Transcript of Efficiencies Expert Jason Helfenbaum On How To Increase Your ROI Through Training And Efficiencies
Dan Goodwin Reveals Little Known Techniques That Will Help You Make The Best Hiring Decisions For Your Business

[00:00:05] Jeffrey Feldberg: Welcome to the Sell My Business Podcast. I'm your host Jeffrey Feldberg.

This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth and the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience.

Your liquidity event is the largest and most important financial transaction of your life.

But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time, money and effort wasted. Of the "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave anywhere from 50% to over 100% of their deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.

I should know. I said no to a seven-figure offer and yes, to mastering the art and science of a liquidity event. Two years later, I said yes to a different buyer with a nine-figure offer.

Are you thinking about an exit or liquidity event?

If you believe that you either don't have the time or you'll prepare closer to your liquidity event, think again.

Don't become a statistic and make the fatal mistake of believing that the skills that built your business are the same ones for your liquidity event.

After all, how can you master something you've never done before?

Let the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and our nine-step roadmap of preparation help you capture the maximum value for your liquidity event.

At the end of this episode, take a moment to hear from business owners, just like you, who went through the Deep Wealth Experience.

After finishing a 19-year career in 2007 with Sprint Corporation, Dan Goodwin embarked on his entrepreneurial journey and transitioned to business ownership and entrepreneur. During his tenure at Sprint. Dan completed both his Bachelor's Degree in Human Resource Management and a Master's Degree in Business Administration.

Upon leaving Sprint, Dan used his corporate skills and immediately founded CYA Consulting. A coaching and consulting company, which specializes in helping business owners during startup and scale-up of their businesses as well as a proactive response to crisis events, such as security and personnel issues.

Dan also teaches at his Alma Mater as an adjunct professor for a Master's course in Entrepreneurship. Dan brings his skills to business and advises everyone to Think Like an Investigator.

Trained in interrogation and interview techniques, Dan uses his skills and expertise to assist his clients to examine all available information, to make the best possible decisions in the present moment. Dan's unique approach to research engagement and investigative technique serves him well, as he draws upon the thousands of interviews, he completed over his corporate and entrepreneur life.

Dan believes everyone can improve their skills when it comes to research, interviews, and better business decisions by preparing and being armed with a structured method to obtain information.

This information along with other observations allows the business owner or department manager to make better decisions.

Dan is a connector of people and has built an extensive network as he works to build relationships with the entrepreneurial community in Kansas City as well as all over the world. Dan is excited about his continuing opportunities as he helps a launch business, real estate ventures, and working towards generational wealth. He also connects business owners and invites a select few to become members of a private invite-only mastermind group.

Dan has a heart for people who are focused on education, personal growth, and impacting the world for good.

Welcome to the Sell My Business podcast.

I am excited about the guest that we have with us today. You are going to be learning so much and you're going to be going back into your business with a different set of eyes, but I'm getting ahead of myself. So, Dan, welcome to the, Sell My Business Podcast. And there's always a story behind the story, Dan, we would love to hear from you. What got you to where you are today.

[00:04:14] Dan Goodwin: First, let me thank you, Jeffrey, for inviting me on the podcast. It's always a pleasure and a privilege to be invited, to speak to people on their tribes. So, my story spans over 30 years and it spans from corporate to entrepreneurship, to business ownership. Back in the day, I started working for a Fortune 100 company and was able to take skills that I learned my 19 years there and then parlay those into helping business owners work through issues and plan for issues as they move forward in their own business cycles. So, that's kind of the short version of 30 some years of business experience.

And then I know we can dive into some chapters of that, and some very specifics as we move forward in our conversations today.

[00:05:01] Jeffrey Feldberg: It's always so amazing to me how really when you do something well, a very long time, what could be at the surface, what seems like a complicated story. It's really, if you do a while like you just did. It's one sentence. So, you're at a Fortune 100 company and you're there for almost 20 years, two decades. Congratulations. You don't really hear about that a lot anymore. So, good for you in terms of doing that, but it sounds like you took what you learned at a very successful company, a very large company. And would I be correct in saying that you took those best practices and those strategies and you began to apply them to smaller kinds of businesses? What's that all about?

