Even star accounting salespeople fall into a prospecting slump now and then. Here are some sure-fire steps you can take to shake yourself out of a slump and move on to higher ground:
Boost Your Confidence In Your Abilities
Until you are convinced that you are good at what you do, you will not convey to prospective clients that you have confidence that you can do what you say you can do. Write down your fundamental strengths as a freelancer. Think about your successes. Set goals that you want to achieve and visualize your victories as an outstanding professional as if they had already happened.
Start With Success
Make a quick list of your most likely prospects – your Preferred Client Profile. Meet with these people before you meet with others. Not only are you focusing on those that are most likely to end up as a sale, but the positive contact that you have with them will boost your confidence when dealing with less than ideal contacts that may not be as interested in your service. Success begets success and failure begets frustration. If you begin on a high note, those that are less receptive will be less likely to bring you down and frustrate you. Then, when you meet a negative contact, try not to focus on them, but constantly refer back to when you were successful. Don’t create a mental block by beating yourself up, telling yourself that you are not good at sales or other negative things. Assume that the prospective client just didn’t need your services, give them a smile, and move on. A good salesperson is one that can shrug off some rejection and focus on their successes. Be positive … your success depends on it.
Try out new ideas. For example, invite the prospect to lunch with you and one of your present clients. A fresh outlook can be just the thing you need to get back into the swing of prospecting. Never assume that just because what you have done in the past was successful that it is the MOST successful way to do things. Constantly tweak your sales pitch, trying out new approaches, and write down after the meeting what you said and how it was received. Weed out pitches that consistently don’t work. Insanity has been defined as doing something the same as you have always done it but expecting a different result. If what you are doing isn’t working, try something new. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
Work the Numbers
There are only two ways to increase sales: Increase your closing percentage or pitch to more people. Increases in effectiveness per client may take time to develop, and you want to make money now. While improving your closing rate will help, you have less control over it than you have of the sheer numbers of contacts that you make. In fishing, the term “suicide fish” refers to a fish that any angler could land, no matter how poor. In sales, you will find suicide fish as well. There are those out there that need and want the service that you provide. They don’t want to do their books themselves or do not want to take the time to learn how. You just have to find them. They will purchase your services because they need what it is that you have to offer, even if you are not the most eloquent sales person. You will learn to get better at sales over time, but to get started, the quickest way to increase sales will be to increase the number of contacts that you make. When you find a client, it will boost your confidence as well as your bottom line. That increased confidence will help to fire you up to go out and find more. Your successes will beget more success. Remember: “The last sale you made was at one time your next call”.
Network With Other Freelancers
Rely on other freelancers to help keep you excited and to learn best practices. Compare notes and keep one another’s spirits up. Enthusiasm is contagious. On the days you don’t seem to have it, you can catch some enthusiasm by talking to a colleague who’s riding a winning streak. If you don’t know other freelancers, this might be a good opportunity to look a few up where you live by clicking the link below:Visit the Accounting Network
Do some cold calls. Stepping outside of our comfort zone with the challenge of cold calls can help you get back into the game. Try networking with groups or in settings that you previously had not thought of. For example, I know of an Accountant that marketed to independent truck drivers with great success, while other Accountants probably never thought of marketing to that group. When you cast a wider net, you will find niche markets like that which had never occurred to you. The only “perfect lead” is the one that you sell to. If your current target market is either saturated or simply is not returning the results that it used to, you will want to remove limits that you may have placed on yourself and who you tend to market to. Cold calls are a good way to get back “in the trenches” with your potential customers.
Learn Success Techniques From the Successful
If you want to improve your golf game, do you consult the guy next to you that is doing about as well as you are. No, you consult a pro. When it comes to sales, there are some excellent resources out there that will not only teach you effective sales techniques, but will help to get you worked up and excited about sales. Motivational sales people like Brian Tracy will help to get you motivated and excited about making money at what you love to do anyway.Use these tips to get out of your prospecting slump and, as Zig Ziegelar says, “I’ll see you at the top!”Module 4 of the Professional Bookkeeper Course teaches other marketing strategies to make your Accounting and Bookkeeping Service profitable.Learn More About What Module 4 of Our Accounting and Bookkeeping Course Teaches About Marketing Your Business