It’s Always the Basics

Recently I had to give a presentation about my business, what I do, etc. About the same time, I was at the point in the writing of my upcoming book (on Growth by Acquisition) about what it takes to get a deal successfully done.

Many of my points are from the buy-sell world but also apply to other areas, finding a job, growing a business, and life in general. In this case it reminded me of my basic three points of getting the deal done.

Motivation – the buyer and seller have to be motivated. A job seeker needs a company motivated to hire for a position, and a hiring company needs someone motivated for their job. A business needs potential customers motivated to have their problem solved.

Relationship – a client recently told me he just didn’t feel good about a service provider he recently met. Good service providers screen prospective clients to make sure it’s a fit. We must have a good relationship with anybody with whom we’re going to do business. Every time I go to one of the big box hardware stores I get so disappointed with the people there and their inattentive pointing to an aisle I go to the other one the next time (and repeat over and over).

Education – in the buy-sell world it’s important everybody understand some basics including you will get frustrated, there will be deal fatigue, and there are set ranges of value so just because an owner sees a $500 million firm sold for 10 times EBITDA doesn’t mean their $5-10 million business will get the same multiple.

But in sales, education is the most important thing a salesperson can do. If they don’t educate the customer on how their product or service can solve the customers problem why will the customer buy? They won’t. They will either live with the problem or find another solution. And, the best way to educate is to ask questions so the customer realizes how serious the problem is.

When in doubt, go back to the basics.

“I don’t care what you say about me. Just be sure to spell my name wrong.” Barbara Streisand

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