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GOLD! How Turning Down Business Can Lead To More Business

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Tiago

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Right. And these are good tips for ecommerce overall, for sure. I love chats and try to get all my clients to use them.

A lot of what you shared is spot on. The skeptic in me was like, but can these things scale?

And of course a lot of what you shared was tips that Zappos did, so yes, it can. The important thing is to keep your business people focused. Not just customer focused, but people focused, because how you impact your employees will leak out into how they impact your customers.

My questions was more hypothetical and philosophical than practical I guess. I could have just as easily said how do you scale this giving attitude for a franchise? I was looking to stimulate more conversation as opposed to looking for specific advice for myself. I don't actually have an ecommerce store.

Yet.

That said...


Things did NOT go as expected. On Wednesday when I confirmed the appointment, the son tells me his dad is planning on staying in the business as a minority partner. As much as I like both of them, that didn't sit right with me. I had no conscious reason for it, but something about it felt off. Maybe its that the dad and I view running a business in different ways. Or maybe it was that if he was involved the son, and to a lesser extent I, would defer to his lead rather than taking up the mantle on our own roles.

Later in the day I talk to the dad and he discloses how much debt the business is carrying. The number was unexpectedly high. With him staying in, he was also making an argument for keeping their current corporate structure. But with that debt load I wasn't sure I wanted to put my $ at risk, especially at the price levels we'd been discussing. And then he drops this on me. Inventory was valued at X, and he hadn't been including that in the sale price of the business.

That might sound like people were negotiating in bad faith, but I want to be clear it wasn't. We had all agreed that until we met on Thursday, everthing we'd been discussing was just general chats, not firm negotiating. So I didn't have any hard feelings about any of this new info.

I enter the meeting on Thursday with tempered expectations.

And there things started turning around. Immediately, before the son even shows up, the dad agreed with an earlier suggestion I made to have an independent evaluation of the value of the business. In preparation for the meeting he admitted he was struggling to come up with a figure he felt was fair.

This was big progress.

After I looked at the #'s, in light of the debt situation, this could lead to an even lower selling price. But even if I am wrong and the value comes back higher, I am comfortable with that. I am not looking to do a deal at the lowest cost. I am looking to do a deal that is fair for everyone. I'm not an expert at business valuation either.

And this family has been really good to me. I want the dad to get his fair value out of this to help him in retirement. And if the fair price makes sense for me to be in on the deal, great. If not, I'm still going to help the son grow the business.

We went over the numbers and got on the same page about next steps. Each time I explained to the son what these numbers meant. I also told him ideas I had for increasing revenue, cutting liabilities, making the biz processes more efficient and timely.

In discussing how we wanted to handle the transfer, the dad came around to my vision for the future. Every point I made I took the step of presenting the pros and cons for the dad, for the son, and for me. It's like I tried to explain a puzzle to a blind person. But as I explained it, I could see that they both:

1- Felt I understood and was empathetic to everyone's perspective
2- Was interested in maximizing the most advantageous outcome for everyone involved, whether that meant I bought in or not, whether the dad was in or not.

The son and I had been discussing this for 6 months, so I knew he was on board, but he had done a bad job communicating that vision to the dad. Towards the end of the meeting the dad says, "Well guys, I like this. I really like this. I think it makes way more sense this way. Forget everything I was saying. Consider me out. We should move forward like this."

It's like he saw that once you consider all the moving pieces, there really is only one way that this puzzle can get put together. But it was so so good that he came to that conclusion on his own. That was the moment I relaxed. I didn't realize how tense I'd been.

The son didn't talk much. He mostly listened. He knows the dad and I are much more experienced in business and he was trying to soak it in. Plus he had a real etate deal weighing on him. He wrapped the meeting by turning to me and asking "So you still in?" I said "so far", he said "good" and that's when he visibly relaxed.

He called me afterwards to reinforce how important it is to him that I stay involved in the sale. He wants to partner. There's a ways to go, but it's nice to be appreciated and viewed as essential.

