02 Nov First Impressions (Part 2 of 2)
This article is a continuation from yesterday’s posting about a potential buyer’s first impressions with various brokers and franchise representatives.
OK, so what did work?
Two main things impressed me. One was one gentleman in particular who we are now working with. The other was an email that included an attachment “Questions to help you evaluate a business.” That particular broker sent it with the explanation that the questions would be helpful for us to have whether or not we chose to work with him. That got my attention. If we had not already been working with the first company, we may have pursued working with him, just because he included something in his email that demonstrated his desire to help us.
It’s hard to put into words what we liked about the one we are now working with, but I can tell you when I listened to three voicemails in one day, I literally wrote “sounds very nice” next to this man’s name. There was something about his tone and message that was polite, genuine, and communicated a desire to help. His voicemail did not take him any longer than any of the others, but it was the one that got my attention. Every communication with him since then has been equally as impressive. In the very first conversation he also found a good personal connection point and wove it into our next meeting. Does it mean he’s better at the business side of things? Obviously not, but he was better at the marketing side of things which hooked us long enough for us to also find out that we like something he is offering and that he also seems to be good at the business side of things.
While the above was all referring to an interaction with a potential buyer, most of it may also be applied to your interaction with potential sellers. Many of the suggestions pulled from the above may sound simplistic, but they could be the difference between a first impression being the last impression or the start of a successful business transaction process.
Summary of Suggestions:
- Respond to every inquiry.
- Remove inactive listings from all listing sites and personal web site.
- Speak slowly and clearly. Repeat your number at the end.
- Listen to the client and respond appropriately.
- Find a way to include a hook or some personality into your initial email responses. Include a helpful attachment, a reason to work with you, etc.
- Care about helping. This does come out in your voice and your body language. Approach every client with the thought that they could be someone you could help. Maybe that is helping them realize they don’t have the money right now to realistically buy a business or don’t seem to really be serious about buying or selling. If they are just a tire-kicker, you haven’t lost anything. If you don’t sound like you care and they are a serious potential buyer, you have lost something.
- Find a connection point.
- Remember you are both in business brokerage and in marketing.