28 Dec How to Build Trust and Win Clients
In our previous article, we discussed key points from our Business Brokerage Press webinar with renowned Business Broker and Robbinex® founder, Doug Robbins. During the interview, Robbins discussed the fact that a large percentage of new Business Brokers leave the profession before finding success. Many fail to realize that it can take 3 to 5 years, or more, for a lead to convert into a successful transaction. In this article, we will examine a few of his tips for how Business Brokers and M&A Advisors can better position themselves so that they find success and successfully stay in the profession.
The Waiting Game
Robbins notes, “As a Business Intermediary, you need to consider developing a steady source of revenue. We created a three-phase process so that you can develop what I call a pipeline of potential clients.” The brokerage industry is one that has an unusual relationship with time, as many clients put off selling for a variety of reasons. Mr. Robbins points out that people are living longer and longer. For example, in 1969, the average life expectancy of a Canadian male was 69, and today it is 91. This means that many potential clients are waiting not just years, but potentially decades, to sell.
Mr. Robbins developed a program called CADA, which stands for comprehensive strategic analysis of transitional alternatives. It is a three-phase process, with phase one being an analytical process in which business consulting takes place. In phase one, sellers learn what their business is worth and how best to enhance their opportunities. Obstacles to selling their business and due diligence are conducted at this stage. In stage two, a strategic plan is created to implement phase one, or the analytic phase. Phase three focuses on how to execute the plan.
It is through this three-step process that Business Brokers can demonstrate their knowledge and value to prospective clients. The report provides business owners with insight as to how they can improve their business and whether or not they should sell.
As Robbins notes, business owners are “given the opportunity to sit back and look at their business through someone else’s eyes.” The end result is that business owners have a better idea of what path to select moving forward. Some business owners decide to opt for value enhancements to their businesses or reorganization. Others sell to a child or partner or buy a competitor to solve a variety of operational problems. Through this process, the business owner comes to understands this or her position better. In turn, the Business Broker or M&A Advisor is established as a knowledgeable and capable partner.
Establishing Your Value
You can demonstrate your worth to potential clients through good communication, building trust and providing information and actionable solutions. Building trust has many components, but at the top of the list is demonstrating that you have invested the time to understand a business owner’s business. Robbins believes that you shouldn’t shy away from cooperative networks and referrals, as referral fees can represent an excellent per hour payout.
It is quite frequent, if not common, for business owners to simply state that they are not ready to sell. You shouldn’t see this as a “no,” but instead as the beginning of a process that may very well take years. As Robbins points out, in his long and very impressive career, he has only had one business owner sign up on the spot to sell his business. Usually, the entire process of selling a business takes years. Don’t overlook the importance of providing consistent and clear communication during this time.