285 – October 12
“A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.”—George Patton
Ted and his girlfriend, Tina, were two young chiropractors building their lives and their businesses together. Cheerful, upbeat, and fun, they enrolled in my workshop in order to get clarity and focus on their financial goals. They mentioned that they knew one of the best ways to expand their business would be to buy another existing medical practice. I congratulated them on their astute reasoning, as it is often much easier and faster to buy a business than to build one patient by patient on their own. They asked me to keep a lookout for a business they might buy.
As often happens when a goal is clearly stated, a plan mapped out, and then presented to people who might assist with its accomplishment, it wasn’t long before a friend of mine, Ken, who owned a holistic medical center told me he wanted to sell his practice. He was delighted when I told him I might have a buyer! Excited at the prospect of helping three people achieve their goals by playing matchmaker, I couldn’t wait to tell Ted and Tina when they came to see me that afternoon.
“How much money does he want for it?” was the first question Tina asked.
“$250,000,” I replied.
“That’s too much money!” She exclaimed. “Forget it.”
“Wait a minute,” I interrupted. “You have asked the wrong question, didn’t like the answer and now you’re about to reject this deal without investigating further!” (In AA circles, they call this “contempt prior to investigation.”)
Tina paused. “Yeah, but we can’t afford $250,000,” she started to say, then caught herself as I shook my head and reached for a “No Yeah, but” button. “Okay,” she laughed, “What’s the right question?”
“The most important question is not how much it costs, but how much money does the business make,” I replied. “If the business generated $35 million per year, you’d find a way to come up with $250,000 wouldn’t you? Because that would be a fabulous profit for you.” Tina and Ted laughed. “You’re right about that!” Ted said. “And maybe we could make payments over time or get a loan to purchase the business outright. Give us Ken’s number and we’ll look into this further.”
Although this particular deal did not materialize, Tina and Ted learned the importance of asking the right questions. How many times do we stop ourselves from going for our goals because we asked the wrong question or let an old belief or attitude convince us we couldn’t have it? It is a habit of thought that begins “That won’t work because…” Replace that thought with “How can I make this work?”
“My mind is open to receiving my heart’s desire!”
Ah, I remember that conversation back in the 90s so well. And I’ve had a zillion conversations like it in the years since.
Studies have shown that people are twice as afraid of losing their money as they are hopeful of gaining money. Most people look at the price of the thing they want first, and if it doesn’t fit comfortably within their budget (or what they think their budget is since most people don’t have a written budget), they just say no and don’t buy it. But some things that you want to buy, even if they’re expensive, are worth the investment because the pay-off they will create in the future justifies the expense now.
For example, most people understand that college is a worthwhile investment, even though it’s very expensive, because it will add many thousands of dollars to your future earning power. People are used to this evaulation and so even though making the investment in college may be difficult for their budget, it’s worth it for the future pay-off. People who sell high-priced goods and services need to be able to help their customers see the long-term value of making the investment in terms of future benefits. The difficulty is that when people feel insecure about their money, their fear of financial insecurity is heightened and it’s more difficult for them to place a bet on the future with money they have to spend today.
When these fears come up for your prospect, you’re going to hear them say, “I can’t right now”, “maybe”, “later”, “I’ll have to ask my (wife, husband, partner, accountant)”, “let me think about it”, “I don’t have the time”, “I don’t have the money”, etc.
If you know in your heart that what you have to offer will greatly benefit them in their lives, it’s your duty to coach them through the process so that they can visualize their future good AFTER they have benefited from your product or service and make the investment today that’s going to pay off in their greatly enhanced and enriched future.
So what are your counters to their objections? What are you going to say to convince them to spend money now for their future good? I’d love to hear your ideas! Please comment on what you do, what’s the most common objection to buying it, and what you say when your prospects raise that objection. We can all learn a lot from each other here!