I am writing you today from a hotel room in New Jersey as I prepare to go to the NBAA Regional Forum at the Teterboro Airport. My father will be speaking today about the future of aircraft values. It should be an exciting day. NBAA has approximately 1,600 pre-show registrations sold setting a new record for the NBAA Regional Forum program!
A fast or a slow response to an inquiry, offer or a contract review can make or break a sale. I am trying to buy an airplane for a client. The broker told us that his client was focused on selling. He gave us an idea of the price it would take to buy the plane and our last offer was close. And now, the seller has taken an extremely long time to reply to our offer. The seller’s delay is causing us concern that maybe he isn’t really interested in selling. As a result we have moved on to pursue other aircraft. Because of the seller’s delay I am concerned about what the rest of the sale would be like. There are other times in a sales process that also require a seller’s attention and responsiveness including the contract negotiation, discrepancy approvals and closing preparation. If the seller can’t respond in a timely manner to our offer, what can we expect going forward?
I have also represented sellers over the years that have also been slow to respond. More often than not, it was not because they weren’t interested in selling, but rather other more pressing business took their focus at that very moment that I needed their attention. The longer the delay the harder it was to keep a prospective buyer on the hook. Some of those transactions fell apart.
And, when I am trying to get information about an aircraft for sale and a broker takes days to respond to an inquiry, I question if it is a seller (and seller’s representative) that I want to engage my client with.
Responsiveness to an inquiry, an offer or any other part of a sales process that requires attention is critical to a process. If you’re a buyer or a seller, your goals are to negotiate and manage a transaction to protect your best interest. If you are slow to respond to the other side when the process requires your attention you start to distract the players in the process. Once distracted it is hard to regain confidence and keep a focus on the important business issues and the aircraft. It is in everyone’s best interest to pay attention when attention is required and be responsive when needed. Of course things happen. We get tied up in meetings or with travel. Family and personal issues come up. Life happens. And, everyone can understand a days delay here or there. It is when several days go by with radio silence that it causes concern.
Sellers need to know that if they are slow to respond to inquiries, offers and contract drafts your buyer will potentially get nervous. The same is true in the reverse. Sellers become concerned when buyers don’t appear focused on the process too. The lesson . . . the most successful transactions for buyers or sellers occur when everyone pays attention and is responsive with relatively quick action when necessary. At the very least, if you get tied up or delayed and know you have people waiting to hear from you, keep them informed. Managing expectations can help easily avoid any angst.