Core Training
Pinnacle’s Exit Planning Online Workshop

This training course has been refined and improved over the past five (5) years to include all of the essential components of a complete exit planning conversation that you, the professional advisor, can and should be having with business owners and referral sources. The content addresses the most important parts of a comprehensive exit planning process so that you can gain confidence in engaging the owner with this conversation. Pinnacle’s 6-step process also helps you to organize the process and to bring structure to the conversation that leads to an engagement. All of this leads to your ability to have this conversation and establish yourself as a credible expert in this field, leading to greater engagements and referrals.

The online course consists of twelve (12) training modules which cover all of the material that was previously included in our live, 2-day workshops. Each module is approximately 45 minutes in duration and covers a specific area of exit planning. The modules include:

1. Welcome & An Overview of The Marketplace for Exiting Owners The marketplace of exiting owners is currently in the millions and is growing. We’ll learn about the types of owners who are in need of an exit plan as well as how to find and approach them. We survey the current marketplace of advisors as well as introduce Pinnacle 6-step process and where exit planning likely fits into your practice.

Initial Meetings/Questions for Owners
This module also focuses on the size and type of businesses that are the best fit for exit planning as well as what business owners are most concerned about and the questions that advisors are not asking their business owner clients. A series of questions and fact finding tips are offered for when you meet the owners and begin the conversation.

Step 1

2. Exit Goals of the Business Owner – This 2nd module dives deeper into the Pinnacle 6-step exit planning process with Goal Setting as the first step and objective in the process. We discuss how to position the process of asking the right questions at the right time to find out what the owner most wants to achieve with their exit.

Step 2

3. Mental and Financial Readiness for an Exit
This 2nd step in the exit planning process addresses the issues of whether the owner can the owner afford to exit as well as what is the emotional process that the owner is going through? In other words, what does the business mean to the owner and what might prevent a successful exit?

Step 3

4. The Four Types of Exiting Owners – This module introduces simple charts that help build the system to define the type of business owner you are dealing with and what their optimal exit option is. This will allow you to organize the first few steps in the process and further engage the owner in the next step of discussing exit options.

Steps 4 & 5

5. Valuations for each Exit Option & Why They Vary – There is a range of values for each business exit option. This module will teach why this is the case as well as how to explain this to owners as part of the process. We also introduce the idea of [potentially] introducing professional business appraisers into the process at this point in time.

6. The Five Major Transaction Options
This module covers the details and elements of the five (5) major exit options that owners should be evaluating for their business transfer. These include:

  • Sale
  • Private Equity Group Recap
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)
  • Management Buyout
  • Gifting Strategies.

7. External Transfers
Selling a Business: The M&A Process and Private Equity
This module illustrates the steps involved with selling a business and how and when this fits into the exit planning process. A variation of business sales is the Private Equity Group recapitalization which is a different type of business sale with specific features and attributes that may make it more appealing to your achieving your exiting owner’s goals.

8. Internal Transfers:
Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), MBOs and Gifting
We dedicate an entire module to the study of Employee Stock Ownership Plans and internal transfers. The reason for the focus on ESOPs is because it is one of the least understood, yet potentially most powerful parts of an exit planning conversation. The ESOP provides the owner with a lot of options and flexibility to choose from and, therefore, makes many exit planning conversations more dynamic. The MBO and Gifting options are likely to be considered by many owners who are looking for insiders to take over and run the business in the future – this may or may not include family members, an important consideration in this type of planning.

Step 6

9. Deal Structuring & Taxes – This module begins our 6th and final step in Pinnacle’s process, which is the execution of an exit plan, including technical areas that need to be addressed in the conversation and planning. This module will illustrate different deal structures as well as the the tax implications of different exit options. It informs the advisors as to traps to avoid and how to measure and explain the impact of deal structuring and taxes to an owner’s exit plans.

10. Estate Tax and Legal Agreements – As part of protecting an owner’s wealth, we want to understand both the estate tax exposure and implications in an exit plan as well as what type of legal agreements are necessary to complete any one of the five (5) exit options / transfers listed above.

11. Service Providers & The Advisory Team
The final part of an effective exit plan is the team that is assembled to assist the owner. You will learn about the ‘core’ exit planning team members (and where you fit on this team) as well as the role of the quarterback in getting the exit planning process [and potential transaction] through to its completion.

12. Pulling it All Together
The final module will incorporate all of the learning points into a case study that is included with your online purchase. Bill Brown from the Exiting Your Business book, is the fictitious owner who resembles our ‘target’ business owner in need of this exit planning service. You will see and apply the training to Bill’s case to build your confidence and to complete your initial training in having the exit planning conversation.


In order to make this online course the best it can possibly be we will also include in your purchase all of the following:

  • A summary of handouts that follow the lesson plans so that you can take notes as you go through the course.
  • Five (5) copies of John Leonetti’s book, Exiting Your Business, Protecting Your Wealth – A $149.75 value! This book is a great tool to use with business owner clients and prospects, as well as referral sources and centers of influence. The main idea  is that by having a business owner or referral source read this book, you will engage them in the process and system that you want to work with them on for their exit planning needs.
  • Copy of Sample ESS Summary Deliverable, plus access to Pinnacle’s online ESS Summary Report software. Until now, our software and proprietary materials have been offered exclusively to Pinnacle Members. But with your purchase of this workshop you will receive one (1) use of our ESS Summary Report software (additional fee applies) so that you can complete your initial training with the execution of a Summary Exit Plan for a business owner.

Advisors in Pinnacle’s network are charging an average of $15,000 to $20,000 for full exit plans and $3,000 to $5,000 for a Summary Plan. By offering all of the content and tools in this program, you are in a position to get an immediate return on your investment with the potential for so much more. Again, Pinnacle sees a large marketplace of owners who are in need of this service and is interested in empowering more advisors to deliver this service.

We look forward to getting started with you today!