When it starts complicated

When things start complicated, it is usually a precursor to how it will be all the way through.

I cannot tell you the number of business engagements over the years I have resigned from for this very reason. In our line of work, it starts with the engagement agreement where the client hires us. It then moves on to the creation of the materials, websites, marketing process, contract period, due diligence and finally the closing. If I have a client that wants to micromanage and wordsmith our engagement agreement it tells me right up front that this is how the client will be all the way through the process. I have on many occasions just backed away so I don’t have to put up with what I know will surely follow.

In our business the one thing you must have is a ready, willing and able seller. Not buyer, but seller. We can always go get another buyer but if you don’t have a seller that is fully engaged and committed to the sales process, you are just wasting your time. Yes, you may get through it but more times than not, a bad seller will kill the deal and you look up six months later and all you have is wasted time and effort.

Case in point. This week I had a situation just like this. It was a coveted engagement that I would have loved to work on. The client executed our engagement agreement without much issue, and I thought, this is going well. The same client called me three days later and asked if we would reduce our fee. I’m like, “come again?” We got that resolved and executed a revised fee agreement and then the same thing happened a week later. I told him I loved him, but I wasn’t any longer going to work for him. I knew if he did that two times in the first week and a half, that’s how it was going to be all the way through the process. I backed away because I choose to work with people that respect me personally and our company and are committed to the sales process.

Many times, life is too short to work with boneheads and I find it is much more enjoyable to spend time with people you trust. KT

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