Offering a Valuable Service

Offering a Valuable Service

Some months ago I agreed to serve on a volunteer group with four other local business people to review the small business permitting process of our town and create a permitting guide. We delved into all of the steps one must go through to obtain a business license, the necessary permits, etc. It can be a cumbersome process.

This recent experience brought to mind how, in my past business brokerage experience, we did try to work with the buyer in dealing with the California alcoholic beverage control board when selling bars, etc. and other local boards and departments.

If you’re just selling your service and knowledge of the business buying process, you’re not doing the whole job. Most buyers, at least first-time ones and those new to the area are most likely unfamiliar with the local rules and regulations. The business broker should be knowledgeable of all of these rules and regulations for the local towns, cities and municipalities.

A big concern in business brokerage today is how a broker can get a personal visit with a potential buyer since the buyers only want to deal with the broker via e-mail. Try telling buyers, even if has to be done via email, that you would like to meet together so you can fill them in on local rules and regulations, give them other businesses they might want to look at, explain the entire buying process, etc.  This allows you, as a business broker, to provide an additional valuable service. We are a service business.

The first step is to list all of the towns, cities, etc. that you basically serve. The next step is to check theweb sites of these locations and see what information they have for business licenses, etc. Many towns have permitting guides already on their site. Get a copy one way or another. Call them and ask for the town clerk (a personal visit is even better) and pick up a copy or find out what the process is. Become knowledgeable. Then offer your knowledge to your prospective buyers.

As my old friend Clyth MacLeod said to me in a recent email referencing a recent blog posting:

“Applaud your article and agree… the mystery is why productivity per salesperson per annum has fallen so drastically in the last 25 years, despite all the advances. Technology is a tool, not the answer. I sound more like the “old pro” every day!”

And, speaking of the Old Pro, my mentor and my father-in-law, Russ Wright, wrote the following in 1978. It sounds a bit corny, but the substance is real. Most offices don’t operate the way we used to, but the meaning is still there. Try the rules listed and see if the results don’t really surprise you.

Prospecting Formula for Success

  • Obtain two or more saleable listings weekly.
  • Make proper use of every minute of your floor time.
  • Call ten businesses daily for listings (yellow pages, newspapers, etc.)
  • Call three or more “owner ads” every day.
  • Mail at least ten cards, brochures or other pieces of literature every day.
  • Contact by phone or in person two of your listings to improve them.
  • See one or two of the “other fellows” listings every day.
  • Avail yourself of every opportunity to learn more about this business.
  • Be vigilant!! Treat each and every listing, ad call and prospect as though it were the very last one you might ever receive.
  • Do not be a “commission cutter”.
  • Constantly strive for ethical and factual documentation, for the purpose of reducing your personal percentage of sales that were never consummated.
  • Do not join the 9:00 AM coffee group.
  • Avoid all and any negative conversations.
Exciting News: A New Business Brokerage Website Is on the Horizon! Keep an Eye Out for Updates.