Referrals are critical to the success of your accounting service.
However, it’s important that, when you’re talking to a prospective client either face-to-face or on the telephone that you don’t rely on the flattering comments made by the person that referred you but instead sell yourself along with your services.
As accountants, we are often conservative by nature and as a result of this, selling ourselves seems awkward to most. It doesn’t have to be that way – we are all natural sales people when it comes to things we are interested in.
There are some basic rules to follow to simplify this daunting task. If mastered, you can achieve a fast track to success.
Well known broadcaster, Larry King, in his Nightingale-Conant audiotape series, indicates that everybody is always selling something – yourself, your education and your experience and expertise. You want to be most proficient at selling yourself as you’ll never sell any product as important.
He has the following advice to help us all become more proficient in selling ourselves:
1. Show the prospective client what you can do for them. Don’t sell the features rather sell the benefits (see the article on our website “Sell the Sizzle, not the Steak”). You can achieve this by listing the improvements you will make to their business and how it will bring them greater profits. It’s also beneficial to bring details of the prospective client’s business into the conversation so they can relate better to the improvements.
2. Be your best self. It’s essential that you maintain an open attitude and illustrate your enthusiasm.
3. Preparation is always the key to success. There’s a lot to be gained from listing all the points that you want to raise and to rehearse your answers to all the perceived questions you feel the prospective client will ask – especially the difficult ones.
4. Intelligent questions about the client’s business are welcome. They show two things – that you’re prepared and that you care.
To be successful we need to be able to master the art of conversation and being comfortable in conversation is a vital ingredient for success in this pursuit.
You don’t often get a second chance to impress therefore it’s important that you make each meeting a winner in selling yourself without going over the top.
|Learn to ‘Sell the Sizzle, Not the Steak’
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