Seller’s unexpected offer

In hotel brokerage there are a few times when a seller offers their broker (me) a fee before you find the buyer.  This is always strange and unexpected, but I learned a long time ago to listen up when this happens.

Years ago, I was selling a 17-property hotel portfolio in the Midwest, and we were out there doing showings with a buyer. The seller asked to meet with us after the buyer left and he said something that I will never forget. He offers us (the brokers) a fee which was less than the fee we would have earned if the portfolio sold. I looked at him and ask why. He said because I don’t think you will be able to sell the whole portfolio. If I knew then what I know now, I would have responded very differently.

I thanked him for the offer but told him we were convinced we will sell the portfolio. Two things – (1) He was satisfying his conscience and (2) he was really telling us he had decided not to sell. I missed both points very poorly. What I should have said was “ok,” we will accept. He would then have been morally obligated to pay us the fee and we would have salvaged something out of the deal. When I turned down the offer, I inadvertently let him have a clear conscience by telling himself he had tried. Weeks later after several more trips to all 17 hotels which was a three day trip each time and countless hours of work, he tells us he has decided to just hold the hotels. He kept his hotels and we got nothing.

Something similar happened a few years ago and I missed it again when I should have read the meaning and just accepted. More recently I was selling a hotel in New Orleans and out of the blue, the seller calls me and asks that question. By this time, I had learned my lesson and I told the seller I would accept. This took him back because he wasn’t expecting me to accept but we will be paid almost as much as if we had sold the hotel.

The point is, people rarely ever come right out and tell you their real intentions. In the first story, if the seller had just said, “guys I have decided not to sell the hotels,” we would have accepted the offer and moved on. Instead, he made us the offer to clear his conscience and was no doubt glad I didn’t accept.

In life and business, listen to not just the words spoken but listen to the meaning behind them. KT

More behind the counter than what is displayed

In sales and in many areas of life, you never want to show/ display everything all at once. You always want to hold a little something back.

In business it is the tendency to want to tell the customer everything all up front. The problem with this strategy is that until the customer tells you about his wants and needs, you don’t know what is important to him. The objective is to display enough so he knows you know what you are talking about, but not enough for them to think you don’t need his business.

The magic in business starts when you find some common ground (family, friends, locations) with the customer and start building a rapport. It is only then that the customer starts trusting you and communicates where he is really at and what he really wants. If you just spray it all out in the first five minutes, he thinks you are either arrogant or not interested in what he has.

Its like when you are on a first date, you don’t tell the other person everything about you all at once. Same philosophy in business. You need a little communication and connection first or everything you are displaying doesn’t impress the client. Wait till they ask a question because that lets you know they are interested. KT

Don’t wait till life stops being hard to be happy

Many people choose a point in time (event) when they will start to relax, start enjoying life and be happy. This is Satan’s quiet and gentle recipe that he feeds us. See, when you are happy and full of joy, it is hard for him to manipulate your thoughts. He thrives on, loneliness, depression, anxiety, loss, low self-esteem. When you are upbeat and holding your head high, he losses.

Several events that people quietly peg as their happy points are; promotion at work, when the kids reach x age, when the car is paid off, when I get in shape, when I save x amount of money, when I graduate, when we get that house, have that lifestyle, have those friends, live in that neighborhood, when I retire, and the list could go on for pages.

The problem with planning happiness around future events is, they may come and then they may never come. You turn around late in life and realize you kept putting off happiness and now it is too late. Go home tonight and turn your phone off and have a family dinner together or go surprise your loved ones by dropping in. lead the conversations and really listen and watch their faces and eyes as they talk. Bank those moments into your hard drive. Tell them you love them with all your heart and really look them in the eyes when you say it. Kiss them even though they may think they are too old for it.

Your life is not your work. Work is not what will define you nor will your success make up for not being there with those you love. Set aside those desires to do this, change that, go there, be that, because whether you know it or not, every time you let yourself go there in your mind, you are pushing off happiness and joy for a future date. KT

Reverse imagery

In business, there is always people you need to meet with, presentations to make, sales pitches you need prepare, closings you need to consummate and ideas you need to show. In short, there are always other people you need to impress, sway, or convince. This may sound like this is only for owners, salespeople, managers etc. but its not. It is also for employees, teachers, firemen, cashiers, military etc. Basically, anyone who needs to communicate something. As we all know, it is not always the way you say it or present it, it is how it is received by the other party.

When we prepare for a meeting of any kind, we start with what we will say and how we will say it. This can be in verbal conversation or in presentation form. We have all the points we want to make, and we plan it down to the last word.

What we don’t usually do is practice reverse imagery. What I mean is to switch hats with the person you are going to meet with. Put yourself in that person’s shoes and then listen to what you plan to say through their eyes. When we do this, it often changes what we plan to say. See there are thing s that may be important to you that just may not be important to the other person. Try to get inside their head before you get to the meeting or the call and visualize what their need is. If you can determine what their need is, it will better prepare you to present yourself in the best possible way.

I have a friend who owns a hotel management company, and he was asked at the last minute to make a presentation for a large account. His competitor put eight people on a private jet and prepared a full one-hour presentation. My friend didn’t do that. He didn’t take a team and didn’t do a fancy presentation. He determined by imagining in reverse what the owner was looking for and it wasn’t someone slick and fancy. He was looking for someone he could trust. To hear my friend tell the story, “It was just me and Tahoe.” He went alone and instead of doing all the talking, he listened. He heard their problems and then he showed them how he could solve them. He got the job over the other group all because he chose to put himself in the owner’s shoes before the meeting and focus on what was important to him.

If we practiced reverse imagery in other areas of our life we would be impressed on how much easier life, jobs, marriage, parenting etc. would become. KT

Starting the day off correctly

Over the 4th weekend I received some great advice from my oldest daughter regarding how to start each day and be better mentally prepared for what the day may bring.

For years, I have started each workday with a little scripture and prayer and then I read several news outlets to see what is going on in the world. Her advice was to stay away from the iPad screen and news until later in the morning. Her point is when you start the day off with screen time reading the news, it creates anxiety and causes the protective nature in adults to get started too fast and too early. Her point is to wake up slower and easy rather than diving right into all that is happening in the world.

The NIV version of Matthew 6:34 says, “therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

My daughter’s advice was spot on because once you get started, it is hard to slow down as the day progresses. So, a little quite time with a morning cup of coffee in your easy chair is how to start the day. KT