000 of the product, have it sent to an Amazon warehouse, it will get sold on Amazon, your Amazon account will start getting positive ratings and reviews and product reviews. Once you've done that for about two to three years, I can sell the business. And I mean, it's really satisfying. When someone who started something on a whim, three years later, you know, I'm able to get them a deal for $3 million. They're like, wow, I never thought that was gonna happen. So that really, in my opinion, is the easiest. I wouldn't say it's easy, but it's the easiest path to online entrepreneurship that I've seen, you know, probably just totally.
Umar Hameed 13:38
Brilliant. So Jason, before we part company, two questions. Number one, do you have a negative voice inside your head that sometimes comes up? And if you do, what does it say to kind of stop you from being awesome?
Jason Yelowitz 13:49
Okay, yeah, that's another great question. I'm usually not, but once in a while, I'll get intimidated. So let's say a deals bigger than I've done before. And the person is speaking in buzzwords and acronyms. Something that I told you, I just don't like to do, and have a conversation is gone over my head. Um, sometimes I'll hear that negative voice saying, jeez, I don't know how to understand this person. But the thing that I've found is, all it takes is a little bit of time and patience, generally, as long as I'm authentic and just say to the person look, I love your business, but I don't understand what you just said. What does you know? What does that acronym mean? Usually, they're very important.
Umar Hameed 14:39
What's that mean in English?
Jason Yelowitz 14:40
Oh, yeah. And they'll say, Oh, I'm so sorry. I'm used to speaking to people in my industry. Here's what it means. It's something simple. And the reality is, I'm not the one buying their business. I'm the one presenting it. If you can make me understand it the same way that you can make your grandma understand what you do for a living. I can probably sell it because then I can communicate it to other people. So the key to quieting that negative voice is rather than pretending I know everything, it's becoming humble in admitting that I don't and asking more questions. And that, you know that the negative voice is really,
Umar Hameed 14:59
I think that,
Jason Yelowitz 15:19
Umar Hameed 15:21
I think the keyword you said in there was you said when I became authentic and revealed, yeah, I don't understand what you're talking about this power there. The final question, what is one mind hack that you use to kind of become more productive in your personal or professional life?
Jason Yelowitz 15:38
Okay, that's a good one. Um, it's probably the willingness and ability to say no. So, you know, for instance, somebody will bring me a business, and I really liked the person. But I, I, the voice I hear in my head is I cannot sell this business. There's something about it that makes it either unsellable or very difficult. And the mind hack is to come to that conclusion quicker and be able to say to the person, you know, authentically, I like your business. And I really like you. I don't think I'm the best person for this because, and that can free up an enormous amount of time. Because especially anyone in a sales role. You know, sometimes you're you're feeling like, wow, I just have to pursue every lead. And the reality is, you don't Oh, yeah, you know, you're making all your money off a small percent of the leads. So learning how to scrub them in a polite professional way is super important, I think. Otherwise, you can be spinning in circles, you know, 20 hours a day and never stop working.
Umar Hameed 16:47
Brilliant. Jason, thank you so much for being on the show. I really appreciate it.
Jason Yelowitz 16:52
Okay, great. Umar. Thank you so much. This was it was really a pleasure. Thank you.
Umar Hameed 17:01
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five-star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitsselling.com. I've got a free mind training course there that's going to teach you some insights from the world of neuro-linguistic programming. And that is the fastest way to get better results.