Louisville, KY (PRWEB) October 24, 2012
During threatening economic times, like what the US has recently seen, businesses must get creative to survive. In addition to stretching their dollars as much as possible, they also begin to cut spending. This is first done within departments whose primary function is not essential to daily operations--frequently marketing and advertising. Unfortunately, the smaller the business, the more it needs these particular departments to survive. Sudden drops in new or repeat customers, which happens when marketing/advertising is cut, can be fatal to small businesses and can cause an owner to sell a business prematurely or to at least contemplate contacting a business broker to begin discussing business exit planning. “This is so unfortunate,” says Mazar. “But like they say, you can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip. If the money isn’t there, it’s not there. There are, however, some simple, zero-cost ways to keep your marketing efforts afloat.”
Immediately following that statement, Mr. Mazar released his tips for keeping a business name out when owners have to cut their marketing budget. “They are, perhaps, obvious,” Mazar admits, “but that only supports my argument that they are effective.”
1. Touch your customers with value and no other agenda. “If I were to send my clients information that only pertained to business broker services or mergers and acquisitions, they would get frustrated. That’s the exact opposite reaction I want clients to have,” Mazar shares. He suggests regularly reaching-out to these individuals but only after considering there unique needs and interests. For example, forward them an email or article pertaining to their industry with the simple subject header "saw this and thought of you."
2. Listen. It seems too obvious to mention, right? We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. We are supposed to listen twice as much as we speak. All too often, however, when we 'listen' we are actually strategizing how to respond instead of trying to actually understand the speaker. “Make sure those you speak with are thoroughly heard before constructing your response. Allow for a comfortable pause before even offering your thoughts or try restating what they shared,” Mazar advises. In fact, this later suggestion will often get people nodding and agreeing with you which plants a favorable opinion of you in their mind.
3. Ask questions. Aside from listening to what is on your client's mind, ask them about their business. What are there concerns? What has worked for them and what hasn’t? Any chronic struggles they didn’t anticipate? Questioning accomplishes two things. One, you show genuine interest in their circumstances and well-being. Two, the answers will shine light on ways your business could be helpful. A final note on questions: no need to respond immediately. “It is my opinion, that immediately offering solutions and suggestions is ineffective and can sometimes be a turn-off. Instead, sympathize with the potential client as you speak and follow-up with a phone call or e-mail later that provides concrete advice,” Mazar states. “This will give you more time to construct a quality solution. In addition, catching-them off guard with help will be more impactful.”
4. Speak the truth. I have always found that clients much prefer I speak my mind rather than say what they want to hear. The ring of authenticity typically resonates in others when you speak it. When a small business owner asks your opinion, give it.
5. The good old 80/20 rule. It is the age-old saying: 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your client prospects. If this is true for you, examine the time you spend with client prospects who have less potential and spend the time saved with those who are.
American Fortune Mergers and Acquisitions, LLC is a nation-wide firm that provides growth-to-exit planning, mergers and acquisitions services and business valuation services for businesses with revenues between $3 million and $100 million. American Fortune was founded by industry veteran Brian S. Mazar who developed a unique process that is sell-side driven. This process makes American Fortune different from most merger & acquisitions advisors.
Advisors at American Fortune are not business brokers, they do not represent both sides of a deal and they refuse to follow industry standards just “because.” Their results are different too. Those who learn how to sell a business through American Fortune receive better terms, higher selling prices and a true advocate when they sell a business. Due to this, American Fortune successfully sells their businesses at an average of 98% of the listed price.