To Call or Not To Call

I looked at the title of a recent article by Joanna Stern in the Wall Street Journal and felt it was either aimed directly at me or I could have written it. The title is, “To Fight Video Call Fatigue, Pick Up the Phone.” 

She covers the basics of why video calls lead to fatigue and those basics include looking at oneself, which is not natural, there’s a lot of sitting (I say get a standup desk), there’s a lot of close-up eye contact, and, let’s face it, looking at a screen is tiring on the eyes and body.

But let’s not concentrate on the above detriments. In-person meetings, video calls, and phone calls all have their place. And if your other party is out-of-the-area a video call is the next best thing to being together. No matter if you’re looking for a job, trying to find customers, or involved in a buy-sell deal, you have to be prepared, no matter what the media (and always be on-your-game in case the phone rings with a potential for business).

As always, no matter how you’re communicating, you must build a relationship. In my world of buy-sell deals, here are five examples of how relationship saved the day.

Mike was one of three buyers making an offer on a business. He was the lowest offer of the three and he got the deal, after a little negotiating but still a lower price than the second lowest offer. Why? The seller liked Mike and felt he was the best person for his business.

Bill had such a strong relationship with his seller that the asking price they gave him was so fair (low) we didn’t negotiate on price.

George had a struggling business nobody would buy (see the first page of If They Can Sell Pet Rocks Why Can’t You Sell Your Business (For What You Want?) for the full story), we fixed it, met a buyer, didn’t sell, but they liked each other so much the deal happened five years later.

Eric and Michael became such good friends that when their deal stalled what it took was getting them to realize they won’t find a better match, so do what it takes to get the deal done, which they did.

The buyer and seller (can’t name them now) also became good friends. When the seller’s attorney went overboard on changing the purchase and sale agreement, the seller said he trusts the buyer, therefore trusts the buyer’s attorney, so let’s go with that attorneys most recent draft.

Yes, I stress relationships a lot, an awful lot, and it’s because they’re so important. Most of us aren’t selling a SaaS product or similar, we’re dealing with people. And we all want to do business with people we like (and trust).

“If you haven’t got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.” Bob Hope

“The caterpillar does all the work and the butterfly gets all the publicity.” George Carlin

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