[00:05:40] Dan Goodwin: I worked the Fortune 100 company was a telecom company. I started in the mailroom. So, for people that are a little more experienced, I didn't say old Jeffrey I said a little more experienced in life. They may remember the Secret of My Success that starred Michael J. Fox. Now in that movie, Michael absconded with a corner office created a VP title for himself, and inserted himself, into the business. Now I started in the mailroom, but I did not take that job path. But I became a security assistant for this telecom company. And then after three or four years, I became a security investigator.

And then I finished out my career as a regional security manager where I had responsibility for five States and the computer forensics team. So, now people say what is a security investigator or a security manager does? And what we did is internal investigations on behalf of the company. So, I went to the same school in Chicago to John Reed School in Chicago. The same school that the law enforcement went to, the Feds, the Staties the Counties, the locals, and I've got experience and certified in interrogation and interview. And so we don't use the word interrogation in a corporate environment, Jeffrey, as you can imagine,

[00:07:03] Jeffrey Feldberg: I wonder, wonder why. I wonder why.

[00:07:05] Dan Goodwin: I don't know some sort of negative connotations, big, strong lights, and rubber hoses and all this other stuff that you see in the movies.

So, it wasn't like that at all. But that's really where I cut my teeth professionally. And that is really where I exceeded, had great performance reviews, did a lot of things. So, internal investigations involving, fraud, theft, embezzlement, inappropriate relationships, IP violations, conflict of interest. I had a top-secret clearance. I worked on wire tabs, installing covert cameras in the middle of the night. It was all 5% James bonds and 95% documentation of said fun.

[00:07:48] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow. You're just out there at all hours of the night with that 5% James Bond stuff, but I can just see you out there and maneuvering and just positioning. And we're using all these words. It sounds scary, but on a more serious note, really those skillsets, I would say more so today than ever before are needed because I'll put myself under the microscope.

I can't tell you how many times Dan, when I went to hire an employee, that the best performance that they gave was in the interview. And then that was it. It just fizzled out after that. And it wasn't some good times ahead and in the Deep Wealth community, when it comes time for your liquidity event who you have in terms of your existing employees, your key employees, your management team is super important.

The advisors that you're bringing on is also critical. So, people are really the one factor that can make or break you. So, it'll be interesting as we talk today, what we can be doing as business owners with what you've learned and what you do for businesses to ensure that what we're seeing is what we are getting.

[00:08:50] Dan Goodwin: Absolutely. I like how you put that the best performance was in the interview. That is so true. And I've heard that story a lot of times as I've worked with different businesses, either in crisis on a reactive side or in preparation for either a liquidity event, a scale-up event, something that's on the proactive side, and believe me, I would be rather working on proactive than reactive any day. And I know my clients would too.

[00:09:20] Jeffrey Feldberg: And for our listeners, Dan with all the businesses that you've worked with, what you've seen. When you look back at that for let's just call them not-so-great situations.

And I'm being very polite and choosing my words carefully. I'm sure there are all kinds of explicitives that you could put in there, but looking back there must be some kind of trend that you see of. Okay. Yes. Jeffrey of all those things where the, you know, what hit the you know what, these three issues, these five issues came up again and again. In other words, these businesses failed to do the right thing in these areas.

What were those areas be, Dan, that a company is in reactive mode? They call you in to clean things up. Where are they failing? What are those areas that we can learn from their failure to make sure that we're not in that situation?

[00:10:06] Dan Goodwin: Well, the first issue would be an underlying foundation. And this is a cultural event and that's integrity. When business owners lead with integrity and they explicitly explain, that's probably overkill, explicitly explain their values to their employees. That passes through and that they must be congruent.

Their actions must be congruent with their words. It's not, it's one thing just to say, the foundation is integrity. The second thing that causes things to crumble and fall is they lose focus on their vision. Jeffrey, you, and I've had a couple of conversations. There's always and we talked about, I like working with scale-up opportunities, and when I find it doesn't matter if it's a mom and pop, or if it's a couple of co-founders who started a business straight out of college, normally one of those people is a visionary and one as an integrator when you've got a couple of people. So, Gino Wickman made this, made this famous in his book, Rocket Fuel Attraction.

He's talked about visionaries and integrators. And so if they don't stay focused on the vision, that can cause a rift. And the other thing is continuous learning. And then an overarching strategy, which kind of goes back to the visual piece.

[00:11:34] Jeffrey Feldberg: Love it. Let's go back to the first thing and you're talking about integrity and sharing the values with the people, but I'm going to just make a guess here. And I'm going to say, for the most part, most people are generally good. And so if you had a hundred people, you know, 90, 95, maybe even 97 of them are really good.

