Being criticised never feels good. It doesn’t matter what the reason for the critic is, it makes us feel stink, we feel we are worthless and sometimes we may even want to close our business and HIDE, and just move on with life…. Sounds familiar?
Here is the critical part of feedback; embrace it, nurture it, ask for it! Asking not only gets you the negative feedback, it is also a chance to hear what people love about you and your business!!
When you are in the process of selling your business, getting feedback is critical. Business sales are all about the Return on Investment and the only other criteria to purchase is the industry it is operating in. The rest will be pro’s and cons, weighing factors that will decide whether they will buy the business or not. This is how a buyer is qualifying himself if he/she is the right person to purchase your business.
So, if they tell you that the price is too high (or you work too long hours, or your owners accommodation needs improvement, or they are concerned about having only 2 big clients….) don’t worry too much, but if you hear the same concerns more frequently I would start to identify WHY they feel that way. So, you ask!
As by the example above, Price could be influenced by the way you run the business (too many hours for a working owner, no systems & processes, no reliable and qualified staff etc), the location of the business (no foot traffic, too remote to service key clients, lease being too expensive) and basic facts like declining performance and poor management.
Not all negative feedback is meant to knock down the price; it is a valid concern that is often a miss-understanding of the way you have described the opportunity versus their interpretation and expectation. People have the tendency to make assumptions about anything they see and read. The feedback you’ll get form it will give you an opportunity to explain their miss-conception and turn the negative feedback into an opportunity for them.
Rather than dismissing the feedback and telling them that their opinion is wrong, you now have an opportunity to fix it, to improve it and to be prepared for that negative feedback when it comes up from the next enquirer. It may be as easy as to provide an explanation of why you think you were right. At least you can now deal with the issue before it comes up the next time.
Most Kiwi’s are not the best at giving honest feedback. They are more comfortable with telling you that you did ‘a great job’ and then never return, rather than tell you why they didn’t like the experience. The big argument here is that they will never give you the opportunity to apologies, to rectify the mistake or improve the service you gave them.
There is a saying that Kiwi’s are too polite to be honest and Dutch people are too honest to be polite. I’m a dutchie and I love to give the honest feedback, and I love to hear what I did wrong. It is a chance to improve, to become a better business broker and an opportunity to become the best broker I can be.
So, when you are on the market for a while, and you have heard that your asking price is too high; listen to the reason why they think that way. Explain why you thought it was the right price and tell them that you are prepared to review based on their feedback. You will find that it will open the dialogue, it will pave the way to a compromise that both parties can live with.
By not listening you will end up staying in your business a whole lot longer than you originally planned. At the end of the day, it will always be up to you whether you decide to take the offer or not.
FREE LINK Northland downloads:
FREE Booklet outlining the sales process: Managing The Sale of Your Business
FREE Booklet outlining other options to an Exit Strategy