I’m going to get right to the point in this section by stating the single, most compelling reason for your EB-5 project, instead of building a case before I make my point.
THE COMPELLING REASON FOR ANY CHINESE PERSON TO INVEST IN ANY EB-5 PROJECT IS IMMIGRATION TO THE UNITED STATES!
The moment you have forgotten this fundamental concept, you have lost all focus on how to succeed with your project and how to capture the interest of potential investors. As soon as your primary interest becomes how to make a ton of money by using the EB-5 visa program, you begin viewing potential clients as shills, whether you admit it or not.
The EB-5 program, despite all its admirable intentions and actual benefits, is an invitation to shysters to extract money from people of high net worth. Wealthy individuals are always the target of unscrupulous people, from petty thieves to Ponzi scammers. The point at which any person, wealthy or otherwise, is especially vulnerable is when they need help to take advantage of an opportunity, because they are willing to pay for it. EB-5 Agencies are a prime example, as they are not interested in processing paperwork nearly as much as they are in creating their own wealth. They see the opportunity to dip into the pockets of the investors before they leave China, and they see the opportunity to dip into your pocket to take back what the investor is willing to pay for your services. They just call it a commission.
Unfortunately, some American EB-5 projects have been fraudulent and have, therefore, failed. No wonder the Chinese investors are skeptical. They ought to be.
Earlier, we discussed the need to be an expert in EB-5. This could not be more important. The most valuable service that you have to offer is obtaining EB-5 visas and, ultimately, Green Cards for high net-worth Chinese people wanting to move to America. Their individual reasons for doing so may differ, but their common objective is the same; and that objective is the compelling reason behind your EB-5 project. It is not the project itself.
Look through the eyes of your prospective client. The Green Cards is the objective. It alone is the compelling reason for their investment. Your project, and their investment in it, are means to an end. When your priorities are not perfectly aligned with those of your client, you do him a disservice and you set yourself up for failure — and, perhaps, future litigation.
One of the best books I’ve ever read is “How Can You Defend Those People?” by Mickey Sherman, a world-famous defense attorney The fact is, he has defended a lot of people who appeared to be guilty and, in some cases, may have actually been guilty. The reason that Sherman is so famous is that he was remarkably successful at defending his clients, many of whom the public would refer to as “scumbags.” But to my point, the reason that Mickey was so successful was that he understood his clients’ objective, which was the same in every case. They wanted to be declared not guilty. It was his job to make that happen. The whole point of the book is that Sherman stayed focused on the compelling reason for his clients to hire him.
Did Sherman make a lot of money? You bet he did. But he made it by understanding the compelling reason for his services and by staying focused on that reason. He shares stories in the book about what he may have thought about a client’s guilt, but only to make the point that that was not his concern. He was hired to protect his client’s rights and to defend the client effectively enough to gain his freedom.
I’m using Mickey Sherman as an example of someone who never lost sight of his clients’ objectives. And I am saying that, if you want to be successful in the EB-5 sector, the compelling reason for presenting your project to Chinese investors had better be making sure that they get their Green Cards within the framework of the program.
I might suggest that making your compelling reason the same as your potential clients’ ought to give you a greater level of credibility than your competitors. If the Chinese investors are as discriminating as they would have us think, they will be able to distinguish between someone who wants to help them get a Green Cards through the EB-5 process from a person who is trying to sell them on an investment project.
I can show you a trail of tears left by car salesmen and REALTORS™ who, after being clearly told what I was looking for, tried to sell me something else. I parted ways with many to whom I said, “It has become apparent to me that you are not listening to me and that your objective is to sell me something, even if it is something else.”
I am doing my best to promote integrity in this book. Keeping the Green Cards as the compelling reason for your project may be the anchor for integrity. If Johnny Cochran were writing this book, he might say, “If the project doesn’t fit, you must forget.” The honorable approach is to find a project that is a good fit for your client so that he or she gets the Green Cards. In order to get the Green Cards, there has to be an investment, and the investment must have a clear probability of meeting or exceeding the not so difficult requirements to obtain the card.
Show your potential client that their objective is your objective. Commit to your client that you will do everything in your power to ensure that they succeed. There is nothing about EB-5 that could be more compelling, unless it is your record of success in helping clients get their cards.
I can’t help but think of the following lines from the movie classic, Coming to America. It seems to appropriate to understanding the compelling reason for your EB-5 project.
Lisa McDowell: So why did you come here?
Prince Akeem: To find something special.
Lisa McDowell: It's a long way to travel.
Prince Akeem: No journey is too great when one finds what he seeks.
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