Live from NACVA: ‘BV credentials don’t matter,’ says Abraham—at least, not when building a big BV practice

One of the biggest “myths” about marketing a BV practice is that all the practitioner needs is a designation (or several designations) from any of the major BV professional credentialing organizations. “Your qualifications are critical,” explained Mel Abraham in his keynote address to the 2012 NACVA Consultants’ Conference in Dallas last week. But since all appraisers must have the appropriate credentials to practice their valuation skills, “your particular qualifications don’t matter to the marketplace or your position within it,” he said. Your designations don’t differentiate you—or help create a seven-figure practice. “It’s the experience you have and the results you get that matter.”

Market positioning is the key to debunking the other big BV marketing myths, such as “there’s too much competition” or “it takes too much time” to build a successful BV business. Sure, it takes time, effort, and the proper education, tools, resources, marketing practices, and—perhaps most important—professional mentors. But the impediments to building a wildly successful practice are not a surfeit of competitors or a dearth of client referrals. Abraham said, “It’s all about positioning yourself in the marketplace,” and then creating the right perception and promotion of your particular proficiencies. In his NACVA address, Abraham offered a cornucopia of practical tips for appraisers to engage their intended audience—including how to use the Internet, email, direct mail, video resources, and publishing and speaking opportunities. Look for a complete discussion of how to build a BV business that serves “society, community, and your life” in the August 2012 issue of Business Valuation Update.