We've got next steps. It'll likely take many weeks, perhaps months to actually consummate the deal. But we made progress. And everyone wants to make this happen. That outcome far from certain 48 hrs ago. Anyways, that's a long update and hopefully it helps someone on here today.

Great progress! It is so important so really share a vision together. One tool that I've found very important is what is called a "Vivid Vision". Cameron Herold has an interesting book and talk about this.

I've created a Vivid Vision for my company, it's a PDF document which entails all aspects of the business: who our clients are, customer service, marketing, financials, our values, our big why, how our team looks like, what the product/service does, etc...

Before talking with any prospect, or someone I want to hire for the team, I send them that document so they understand what we're trying to build. It's been very good at getting people immediately bought in or immediately out.

Maybe it could be useful to have a Vivid Vision for your company, so that everyone is aligned moving forward.
 

BizyDad

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Great progress! It is so important so really share a vision together. One tool that I've found very important is what is called a "Vivid Vision". Cameron Herold has an interesting book and talk about this.

I've created a Vivid Vision for my company, it's a PDF document which entails all aspects of the business: who our clients are, customer service, marketing, financials, our values, our big why, how our team looks like, what the product/service does, etc...

Before talking with any prospect, or someone I want to hire for the team, I send them that document so they understand what we're trying to build. It's been very good at getting people immediately bought in or immediately out.

Maybe it could be useful to have a Vivid Vision for your company, so that everyone is aligned moving forward.
Your timing on this is impeccable.

Not actually for this venture, but just last night I was thinking I should create something like that for my agency. Now that I've built my core stable team, I'm looking at the next roles to bring on, like possibly a salesperson. My core stable team understands my company's vision and our vision for marketing. And since I am the chief salesperson, I know my clients understand the vision as well. But if I hire a salesperson, I'm going to have to "unlearn" them in order to train them in the way I want so as to be done.

I'll check out vivid vision. It could be that it helps me communicate that to the new team members. Thanks.
 

Walter Hay

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That's just for a part time phone sales job for an insurance company here in Australia. Help people finish off their quote is all it is really.

I can tell my supervisors and those above don't like that I don't just go for being a pushy first day conversion style, even though my stats speak for themselves. It's a bit weird that they're still like that.
Yes, my boss was still convinced that I had it all wrong even after my prospect had returned and bought the new vehicle.

Such people as your supervisors can't see past the script that they or someone else has written, thinking that you are throwing away money if you don't clinch the deal on first contact.

There are plenty of sales education programs that teach that nothing should stop you from closing. To them, sales is all about closing.

It's good to see confirmation of @BizyDad 's approach being stated here on the forum, and good results being recounted. I suspect that a lot of members might be shocked.

After quitting my job at which I had excelled, using my "being helpful and giving value" approach that resulted in compound doubling sales annually, I got a commission sales job to pay the bills. All new sales reps were required to undergo training.

In the first session the Managing Director said: "It doesn't matter what lies you have to tell, as long as they can't be sheeted home to us." All sales were cash, and the product was a big ticket item. Many of the reps had the same outlook as the MD, and defrauded him of substantial sums by pocketing a big slice of the cash sales and only reporting a much lower amount as the sale price. (Poetic Justice?)

I lasted only a few days and earned zero.

Walter
P.S. I have two friends of the same religion as mine, who had the same approach to selling and they were top salesmen until they retired. One was sent to every branch around the world to lecture on the subject.
Great progress! It is so important so really share a vision together. One tool that I've found very important is what is called a "Vivid Vision". Cameron Herold has an interesting book and talk about this.

I've created a Vivid Vision for my company, it's a PDF document which entails all aspects of the business: who our clients are, customer service, marketing, financials, our values, our big why, how our team looks like, what the product/service does, etc...

Before talking with any prospect, or someone I want to hire for the team, I send them that document so they understand what we're trying to build. It's been very good at getting people immediately bought in or immediately out.

Maybe it could be useful to have a Vivid Vision for your company, so that everyone is aligned moving forward.
What you are describing is something like an Operations Manual.

