Don, Thanks very much for your feed-back & detailed answers ("The commission rate is, in every case of which I am aware, discounted for higher priced business sales."). Your question to me, "If that person is not a Broker, why would you pay professional levels of fees, for an amateur's management of the transaction? " is a good one, & my reply is that he's not an amateur at making business deals (for himself & his business), nor is he a licensed broker. We are colleagues in the same business industry (international entertainment), and his very successful & long-time dealings are in China (he's an American based in L.A., & not of Chinese descent). He has the personal contacts to potential buyers & has done business with these same people over the years.
They asked him recently for a recommendation for a business like mine, that may be for sale, and he highly recommended mine to them, with my enthusiastic OK. We discussed what compensation I would require in order to sell my business to these people, & I said $5-10M, but a low-ball minimum of $1M, with me being hired as consultant/advisor for 2-5 years @ $100K a year, plus expenses & 1st-class travel/lodging, as required. He wants 10% of the total amount the business is sold for. The money would not be paid out over a period of years, but it all would be paid up-front, in full.
Three other companies or people in the same business (in the US) have expressed interest in purchasing my business, but they do not have the resources for million- or muti-million-dollar deals. A year ago, another company in China showed a similar interest, thanks to this man's recommendation, & I was flown to China at their expense & treated like a queen for 10 days, meeting all the top people in government, making my pitch, and given lavish tours of the country, but they couldn't come up with the purchase money, after all. BTW, he accompanied me to China to help me with the potential deal & paid all of his own expenses, plus those of his Chinese assistant/translator, on that trip. This is a second attempt, but with a different, huge privately-owned media business, not a smaller local government group, as the first one was.
He kind of has me over a barrel in this, since if I propose a smaller percentage for higher amounts to him, I fear he may walk, then I'm out of that deal. He is an honest & reliable person & a friend/colleague whom I've known for 5 or 6 years. I need this to be a quiet, private deal, to be publicly announced only when & if it happens, because it would lower my business's value & reputation if it were generally known that it was for sale. I hope this answers your questions & clarifies things a bit!