And if you say, Dan, welcome to the company, here are my values. This is my vision. This is the walk that I walk. The talk that I talk, I'm doing all these things. I expect the same from you. If you're a good person, you're going to follow that and do that. However, there are some people that perhaps have different motives but the challenging thing is that they'll say to your face. Absolutely. I'm with you. I'm going to do what you're doing. How do we begin Dan as business owners to train ourselves, to train our management team? To really begin to separate out and identify those people who say one thing, but they're doing another thing that isn't in alignment with the vision of the company.

[00:12:37] Dan Goodwin: That's a great question. I would say better screening practices. This is how I have leveraged my spidey sense. My superpower from investigations and from the training I received is one of the processes that we had before we would even begin an internal interview with an employee. Whether they were a suspect or whether they were a witness, it didn't really matter the same 14 benchmark questions. So, I would ask you full name, please. Your title, your service state, your supervisor, all of these things. These are automatic responses. I'm getting honest behavior, honest answers, automatic answers. And I'm watching you. I'm observing you and to see if there's any hesitation if there's any thinking about it, whatever that is, those 14 baseline questions set the bar for normal, honest behavior, honest answers. Because later when we get into the heart of whatever issue that we were looking at, it was night and day to be able to spot the deceptive behaviors, the hums, and the hahs. And everybody says they look up until the right. Not all the time, right?

It's not like it is on TV. It is part of that is intuition and of that plays a factor and business owners don't have to become an investigator to actually do the interviews. They do have to ask some thought-provoking questions and then listen carefully to the answers to see that there is alignment on values.

[00:14:22] Jeffrey Feldberg: That's so interesting. And so let's talk about this for a moment. I'm a business owner. I'm going to be having a liquidity event. I have a terrific company. My company is successful and Dan, we're going to be the company now that is proactive instead of being reactive. And so Dan, I'm going to call you in and say, okay, Dan, this is my management team.

These are the people who are going to be speaking to the future buyer. These are the people who are running my business. Can you please do a background check on them? So, you then come in and what happens from that point Dan what do you typically do?

And I'll just take the position that 9 times out of 10 everything's okay. But in those extreme cases, what have you been finding and how has that made a difference?

[00:15:03] Dan Goodwin: I've got some stories. we can share, but you're right. 80 to 90% of the time, the revetting of people and talent goes pretty smooth. Realize this Jeffrey, everybody has a secret. Everybody has secrets. You have secrets. I have secrets.

Everybody has secrets, so the point is when you sit down with someone. And there are concerns maybe from the ownership group. And they're saying I would really like a different perspective or an outsider perspective as we move forward with this event, the sale, this transfer of power, whatever it is to sit down with those individual people to make sure I don't have someone working against me. That's really the question. Do I have anybody I need to be worried about that is going to try to tank this deal for whatever reason? Human beings, we hate change. We like everything to stay in their box. We like everything to be predictable and a liquidity event, a sale, a transfer, a merger, and acquisition, whatever it is, brings a lot of uncertainty.

And uncertainty creates fear. Uncertainty creates doubt. And all of a sudden, if somebody thinks they can influence the final outcome, they may do something that may be out of character that they have never demonstrated before. Does that make sense?

[00:16:39] Jeffrey Feldberg: It does make sense. It sounds very ominous, Dan, as you're talking about that, but please continue.

[00:16:43] Dan Goodwin: I had a mentor in the investigations group. He said, I always prepare for the worst and hope for the best. And I've always made that my mantra when it comes to investigative issues. So, to be able to sit down with someone and ask open-ended questions you're aware that the reason I'm here is, management's asked me to just to visit with everyone about any concerns they would have about the upcoming event transaction.

Is there anything that you're concerned about? And then you use the golden silence. It's like when you name a price as a consultant, you say, this is the price. And then you shut up because they say in sales, the first person that talks is the one that buys it. So, that's it is, it's all a part of the strategy is to assure the current management team that they don't have anything to worry about when it comes to personnel. They've got other things to worry about obviously, but not the personnel issues. And a lot of that comes down to another one of the things that I always encourage people to do. And that's the communication piece of the process and Jeffrey, you, and I have talked about your strategy and that's an awesome strategy.

I think when you don't leave questions and doubts in people's minds when they know what's going on, even if they don't like it when they know what's scheduled and what's going on, you gain cooperation or at least acquiescence as you moved forward in the process.

