Would You Buy a Business Sight Unseen

In June of 2017 the Wall Street Journal had an article titled, “Buying A House Sight Unseen Is Easier Than Ever.” The opening sentence is, “It takes a confident buyer—and a trusted real-estate agent—to purchase property without a first-hand visit. Agents are increasingly walking clients through properties via FaceTime, Skype or WhatsApp, or even making custom videos.”

I like the part about being a “confident buyer.” Well, you sure better be! I understand the concept of a blind date, but a blind house purchase? What about blinding doing the following?

Job – Would you hire someone “sight unseen?” Probably not, especially in these days of background checks, drug tests, and regulations making it harder than ever to get rid of someone. Plus, an employer wants to check out the applicants’ attitude. A job seeker wouldn’t, or shouldn’t, take a job under the same conditions. For three reasons:

  • The relationship with the boss needs to be established.
  • They’ll want to know the culture of the business or the department.
  • If they’re good, and confident, they’ll want to present themselves, in-person.

Customer/client securing – We’re not talking a retail environment here, we’re talking B2B, especially where there’s an ongoing relationship. It’s a lot easier to pre-screen out potential trouble than fire a customer or client later. Believe me, a bad prospect makes for an even worse client. If there’s no trust you don’t want them (and vice versa).

Business buy-sell – The last thing an owner (seller) wants is to have someone come in and destroy their business, ruin their employees lives, etc. If an owner doesn’t relate to the buyer she can’t expect him to relate to her customers, employees, and vendors.

A buyer not only wants to have a warm-fuzzy feeling when with the owner but he wants to meet the key employees and talk with the customers (at the proper time and in the proper way). He wants to get a feel for the company’s culture, see the operation, see how the facility is maintained (i.e. does it look like an inviting place to work or does the interior look like it needs to be pressure washed?).

Banks do a site visit before making an acquisition loan so why wouldn’t a buyer (and a seller)? In fact, why wouldn’t a job applicant and employer want a visit or an advisor want to establish a great relationship?

 

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