Relationships Rule

The other day I was on a conference call and heard a business seller give a very eloquent explanation of why he wants to sell his business to a particular buyer. He mentioned numerous things, including he’s a good person, he’ll preserve the culture, we share values, I don’t want to sell to a large company, etc.

Every year there’s at least one deal where this happens (the extreme is when the owner sells to someone she likes for a price lower than someone else offered), or a buyer says he won’t negotiate much because he really wants the business, one reason being how much he likes the seller and what the seller has done with the company. Buy-Sell is a microcosm of all business and life, i.e. relationships are the most important thing there is.

I (over)emphasize this in my books, Buying A Business That Makes You Rich and If They Can Sell Pet Rocks Why Can’t You Sell Your Business (For What You Want)?).  Small and mid-sized business transactions won’t happen if the buyer and seller don’t get along. Getting along great doesn’t mean there’s a deal, it means you have the potential for one.

Just like life, right? We hire people we relate to, we hang around with people we like, we date and marry people we get along with.

Many years ago, I learned a lot from a program called “Counselor Selling.” Having never been in anything close to sales before it opened my eyes to how important relationships are. Want to do business with someone, build a relationship before talking about product.

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