[00:18:18] Jeffrey Feldberg: Going from ominous to the more, the practical here for just a moment, the truth is, and for our listeners, please listen up because what Dan is saying is so spot on. In the Deep Wealth nine-step roadmap, module four and module five Due Diligence and a Winning Mindset.

They're all-around due diligence. But think about it from your future buyer’s perspective. So, now I'm backtracking to module three, the Future Buyer. Your future buyer is going to be spending millions in some cases, hundreds of millions of dollars to buy a company. So, you better believe that your future buyer is going to be doing what Dan does. Your future buy may even hire Dan to come on in behind the scenes without you even knowing to check out the management team.

And so at Deep Wealth, we like to do all the preparation well in advance of the liquidity event. So, there are no surprises. We find the skeletons in the closet. We remove them. We find the hidden Rembrandts in the attic. We put them out for public display. And so Dan, with what you're talking about, it's completely spot on for our community of you need to be doing this well in advance of your liquidity event, because it's going to be done anyways.

And if you have a problem, if you have someone who has some kind of an issue, and Dan, we can talk about those issues. I'd love to hear about some of them. At least you have the time to get ahead of it because you're not in the middle of a liquidity event where you spent, who knows what on investment bankers and M&A lawyers and you're preparing and all those other things.

That's no longer at risk because you haven't started that yet. So, Dan what would be some of the skeletons in the closet with management teams, with people, with employees that you have found in the past, that could be a potential problem for a future buyer.

[00:20:02] Dan Goodwin: Business structure comes to mind, general partnerships that weren't converted to C-corps, S-corps, and LLCs. Here's one thing that I know. When somebody starts a company if they're in the startup phase and they build it to 10, 15, 20 million. And they've never taken the time. And all of a sudden somebody comes along and says I want to give you $50 million.

Let's just say it was ten and they're on a five X they're on a five X buyout. So, $50 million. I've experienced this, I've gone through this where one of the other general partners suddenly passed. Now, you're not only in business with your other partners, but now you have another spouse of the deceased, depending on how this paperwork was written up.

It changes the flavor. You've got heirs that have to be considered. People are normally going to want some sort of a check to go away. These are things that I've dealt with. And they're not necessarily bad as you said, it's skeletons in the closet. They are just they're just life things that need to be addressed.

I've always said a business breakup, a business divorce can be worse than a personal divorce. We always want to engage directly. We always want to encourage direct, honest communication and conversation. And solve all of those issues before you go public with it. Does that help?

[00:21:31] Jeffrey Feldberg: does help. And that's one of the many reasons, Dan, that a Deep Wealth, we recommend that before you start your liquidity event, you have an internal due diligence audit. Lo and behold Dan like you're saying maybe you have some owners in the business that you never knew you had. That's a problem.

You want to take care of that before you start. So, all kinds of things can come out of that. Those aren't necessarily good things but are things that you want to know about as you prepare and you clean things up, as we like to say, find those skeletons and remove them.

So, Dan let me ask you this. A business owner who knows a liquidity event is not today, but maybe a year from now three years from now, five years from now, whatever that time is going to be, they say, Dan, heard you on the, Sell My Business Podcast. You're terrific. Why don't you come on in and do A, B, C, and D for us, Dan what does that look like?

What are you going to be doing for that business owner?

[00:22:23] Dan Goodwin: This can be highly personalized because it depends a lot on the business factors, business size, how many people. The first thing is to identify the timeframe because most of the people I talked to they've been in this planning process for 18 to 24 months.

Seriously, they've now they may have talked about it five years ago, but 12 to 24 months seems to be pretty standard as far as we need to get serious about whatever this plan is, how we move forward. So, it's my job is to come in to say, do you have all the parts and pieces? And someone like you, Jeffrey that can help them put the plan together. I partner with people like you because I'm very focused on a niche of the investigative piece of it and the due diligence piece of it, as it comes to personnel. systems processes. The fourth piece of what I work on, I don't really work on it, but it's an introduction to money investors, possible buyers. I don't focus on that, but I'm networked enough. I can actually make introductions. My niche is the people and talent piece to make sure.

And one other example is I'm thinking of. We did have a one kind of unique case where one of the business partners since it was a general partnership and they had not protected themselves with a C Corp had a tax issue to the tune of, a couple of hundred thousand dollars because guess what the IRS wanted to do since it wasn't a corporation. They were looking at the funds of that business.