Something of that kind should be prepared for any business that a person is thinking of selling at a time that suits them, but meanwhile it can help avoid deviations from good policy.

It is also a prerquesite should anyone think of franchising their business.

Walter
 

WJK

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Yes, my boss was still convinced that I had it all wrong even after my prospect had returned and bought the new vehicle.

Such people as your supervisors can't see past the script that they or someone else has written, thinking that you are throwing away money if you don't clinch the deal on first contact.

There are plenty of sales education programs that teach that nothing should stop you from closing. To them, sales is all about closing.

It's good to see confirmation of @BizyDad 's approach being stated here on the forum, and good results being recounted. I suspect that a lot of members might be shocked.

After quitting my job at which I had excelled, using my "being helpful and giving value" approach that resulted in compound doubling sales annually, I got a commission sales job to pay the bills. All new sales reps were required to undergo training.

In the first session the Managing Director said: "It doesn't matter what lies you have to tell, as long as they can't be sheeted home to us." All sales were cash, and the product was a big ticket item. Many of the reps had the same outlook as the MD, and defrauded him of substantial sums by pocketing a big slice of the cash sales and only reporting a much lower amount as the sale price. (Poetic Justice?)

I lasted only a few days and earned zero.

Walter
P.S. I have two friends of the same religion as mine, who had the same approach to selling and they were top salesmen until they retired. One was sent to every branch around the world to lecture on the subject.

What you are describing is something like an Operations Manual.

Something of that kind should be prepared for any business that a person is thinking of selling at a time that suits them, but meanwhile it can help avoid deviations from good policy.

It is also a prerquesite should anyone think of franchising their business.

Walter
I love to sell and I've been doing it for a long time. Like you, I don't lie, cheat or steal. I want my customers/clients to be happy and feel like they have been well served. I want referrals from them. I want them to like me and trust me. And I have been very successful at meeting my goals.

I just finished buying another trust deed last week. The seller was totally happy with me and our deal. Yes, I left some money on the table that I could have taken under our contract. But it was a difficult deal to get done and it took extra time. It was fair to both of us. When we last talked, he told me that I had done everything like I promised. If I need his help in the future with the people or trust deed, I simply need to reach out. And that's how I like to conduct my business. For me, it's the only way I'll be involved.
 

MattR82

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I love to sell and I've been doing it for a long time. Like you, I don't lie, cheat or steal. I want my customers/clients to be happy and feel like they have been well served. I want referrals from them. I want them to like me and trust me. And I have been very successful at meeting my goals.

I just finished buying another trust deed last week. The seller was totally happy with me and our deal. Yes, I left some money on the table that I could have taken under our contract. But it was a difficult deal to get done and it took extra time. It was fair to both of us. When we last talked, he told me that I had done everything like I promised. If I need his help in the future with the people or trust deed, I simply need to reach out. And that's how I like to conduct my business. For me, it's the only way I'll be involved.
Yep. The holy grail on the floor I work at is about cross selling. Maybe it takes me an extra few days to close a primary sale, but guess who then has them coming back a week later to bring on their other car, building and boat lol.

The only reason I can come up with as to why they prefer I go for pushy first day conversions is because 95% of the rest of the floor is younger than me and in their 20's and can't be trusted to follow up and it's too much management for them. I get reamed for my productivity being low, because I'm emailing and leaving follow up notes inbetween calls. Even though my total sales are still higher.

This thread has made me think it's time to move on to a different part time gig. I feel like I learnt what I wanted out of sales for them and now it's all just about fitting into their corporate KPI's.
 
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BizyDad

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Yes, my boss was still convinced that I had it all wrong even after my prospect had returned and bought the new vehicle.

Such people as your supervisors can't see past the script that they or someone else has written, thinking that you are throwing away money if you don't clinch the deal on first contact.

There are plenty of sales education programs that teach that nothing should stop you from closing. To them, sales is all about closing.

It's good to see confirmation of @BizyDad 's approach being stated here on the forum, and good results being recounted. I suspect that a lot of members might be shocked.

