Speed of trust
This last ten days or so have been incredibly interesting. On the previous weekend an email came from a buyer saying he would like to receive all the information on a business I was selling. The buyer was from out of town and planned to arrive on Tuesday with his wife. In fact, he was not only out of town but he was also out of State or to be clearer, per the Google search I just did he was 2,468 miles away or about one and a half days travel by car. When I asked why he was driving so far to see this business he explained he was looking at other businesses on his drive and was adamant that he wanted to get as much information as possible so he could make an informed decision.
My process to sell a business includes using a password protected website. This allows sensitive documents such as financial statements, a lease, photos of the business, a Confidential Business Review and other important documents to be ready to disclose as a buyer and their advisors move through a transaction. On his drive I would get emails with questions but my replies were simple as I wanted to meet the buyer and make sure they had the ability to buy the business. Additionally, I was concerned the buyer was looking at other businesses and so his chances of buying and relocating to Sacramento seemed so small it made little sense to disclose too much detail.
On Tuesday afternoon I received a call from the buyer saying he was about 30 minutes away and could he meet me at the business so he could have a look. I agreed and had a two hour meeting with the buyer which included answering a broad range of questions. As the seller was absent, during our meeting the buyer asked to meet and speak with the seller. That night I talked to the seller and he explained he was flying to New York tomorrow but would try to call the buyer during a stopover and answer questions.
Late Wednesday afternoon I met with the buyer, answered more questions and he then said he would like to make an offer tomorrow but first he would like to speak with the landlord. The landlord was about a 90 minute drive away and I was not expecting him to be available as he was often traveling but late Wednesday evening I sent a request.
First thing Thursday morning I heard back from the landlord that he was available, spoke to the buyer and they organized to meet that morning. The buyer had a very good meeting with the landlord and was back with me at 2.00pm when the buyer and I put together a written offer to present to the seller which the seller accepted that evening.
The buyer and I had never met and typically there is a lot of each party getting to know the other party. However, there was one major thing that made all this possible and the reason for this article. When the buyer visited my website http://www.RogersonBusinessServices.com, one of the icons on my website is from my previous membership of a local Rotary club. The buyer’s father used to be a member of a Rotary club; in fact, he was a highly recognized International Rotarian.
Because of the Rotary icon, this allowed the buyer to skip so many questions and answers about me because he was instantly able to build trust with me because of my previous affiliation with Rotary and more specifically its Code of Ethics.
Most people are familiar with Stephen Covey and his series of books around the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and the Covey Institute. Stephen Covey has a son called Stephen M. R. Covey and he’s written a new book called The Speed of Trust. The author contends that those doing business will be more successful if they are quickly able to create trust between all the parties.
In my case I was able to quickly and easily develop a relationship with a buyer who had traveled from the other side of the United States to do business with me simply because of an icon on my website.
The world continues to change and evolve. As a society we have become cynical about Wall Street, our politicians and others we group together to decide whether or not we will extend our trust. When you look to start a new business relationship, consider what you can offer to demonstrate your trust. Like most virtues, trust cannot be contrived or manufactured and it can be lost in a split second. The damage of Bernie Madoff and others have left so much damage and destruction it will take years to rebuild.
Are you thinking about selling your business? Would you like to know the value of your business? If you would like more information please visit my website Business valuation.
For more immediate help you are welcome to send an email to Andrew Rogerson or give me a call on 916 570-2674.