[00:24:04] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow, that is a skeleton. If there ever was one.

[00:24:07] Dan Goodwin: Yes, it was. Some negotiation putting them in touch with some people that had experienced negotiating with the IRS. It was a settlement, but they did get their piece at the consummation of the deal.

[00:24:19] Jeffrey Feldberg: And so Dan let me ask you this. So, I really like how you segment it out that you can do the personnel to the system, to the processes, to introducing people and getting the networking going all really important and wonderful areas. Let's focus in on the personnel area for just a moment. And let's just imagine again, we're revving up for a liquidity event.

Perhaps I'm a business owner and I realized, you know what, Dan, the business needs to run without me. I want to go out there and I want to find the absolute best CEO or president, whatever it's going to be. I want to build up my management team. And I know in speaking to business owners, number one, this is a scary thing for them.

And whether they're doing the networking themselves, perhaps they've hired a recruiter. We all know if we're honest about it, whatever references that someone gives you unless they're asleep at the wheel, they're putting their best foot forward. You're not going to hear a bad thing about that person.

That person walks on water. There's nothing wrong with what that person can do. Could I bring in someone like yourself to help in the vetting of my top candidates? Okay. Dan, here are my top two candidates for CEO. Go at it. Let me know what you find. How would that work and what are you looking for?

[00:25:34] Dan Goodwin: I have a class that I used to teach called the seven levels of vetting your soon-to-be employees. It's very interesting public records, by the way, are awesome. We do have some closed records States, but for the most part, public records can reveal a lot using my network to know where to go ask questions.

To go do interviews of the, let's say we're, let's say we're focused on two candidates to, check their references, actually check it, actually go back and confirm with the college or university that they claim they have a degree from. I've gone as far as to check newspaper archives, I've gone as far as to check yearbooks. These are extreme cases for the most part. Yes. 95% of these people are repping who they actually say they are. But it's interesting, especially in this age of the internet, the internet is forever. That being said, you always have to take everything on the internet with a grain of salt and then confirm it. I have a phrase DTFW do the fantastic work.

But you have to go out and do the work. And some of this is just getting in the trenches and guess what Jeffrey? even those efforts sometimes don't turn up something that may be in two, three, or five years may come back to bite. However, we've done the due diligence piece of it.

[00:27:15] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow. So, all that time and effort, there can still be something that comes back and in a negative way, isn't the greatest of things. But Dan based on what you're saying, you haven't said this. So, I'll ask the question. It sounds as though some people, maybe aren't making the reference calls. Taking whatever has been given to them on paper and just, okay, good enough.

I read that it's on paper or it came from the recruiter or it came from the candidate. I'm okay with that. And then you come in and pick up the pieces, perhaps you'll come in and actually do the footwork to verify all of that.

[00:27:47] Dan Goodwin: Absolutely. If it's a frontline employee you do have exposure. You do have possible liability. Those may be easy to hire, easy to fire when we're specifically talking about somebody that I want to hire to come in and run my organization. Those always need to have a second, third and fourth look. And yes, the answer is yes. I take what that HR person has given, what that recruiter has given I independently verify that. You have with the rise of AI and we haven't even gotten into AI, but with the rise of AI, you've got all of these job websites, these job applications, all of these things where that system is only as good as the data entry into it. It takes the human intelligence piece of this to actually examine than ascertain that what they're looking at is a hundred percent. And all we can hope for is about 95%, but for all intents and purposes, that’s what we're looking at before we make a final hiring decision.

[00:28:58] Jeffrey Feldberg: And it's all true. As I think about this, Dan, and you see the interviews done afterward, or you read it in the paper or whatever the case may be. Someone has done something not so great. And the people around that person are saying things like. I never saw that. I never saw that coming from that person. She was so terrific or he was such a nice person.

I could never imagine that person did that yet lo and behold, there were these skeletons in the closet that were waiting to be found, but hadn't been found until it was too late and whatever was going to be done was done.

[00:29:29] Dan Goodwin: Absolutely. I was talking to someone yesterday. My job is to ask thought, provoking pattern interrupt questions, right? That's how I obtain information. That's how I get intelligence. And there's a couple of reasons people ask questions and that is either curious.

