Image - Professional or Down Home - Posted by Brandi_TX

Posted by Brandi_TX on April 01, 1999 at 04:12:56:

Precisely what I was getting at, Dirk. They each seem to have advantages, but once you decide how to play it, I don’t see an easy way of changing it. After giving it some thought, how would this work?

“Mr Seller, I don’t have a problem submitting that idea to my boss, but to show him that you are serious, let’s write it up just like we discussed. I will show it to him tomorrow (or later today), if he doesn’t approve, I will give you $X.00 for your trouble, or we can renegotiate to find a solution to your problem. Does that sound fair?”

This way, you still have the security of the “boss” thing, but can still shoot from the hip if you really need to. Being that you ARE the boss, you know that you won’t be paying any $ or renegotiating. Is this thought missing anything?

Interesting points indeed.

Image - Professional or Down Home - Posted by Brandi_TX

Posted by Brandi_TX on March 31, 1999 at 19:24:52:

I have read several posts mentioning how they (the investor)refer to themselves as an employee of a company with policies they must uphold. (ie. max offer, terms, etc.)

Other posts and books mention you should allow the seller to feel like you are “at their level” therby making them feel more comfortable. A one on one situation, where you are the PERSON helping them, not the COMPANY trying to take advantage of them.

In trying to create a public image for my business, I am torn between these to views. My personal opinion is to take a little of both.

I am looking to get your opinions on the best way to mix these impressions. I am curious how many of you conduct your business in a suit and tie, but still manage to put the seller at ease. And how many of you wear jeans and a T-shirt, but still manage to give the seller security in your abilities to help them.

In a nut shell, when you are telling that seller, you are just an employee, are you wearing a suit and handing out embossed business cards. Or when you are owning up to being the final decision maker, are you wearing jeans and writing contracts on napkins?

OH SHEESH! Am I making sense? LOL Oh well! Any response would be appreciated!


Re: Image - Professional or Down Home - Posted by Baltimore BirdDog

Posted by Baltimore BirdDog on April 01, 1999 at 15:27:27:

Dear Brandi,

I’ve been reading your posts, and remind me never to get on your bad side. You’ve got a lot of energy and ambition, and I’d hate to see that directed toward me in an unfortunate way. To that end, I’ll try to answer your questions and increase my standing.

From what I’ve studied, there seem to be three things at the heart of any sale:

Make the prospect like you.
Make the prospect respect you.
Give the prospect logic and reason to buy from you.

Your post seems to center around the first two.

In terms of making a seller like you, you need to establish some sort of rapport. This usually involves making them feel comfortable by talking with them about the things they like to talk about, dressing like them, and making them feel good about themselves. I think these are better ways to make them like you than giving up the ability to make a deal on the spot just because you want to appear as an employee rather than the evil boss/corporate entity.

In terms of making them respect you, be honest about your position…

I’m a professional investor. This is how I make my living, and I need to buy on terms that make sense for me. That isn’t to say that your house isn’t worth what you’re asking, it’s just a little bit too high for me. You can understand that, can’t you? (a better salesman would say it more elegantly, but you get the idea)

…and impress them with your knowledge of your chosen profession, including market values, ability to give them multiple offers/solutions to their problem and ability to close quickly, if that’s what it takes. Follow up after a sale to make sure everything is OK with your new buyer goes a long way toward building your professional reputation as well. It also increases referral business.

Keep in mind that your need to make a seller like and respect you will decrease with his/her motivation. The most motivated sellers will care about one thing and one thing only…your ability to perform.

I hope this helps to clarify things for you. The bottom line is that every deal comes down to, as Dan Fink once said, a sales job. If you can hone your sales skills, then suit or no suit, president or employee, you will do more deals. Good luck and happy hunting!


Re: Image What does it all mean? - Posted by Mark R in KCMO

Posted by Mark R in KCMO on April 01, 1999 at 12:25:06:


Many good sugestions in these posts, and I think that one things need clearified. What you mean by “image”?

In “My” opinion image can mean:

The way you handle your operations.
The Speed of your operations.
The type of people that you will deal with.
The systems that you use.

The uniform look of your in:
Letters and forms
Marketing materials

I think you see what I am getting at.

It also depends on which side of the table that I am on what personality that person will see.

I respond differently to different people.

If I am buying from a control person, I’ll be loose and let them take charge. That is thier comfort zone.

If I am buying from someone that plays it loose, then I’ll show my confidence in what they are proposing, and be more detail oriented.

It is all marketing…

I like the commercials that say image in nothing, it’s the taste that is important.

They are fully aware that that is just as much as an image statement as image is everything.

Define what market you want to be in, then match the needs of that market.

FedX is a lousy place to go if your hoping that the your package will take a long time to get to where it’s going.

