Proclamation #5: We Will Be Solution-Agnostic

At Value Scout, we believe value creation sits at the heart of every healthy advisor/client relationship. We empower our partners to help their clients make better decisions that will serve their value creation needs now and in the future.

According to Zaneilia Harris, President, Harris and Harris Wealth Management Group, “Most financial and business valuation advisors fail to understand and identify what their clients need and what is motivating them to behave in a particular manner. And this begins soon after the advisors start building the customer profile; they start focusing on the job, the gains and pains they want to resolve as efficiently and quickly as possible. They fail to understand that ‘the one size fits all approach is flawed, and they are unable to identify what their clients truly want and what motivates them to behave in certain ways.”

To fix this limiting mindset, we must step into our client’s shoes to understand them. Behave like an anthropologist: focus on what the client needs and not what we offer them. Start thinking beyond the job, gains, and pains and look for other factors that motivate our clients.

Advisors often link tasks, pain points, and gains from the customer’s profile to their standard value creation strategy’s products, services, and solutions. Doing so makes them believe they can resolve all their clients’ issues. That’s far from true, as that mindset invariably leads to lost time (the square peg and round hole analogy apply here) and unfocused or misdirected effort, leaving their clients unsatisfied.

The best valuation creation strategies focus on rectifying only those areas and pain points of utmost priority. Consider a form of triage, separating what must be done now from what can be safely postponed. As an advisor, you must make this conscious, deliberate call. Rather than diluting your effort with a scattershot approach, you address the highest priority aspects of a business and forgo others with the goal of outstanding performance in those specific areas that you will address.

“If we’re going to get this right, we have to realize our solution is not a panacea. Our clients look to us for unweighted, objective guidance on creating value [to help them] exit on their terms. We will put our clients’ interests first. All the time. Every time. We will commit ourselves to being that neutral party–especially when it’s not in our best interests to do so,” said Harris.

Download the Exit Planning 2.0 Manifesto

Value Scout is built on recognizing that we, as value creation advisors and exit planners, have a unique and rare opportunity to help our clients achieve something they’ve only dreamed about – a successful transition on their terms. To accomplish that mission, we have to hold ourselves accountable to a high standard, a set of memorable beliefs that guide our work and everything we do. We call them the 8 Proclamations of the Value Advisor.

To read all eight, download the Exit Planning 2.0 Manifesto.

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Author Summary

Dan Doran

Dan Doran

Is the Founder of Value Scout, Quantive and the 2019 Exit Planner of the Year. He is a recognized expert and speaks frequently about M&A, valuations, and developing more deliberate value creation strategies.

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