That's always, be eternally curious that's been my motto all my adult life. And the other reason is to verify. Reagan said trust, but verify. And I changed that to trust and verify in my line of work, you got to trust and verify. So, that's a couple of reasons why people ask questions.

Now there's also a reason that people don't ask questions. And they don't ask questions because they don't want new data points introduced into a decision-making process because they've already quote-unquote, trusted their gut and they've made a hiring decision and they don't want new data points because this is what happens.

If I receive new data points, Jeffrey, then I am responsible for the veracity or at least my opinion of the veracity of that information. And maybe I have to change my mind. Maybe I have to start over with another candidate and that is not comfortable for some people because to them it's admitting that they may have made a mistake in their initial judgment of someone.

[00:30:57] Jeffrey Feldberg: As you say, you're Dan, it sounds so crazy, but it happens to all of us. I mean on paper it's okay. Let me get this straight. I'm going to ignore new data points because maybe I was wrong and I have the embarrassment that I was wrong and better I stick my head in the sand and I'll just deal with it later when whatever's going to happen is going to happen and say, oh I guess I should've saw that.

All joking aside. What you're saying is so right, that it's so important, particularly as business owners, where we have the pulse of the company and we're driving that vision and helping to take that forward. That we put our own personal biases aside as best as anybody can and look at everything as best and honestly, and candidly, as we can, and be prepared to change our mind, to change our opinion based on what we're getting in. Now you've said something interesting with AI.

So, with the internet now and with AI, how has that changed things in your world and what does that mean to me as a business owner with both existing employees and future employees, as I look to hire them?

[00:32:02] Dan Goodwin: Wow. AI is fundamentally changing how we live our lives. When you look at this and, Netflix had a documentary and it had the word code in it. You'll have to forgive me if I don't remember the title, but it is about AI.

Remember that AI is only as good as the programmers who made it. So, if there are biases in the code that will change the outcome. When you look at China and they have their social credit system, it's all AI-driven

And you see this kind of filtering into the workplace to hire people, to hire good workers.

A lot of them, we already know the public records, your credit score, some of these other factors that employers look at. I had to go through pretty rigorous clearance questions because I had a top-secret clearance at one point and they talked to everybody and my brother and everyone else in between. AI is absolutely exponentially increasing the speed of that and how fast things can get done. So, me being old school and the human intelligence piece of it, sometimes we, again, we want to take that the report at face value because well, it must be right. It was in a computer. And it's been proven time and time again, you can supplant incorrect information and change outcomes all the time, and that AI will never substitute for a face-to-face meeting with someone where you can be in the same field of energy that you can observe their actions and reactions to the different topics that you're discussing.

[00:33:55] Jeffrey Feldberg: So, true. And we have seen that time and time again in the popular media when tragic things happen, it always goes back to technology is great. But nothing can replace that good old-fashioned human element that inserts itself, just to pick up the nuances that the technology is going to miss. So, Dan let me circle back because when you use the word interrogation at the start of the interview, it's just interesting and it's fascinating again. For our business owners out there. When we step into their shoes, particularly when they're preparing for a liquidity event, there are a few different buckets. So, the one bucket would be just dealing with the management team, dealing with the employees on a day in day out basis, having conversations, trying to get to better places, finding out what perhaps it didn't work, what we can do better. And then the other bucket is as we even forget the liquidity event, we're is growing as a company, because the strategies for the liquidity event are really one in the same for growing a company. And now you're out there and perhaps you're speaking to prospective clients, perhaps you're hiring and looking to bring on new team members.

And so the question for you is. What am I looking for when I'm in conversations, it could be anything, but telltale signs that something is just not quite right? Something is off base here. I need to pay more attention.

[00:35:19] Dan Goodwin: Great question. My job as an investigator is to dig deep enough to get that person off-script. And what I say off-script is to throw enough pattern, interrupt questions that they cannot stick with the canned answers they think that I want to hear, or that management wants to hear based upon my report. So, those things, was there anything concerning about that and to challenge them? So, my favorite pattern of question Jeffrey is how would you know if that wasn't true? So, somebody comes with a deeply held belief of a fact about this company and they make that statement. They own that statement.

They are preaching that statement and you ask that question, how would you know if that wasn't true. And then again, you shut up, be quiet and let the silence create the internal stress, the cognitive dissonance, you can see the wheels turning in that other person's head because now they have to take that thought that deeply held belief and they actually have to defend the opposite point of view. It is interesting to watch it's entertaining sometimes I won't lie, but it's interesting to watch people struggle with that. And they said I know it is true. What if it wasn't? What facts would change the fact that may or may not be true. When you can get someone to actually do a pattern interrupt on themselves, it drops their defenses.

