I'm a self funded searcher and I have read that Indications of Intent are an important component of progressing into serious talks with sellers, most notably from Jim Sharpe's posts and the HBR Guide to Buying a Small Business. But I've spoken with small business lawyers who have never heard of an IoI. Given such a drastic difference, I thought I'd ask the community for their thoughts on the benefits of using an IoI and their importance in progressing a deal.