Every winning business broker has different ways to success. Some go door-to-door to find businesses for sale or send out mail campaigns. Others go to conferences and community gatherings. Still others use contacts from their “previous lives” in other industries.
Conversely, every unsuccessful business broker has their own pitfalls and traps. Just ask them.
“We had a guy on my team that just could not turn off the TV,” says Larry J. Kennedy, a broker with a mid-sized group in the Western US. “Every time we had a conference call, I had to say, ‘Mike, can you please mute yourself? I hear Fox News in the background.’ And it was more than that. He was always talking about TV shows he was literally watching as you called him about a deal. Not like he watched Game of Thrones last night. It was like he was watching Jerry Springer or MSNBC Morning Joe. Instead of working, he was fixated on TV.”
Working from home has many temptations to avoid work, says Larry. He explains that his military background and workout schedule kept him on-track. But he says the brokers who “flame out” are the victims of procrastination brought on by not setting (and keeping to) a schedule.
“I have quarterly sales meetings for my larger team and gatherings for smaller groups throughout the week and month. I want to see my people up-and-at-’em, showing me they’ve been calling and visiting and meeting.” He pauses and laughs. “Don’t tell me about some guy on Fox agrees with your politics or you feel so disorganized. Show me how you’re going to get three listings this week. We can talk politics when I take you out for a steak dinner after a closing.”
AVOIDING “TIRE KICKERS”
Josh Factor, CEO of Vertica CRM has business brokerage clients all over the world who use his world class technology platform designed for Business Brokers. He sees these symptoms in conversations and correspondence every day.
“As bad as procrastination might be, I think it’s just as important to avoid ‘tire kickers.’ You know, the guys who look and look but have absolutely no intention of buying a business. You get a gut feeling about them and you’re probably right. You chase some couple who says they want to buy every laundromat in a five-town region. It sounds great but you figure out pretty quickly they’re wasting your time. It’s hard to do, but you have to walk away.”
Same goes for listings. “From my experience, sometimes the best listing that you can take is one that you walk away form. Something, with experience, you will get a feeling that “This is just going to be a waste of time”. Trust yourself, he says. You are probably right and are going to save yourself valuable time.
Ben Maxwell has been a broker for 11 years (six full-time, the last five part-time as he works a full-time job). He said goodbye to a client with whom he worked for over a year and who even showed him proof of funds of more than $800,000.
“I must have spoken to this guy at least 50 times in 14 months. I kept thinking, ‘This warehouse! This is the one he wants! It fits his specs perfectly!’ But he would always back away at the last second. I realized he had all that money because he never spent it!”
Ben says that as a part-timer, he has to budget his time very carefully. He returns every call during lunch hours and in his car as he commutes to and from work. But as soon as he senses a non-serious buyer, he stops calling back.
“It’s hard. I like to think that I’m a polite guy. But sometimes, you have to pull off the Band-Aid and go on to the person who will actually close a deal with you.”
Joshua Factor is the founder of Vertica CRM. A software company dedicated to helping Business Brokers and M&A professionals work more efficiently through technology. For more information about their main product, Business Brokers CRM, visit www.BusinessBrokersCRM.com or call +1 212 381 4994 in the USA or +61 385 184 759 in Australia.