They become more reflective. And now you can ask some other questions that don’t seem quite as threatening as that question. Then you can go into the financials then you can go into, are there any other issues, if you were the buyer, are there any other issues that you would be concerned about? And they've already lowered their guard and they're looking at you saying, okay well, I kind of lowered my guard.

I trust him. And by the way, you have to be in rapport with people. You cannot just ask these questions cold Jeffrey. You have to be in rapport with people to get the most honest answer that they are willing to share with you at that given moment.

[00:37:39] Jeffrey Feldberg: Well, absolutely. And I imagine a large part of being in rapport with someone is that you've built trust with them. Yeah, Dan's a great guy. I feel really comfortable with Dan and super nice. And he's easygoing, not give me a hard time during this interview or during this conversation and going along that path, even though you do have an agenda.

But you're not having that come to the forefront. And so with this pattern interrupt, it sounds like that's been very successful for you, Dan. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

[00:38:09] Dan Goodwin: It's my go-to. That's not the only pattern interrupt question, but that's the most effective. And I've used that for years. I've used it on my kids. My kids are adults at this point in their life. Last year when we were in the States here, we were going through the political season.

It just makes it too easy to look at what's getting reported. And always ask yourself how would I know if that wasn't true? And sometimes it's too easy to prove that it wasn't true but to use the same technique and it's a little more difficult in a business setting, but the pattern interrupt is just something that people need to use and management needs to use sparingly. You can't do it all the time. You can't make them question everything they're telling you, but it's always a good barometer on the response that you get tells you where that person is maybe physiologically. If they're nervous.

If they've got the sweats if something is really driving them to have what appears to be deceptive behavior. It could be as simple as they're having a personal issue. I stopped one of my clients yesterday. I have a very specific agenda for my consulting clients. So, we go through, when we meet weekly, by the time I got to the second point, I could tell this client was disengaged. They were thinking of something else. They were answering my questions, but not in-depth. And I said you know what? I want to stop right here. Is there something going on? You seem distracted to me. What's going on in your personal life or what's going on outside of this that's impacting and you still have to be the human. You still have to have humanity and serve humanity. And it was a very impactful thing. And you know what we dispensed with the rest of our time for the agenda because I said, you need to go take care of this issue in your life before you do any other business activities today because the adrenaline and the cortisol that is pumping through your brain right now is creating chaos.

It is clouding your thinking. It is clouding your judgment, and you need to go take care of this so that you can come back and refocus.

[00:40:34] Jeffrey Feldberg: And I would imagine Dan, number one, you were astute enough to pick up on this and you share that in a nonjudgmental way. That, whether this was a client, whether this was an employee, whether this was a CEO or a manager, this individual is walking away from that saying, wow, Dan really cares. Dan picked up on this, helped get me to a better place.

It's just a better way of not just doing business of just conducting ourselves and going back to relationships in general of really how ideally, we should all be so good for you in terms of doing that. We've been focusing a lot on the personnel side, but these strategies that you've been sharing with us, which are invaluable by the way.

Is this also what you take into in terms of your system and your processes that you work on with the various clients and businesses that you're engaged with?

[00:41:32] Dan Goodwin: Absolutely the systems and processes if it gets for example, if I'm into a manufacturing business, Lord knows. I am not, I'm not the one I have. I stay in my lane. I always pull on some partners, some other vendors that I can pull into the process. Now I can go in and look at margins.

I can look at worksheets. I can look at financials P and L's. I can look at all of the data pieces and most people can figure out how to create margin. The other piece of this though, and we haven't really talked about this piece is that we have all our systems and processes documented. When we get a business ready for a transfer, M&A liquidity sale, whatever word you want to insert in there, it's much more attractive for a buyer to be buying a system, they're buying a business, obviously, they're buying a cash flow, but they are also buying a well-oiled machine. And, I take great interest in the HR piece of that because that's, investigation, security, HR, we all worked hand in hand back in the corporate environment.

But to have an HR handbook to have that communication plan out. Jeffrey, I think you have these same elements in your plan too, right?