Hope this Helps

Mark R in KCMO

Re: Image - Professional or Down Home - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on April 01, 1999 at 11:46:28:

Here’s what I don’t do. I don’t play myself off as the employee of a corporation, who has to get permission to raise/change offers, terms, make decisions etc. I think that is weak. I think most of the people who do this have difficulty with taking responsibility for decisions/negotiations which may not be popular with a seller. To me in the negotiation process I’m going to state what I can do or not do, give my reasons for that, attempt some persuasion as to why that’s in the sellers best interest?.and then go from there.

However, I don’t try to create a corporate image either, or an image of the fact that I’m the President of a corporation. It’s not something that really creates any particular benefit with the typical seller. My business card doesn’t give a title?just my name. I may take title in a corporation?and if I do the contract will reflect that I’m the President?but that’s it. I may take title in other ways as well, so it’s not particularly an issue that I get into with the seller, nor that I promote in ads, business cards, etc.

I dress in a way that’s comfortable for me. A little common sense here though goes a long way. Personally, I wouldn’t show up in a teeshirt. Likewise, I NEVER wear suits or ties (I outgrew them all years ago anyway). I dress comfortably, cleanly, kind of middle of the road. I think this is acceptable to most people these days. A general guideline might be to dress in a similar nature to the person you’re meeting?.which is mostly on the casual side.

Reality is that most people can sense a strength of character, decision-making ability, control, knowledge. They don’t need a title on a card to tell them. But weakening your stance by describing yourself as an underling is not the way to go in my opinion.


I’m still grappling with this too… - Posted by rayrick

Posted by rayrick on April 01, 1999 at 09:23:19:

This is a very interesting dichotomy, and one which certainly seems to have adherents on both sides. I struggle with this, not only in actual face-to-face meetings, but in my marketing as well. For instance, in sending mailings to FSBO’s, I’ve vacillated all the way from a very professional looking letter on corporate letterhead with a printed brochure enclosed, to a “handwritten” (actually xeroxed) postcard from little 'ol Ray. I honestly haven’t been doing this for long enough to have any real data on which works the best. But I am interested in hearing other’s views.


This is an interesting Post - Posted by Dirk Roach

Posted by Dirk Roach on April 01, 1999 at 02:44:44:

Hi Brandi,
Well I have to tell you I agree that you should be yourself and wear what you most feel comfortable in. In deals things are going to change, and you will half to play off the cuff sometimes. The last thing you will need to be focused on is the impression that your clothes are making on someone.
Me I like to look good. However this isn’t for business or anything, it’s just my own personal taste. I detest an unironed shirt, or shoes without a shine. For me. Basically if your deal is strong no one will care what you look like.
I have to tell you though; your post brings up another interesting point. In playing like you have to run any changes by your hardhearted boss (or partner or whatever). There are pluses and minuses to this just like everything. One the plus side, gives you time to think about what your doing. Also gives you a pretty powerful negotiating tool, "Well I’m sure that my boss won’t go for this, but I run it by him…"etc.
On the minus side, there is the fact that YOU can’t make impromptu, quick decisions. In some deals a quick yeah or nay, can be vital. Also gives you a particular stance, as the decision-maker, and can put you on the offense as opposed to the defense.
I like this, myself. But sometimes you have to play it depending on the situation. Why pigeon hole yourself, in one route or the other?
As far as playing it down home, that reminds me of the old Columbo television serious. Clumbo would always play it off like a simpleton, while listening to everything. He always gave the bad guy enough rope to hang himself with and all of a sudden bam, he struck.
I would suggest reading the millionaire next door. I have found that a lot of the players out in the world aren’t the ones in the suits. Everyone who works for them are, though.
Just my thoughts and observations,
Dirk Roach

Gotta Fake It Till Ya Make It! - Posted by Marvin

Posted by Marvin on March 31, 1999 at 21:46:00:

Hello Brandi,

My opinion represents (I believe) a small minority.
I think you should look like a million bucks. (Hope
they cannot tell my Rolex was manufactured in Thailand.)

"She (Brandi) must have cheated and stabbed a lot of
people in the back to have accumulated so much wealth."
I hear that people say things like that - I believe
that people want to do business with someone who is

I have known a lot of people who make gobs (a lot)
of money, but who have to report to someone else.
Depending on which hat I am wearing - I am the
corporate Consultant or Associate Investor - both
positions have the authority to sign documents for
the corporation. Both also report to the President.


Re: Image - Professional or Down Home - Posted by Tim Jensen

Posted by Tim Jensen on March 31, 1999 at 21:26:59:


I find that I do best when I am just myself. I do not put on any big front. I knock on the door in jeans and a button down shirt. I speak well, but do not try and impress the people. I talk to them like I would talk to anyone.

The way I get the owners to have security in my abilities is to know what I am talking about. I am knowledgable in my area of investing(foreclosures) and it shows when I speak to the owners.

Also, when I write up a contract to purchase, I make it so that they are all cash AS_IS offers that close in a week or less. Either they are impressed by the all cash offer or figure that if I am full of it all they have lost is a week.

Take Care,

Tim Jensen