How Big of a Concern is Confidentiality in Business Sales?

All sellers are rightly concerned about confidentiality of the potential sale of their business during the marketing and due diligence processes.  Such concerns, while important, should not deter sellers from casting a wide net in pursuit of selling to the right buyer at the highest price.  Having more quality buyer prospects means increasing the likelihood of achieving that goal.
Professional business brokers (intermediaries, investment bankers, M&A advisors) have rigorous processes and strict procedures for maintaining confidentiality,   and are equipped to advise on damage control in those rare instances when a confidentiality breach has occurred. In my experience, when there is a breach of confidentiality, in all honesty, it is usually because  the seller mentioned  something to someone (e.g., spouse, friend, landlord, banker, etc.), not the business broker/intermediary.
For suggestions for minimizing the risk of a confidentiality breach, see this article by Tom West: The Myth of Confidentiality.
Greater confidentiality is one of the many benefits of using a professional M&A broker to sell a privately-held business. For more information about selling your California-based business successfully, please contact Jim Leonhard at 916-800-2716 or