[00:42:54] Jeffrey Feldberg: We certainly do. Roadmap, step number seven, Timing And Communications in the nine-step roadmap. And this is up to the liquidity event, closing of the liquidity event. And then immediately afterward. What do you say? How do you communicate? Who do you speak to? And when, all that is covered, but you're right Dan, what you say when you say it, who you say it to is often the difference between success and failure. It's more the art of a liquidity event than the science of it. It's absolutely essential and critical.

[00:43:25] Dan Goodwin: It's funny when you said the word art, it re it reminds me of another talk I have called art is a TLA three-letter acronym, art it's approach, reach, and timing. Approach, reach, and timing. That applies to communication, stakeholders, employees, management, team, buyers, sellers, you can apply that anywhere in life.

[00:43:45] Jeffrey Feldberg: So, true and not to underscore enough of what you said of you're absolutely right. Your future buyer is buying a system or as one investment banker called it, look at it as an ATM machine. And that's how they look at it. So, you better be sure that you have it documented and everything's in writing and it's all down and organized.

So, that is words to the wise, Dan. So, Dan, let me ask you this as we begin to wrap up the podcast, there's one question that's my absolute favorite. I love to ask every guest on the podcast. And here's the question for you. So, Dan, I want you to think about the movie Back to the Future. In the movie, you have this magical DeLorean car that can go back to any point in time.

So, imagine now it's tomorrow morning, you look outside your window and lo and behold, it's the DeLorean car. It's at your doorstep. It's waiting for you. The door is open and you're going to go in. And you can go back to any point in time, any point in your life. It's maybe Dan as a young child or Dan as a teenager or as an adult. Whatever point in time that you'd go back to, what would you tell your younger self in terms of lessons learned or do this, or don't do that?

What would that be?

[00:45:01] Dan Goodwin: Wow. That's deep. That's deep. Immediately when you said that I thought my senior year of High School. And then what I would tell myself, and there's a myriad of reasons why I would pick 18 years old. What I tell myself is wake up, stay focused, celebrate your wins, and believe in yourself. Those are the four things I would say.

[00:45:23] Jeffrey Feldberg: So, true. And don't confuse simple with simplicity because that is incredibly powerful. Thank you, Dan, for sharing that.

Dan I'm going to put this in the show notes for our listeners though, that are on the go and they want to learn more about what you do and get in touch with you. What's the best way online that they can reach you?

[00:45:42] Dan Goodwin: The web website, address of

[00:45:47] Jeffrey Feldberg: Terrific. And for the listeners again, that will all be in the show notes. It'll be a click away for you. Well, Dan as we wrap up this podcast, firstly, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to spend with us on the, Sell My Business podcast and with the community for sharing your insights and your wisdom.

And as we close things out as always, please stay healthy and safe. Thank you so much.

[00:46:09] Dan Goodwin: Thanks, Jeffrey. I appreciated being here today.

[00:46:11] Sharon S.: The Deep Wealth Experience was definitely a game-changer for me.

[00:46:14] Lyn M.: This course is one of the best investments you will ever make because you will get an ROI of a hundred times that. Anybody who doesn't go through it will lose millions.

[00:46:24] Kam H.: If you don't have time for this program, you'll never have time for a successful liquidity

[00:46:29] Sharon S.: It was the best value of any business course I've ever taken. The money was very well spent.

[00:46:35] Lyn M.: Compared to when we first began, today I feel better prepared, but in some respects, maybe less prepared, not because of the course, but because the course brought to light so many things that I thought we were on top of that we need to fix.

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[00:48:41] Jeffrey Feldberg: Are you leaving millions on the table?

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As we close out this episode, a heartfelt thank you for your time. And as always, please stay healthy and safe. 

This podcast is brought to you by the Deep Wealth Experience. In the world of mergers and acquisitions, 90% of deals fail. Of the successful deals, business owners leave millions of dollars on the deal table.

Who are we and how do we know? We're the 9-figure exit guys. We said "no" to a 7-figure offer based on 3-times, EBITDA. Two years later, we said "yes" to a 9-figure offer based on 13-times EBITDA.  In the process we increased the value of our company 10X.

During our liquidity event journey, we created a 9-step preparation process. It's the quality and depth of your preparation that increases your business value.

After our 9-figure exit we committed ourselves to leveling the playing field. The Deep Wealth Experience helps you create a launch plan in 90-days. Our solution is resilient, relentless, and gets results. Enjoy the certainty that you'll capture the maximum value on your liquidity event.
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