After quitting my job at which I had excelled, using my "being helpful and giving value" approach that resulted in compound doubling sales annually, I got a commission sales job to pay the bills. All new sales reps were required to undergo training.

In the first session the Managing Director said: "It doesn't matter what lies you have to tell, as long as they can't be sheeted home to us." All sales were cash, and the product was a big ticket item. Many of the reps had the same outlook as the MD, and defrauded him of substantial sums by pocketing a big slice of the cash sales and only reporting a much lower amount as the sale price. (Poetic Justice?)

I lasted only a few days and earned zero.

Walter
P.S. I have two friends of the same religion as mine, who had the same approach to selling and they were top salesmen until they retired. One was sent to every branch around the world to lecture on the subject.

What you are describing is something like an Operations Manual.

Something of that kind should be prepared for any business that a person is thinking of selling at a time that suits them, but meanwhile it can help avoid deviations from good policy.

It is also a prerquesite should anyone think of franchising their business.

Walter
I think if it more like the introduction or maybe the first chapter of the operations manual.

It's something that you can show clients as well as employees that are articulates the mission and vision.

This thread has made me think it's time to move on to a different part time gig. I feel like I learnt what I wanted out of sales and now it's all just about fitting into their corporate KPI's.
Isn't that a great feeling? To know you went into something to learn a skill, and to realize that you've learned all you can in a place, and you're ready to graduate up to the next challenge?

Cherish this moment bro. It's a turning point. I'm glad I'm here to witness.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Upgraded to GOLD!
 

BizyDad

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Upgraded to GOLD!

Well that's awesome. Thank you. With my first gold thread, I very much felt personally honored. With this thread, I feel like it was a team effort.

Thanks everyone for contributing.
 

BizyDad

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Ok, as an update, we got back valuation on the business and as I suspected it was much lower than the dad was asking for. It was even lower than I thought it was worth.

If it were me, I'd hang on to it and turn things around then sell. But he still wants to move forward. We've set a target date for transfer on Jan 1.

Our negotiations now will revolve around doing some kind of no-upfront money, just paying a performance based fee up to an agreed upon number. Details need to be hammered out, but getting ownership in a seven figure revenue company while not outlaying my own cash is a pretty big deal. This actually keeps getting better. Still a ways to go, not getting my hopes up yet.
 

Itizn

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Thought of this thread today.

My business involves matching buyers and sellers in a niche-market.

For a few months now I was trying to get a particular deal done by "forcing" myself into the deal.
By that I meant I tried hedging myself in-between the talks of the product, and pricing, logistics, all that.

After the most recent (of many) periodic inquiries by the interest buyer, I (having felt I had exhausted the aforementioned approach) decided to just let the two parties meet each other and handle it themselves. Last I heard they were talking business.

It's possible I receive no monetary reward for this facilitation. But that's OK.
The buyer now knows I can get things done (granted due to a prior proposal, he already did)
and the seller (who was the biggest hassle for me) knows that I mean business.
 

BizyDad

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Thought of this thread today.

My business involves matching buyers and sellers in a niche-market.

For a few months now I was trying to get a particular deal done by "forcing" myself into the deal.
By that I meant I tried hedging myself in-between the talks of the product, and pricing, logistics, all that.

After the most recent (of many) periodic inquiries by the interest buyer, I (having felt I had exhausted the aforementioned approach) decided to just let the two parties meet each other and handle it themselves. Last I heard they were talking business.

It's possible I receive no monetary reward for this facilitation. But that's OK.
The buyer now knows I can get things done (granted due to a prior proposal, he already did)
and the seller (who was the biggest hassle for me) knows that I mean business.

That's awesome. In the future you could probably draw up a revenue share agreement with the seller in case deals do happen, he is obliged to pay you a set finders fee or an agreed to percentage.

I rarely do these kinds of deals, but when I do I usually say "If this goes through will you agree to pay me $X?" It sounds like you already build enough trust with these guys that you might be able to do a gentlemen's deal like this. Of course, having a standard fee sharing agreement ready to go wouldn't hurt...

Hope that helps.
 

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