06 Apr Practical Steps You Can Take to Maximize Your Prospecting Efforts
There are many tools that when effectively utilized can help you make the most out of your prospecting efforts. This article centers on Part 6 of Glen Cooper’s webinar series “The 5 Hardest Things to Learn in Business Brokerage,” which can be viewed here. In this article, we’ll examine some of Cooper’s top tips for finding great listings.
As Cooper pointed out in the webinar, business brokers can’t prepare for every eventuality, or as he stated, “Obviously, you can’t assure future growth, especially in an environment featuring a pandemic and the threat of a world war.” But with that stated, there are many steps that you can take to maximize your prospective efforts, and in turn, your success. Selecting the right business owners is of paramount importance.
Cooper is strongly in favor of establishing some standards in regards to the kind of businesses that you will select as clients. He states, “You really don’t want to have business brokers that will take anyone that walks in the door and just take anything, that is a mistake…and the way to avoid that mistake is to do active prospecting.” By active prospecting Cooper is pointing to the fact that you need to determine the types and sizes of business in your market and understand which ones are the best for you.
Determining what listings are right for you has a variety of components. One good place to begin is to have a “competitors list,” so that you understand what your competitors are listing. The goal here is to see where there are gaps in their listings, as those gaps can clearly point you to opportunities.
There are many ways that business brokers and M&A advisors can prospect. But, of course, you only have so much energy and time. Sources of businesses, such as business directories like Hoovers, can provide valuable information and leads.
He believes that social networking sites should be approached with caution. Instead, he recommends taking a more direct approach. He believes that the best results can be achieved when business brokers prospect directly. In other words, he recommends that you reach out to prospects.
Further, he points out that he only uses telemarketers for making appointments, stating “I don’t use a telemarketer to do prospective work. A telemarketer knows nothing about business brokerage, except what I tell them to say.”
In Cooper’s experience, the simplest way to begin telemarketing is to buy a list from a list broker. He recommends John Ford, who is an expert with over 20 years of experience. Mr. Cooper noted, “He knows how to get the lists cleaned, and how to get the most data out of a given list.”
The world of business brokerage is changing. Today, you must be ready to “hop on Zoom” for a client with a prospect. Many clients may want to meet over a Zoom call before sitting down for an in-person meeting. Once an in-person meeting is taking place, you will want to have impressive, professionally produced collateral materials. These can go a long way in making a positive impression. Videos for clients can be a good idea. However, if you go this route, you should go with a professional videographer.
One of the greatest single steps you can take is to listen. Cooper believes in waiting until the time is right before launching into an “elevator pitch.” And the time is only right once you have listened to a seller’s story so that you understand what they need. Once the seller asks, “What makes you different? What makes you better?” then the time is right for your elevator pitch to begin.