When meeting with a potential customer, vendor, or partner, one of our primary goals is to mutually qualify the arrangement. It saves us all time and leads to a higher success rate for your work, service or product!
What do I mean by “mutually qualify?”
Well, so many people are working so hard to sell themselves or their company, they forget the end goal… Successful deals and/or successful ongoing business.
We have found that even when the market is tough, we absolutely have to do business with people that are going to do the things necessary for success projects and deals. Anything else ends poorly with everyone disappointed and/or frustrated. And money lost, often by all.
So, we seek to mutually qualify and find people (and businesses) that will do their part for a successful project with us. It is never perfect but the process alone has benefit. Here are Eleven Steps we work to do this…
1. Research the other party. This will help you ask questions and listen better.
2. Plan topics you want to address. Leave time for their questions and info.
3. Recognize each deal can be different. Sometimes that may even be to your advantage.
4. Listen… alot.
5. Ask questions…. and then listen carefully.
6. Offer genuinely helpful suggestions, even if it does not include us.
7. Talk honestly about money. Then ask if we need to continue talking.
8. Talk about how we see successful projects work, including their active role in that. Then ask if that is acceptable.
9. No matter what anyone says, it is not personal. This is about getting a good business deal done with a personal touch. It is not about filling in poor self-esteem by trying to be liked at the expense of good business arrangements.
10. If the answer is going to be “No”, get there politely and quickly, even if it means explaining we don’t think we are right for the deal. Or give them permission to say “No.” Let everyone move on. (Remember, we are not after every deal, just the right deals).
11. Conclude meetings with a “Yes,” a “No” or a “Clear Future” (i.e., the exact next steps with a date and possibly even an exact time associated with it).
For instance, a real estate agent may meet with someone that, despite an honest review and discussion of the market, their situation and their house, is insisting on an initial listing price that is 20% too high for the neighborhood. This is a good time to realize this is not going to end well and let someone else help them get the house listed for sale.
Or the agent finds someone wanting to sell a house but confused about how to proceed. The agent finds they are coachable and reasonable without being clueless. They ask smart questions and still have opinions that are workable. Looks like a deal can be made here!
In tough times, people can be more inclined to take every deal that comes their way. WRONG PLAN! If you are losing time and money on all of these, times will get tougher for you.
Only get involved with deals you honestly and intelligently believe can be successful. Then do all you can to make them just that.. successful. Even if some are not successful, your success rate will be higher and your frustration level lower.
Someone else can snap up all the bad deals. They are welcome to them.
By doing what you can to align with succesful partners in any deal, you will have more success. Your reputation will be one of value and that will make you valuable!