Because many of us have not undergone extensive sales training, we will help you with some of the objections that you might run into with prospective clients. There really are not that many of them that you need to be prepared for. What are some of the more common objections by prospective clients?
As you talk with small business owners there are certain questions or comments that may create, in your opinion, a barrier to getting a client’s business. Some of these questions/objections may create great anxiety on your part if you don’t have some appropriate comeback responses. The trick is to take the objection and turn it into a reason why the prospective client needs and wants your services.
#1 “Are you a CPA?”
If you are a CPA, you’ll respond affirmatively and be done. However, if you’re not (and most of us are not) then, of course, you’ll want to respond differently. The key is to teach the prospective client that, first, you don’t need to be, and secondly, it’s to their advantage that you’re not. Here’s what to say: “No, I am not. And, you’ll be glad I’m not after you hear what I have to say. Not only will I be able to provide you with the same level of expertise as a CPA, but I will be able to do it at a far lower cost.”
#2 "Do you prepare taxes?”
If you are a tax preparer, say “Yes.” If not, don’t worry. Simply tell the prospective client, “You bet! I have an associate that is an expert tax preparer.” Make sure you have the alliance already set up with someone that is willing to work with you in the event you have tax questions. In return, you’ll give them more tax clients at the end of the year.
#3 “I already have an accountant” or “My spouse does my accounting.”
Recognize that out of ignorance they are typically referring to different services than you are offering. Oftentimes the small business owner may regard accountants only as tax preparers or someone that is simply taking care of the checkbook. You’re offering monthly attention to their entire financial position.
So, what do you say? Try this: “That’s terrific. Could you benefit from any additional services such as tax planning to reduce your taxes, improved cash flow management, or ideas in how to run your business more profitably?”
#4 “We do our own accounting.”
Somewhat of a twist on the previous objection, but may be approached a bit differently since it may indicate that they have hired an employee to do their accounting. Here’s how to respond: “What if I could save you money on your accounting costs and give you even more information than you are now getting? Would you be interested?”
#5 “Your fee is a bit more than I had expected.”
Assuming that you know your fee is competitive, if the prospective client responds with “sticker shock” it’s likely because he/she hasn’t priced the market or is comparing apples to oranges. First, make sure that you are considering the same level of services as they are. Ask them to tell you what services they are expecting, and if they had a price in mind. Possibly, they are comparing you to a cut-rate service where they are simply entering the checks and deposits into a computer and that’s it. If that’s the case you’ll certainly want to re-tally their fee based on the different level of services.
If their fee expectation is lower by just a small amount, you may want to consider dropping a less critical service, such as pick-up and drop-off services to get your fee more in line with their thinking.
If You Are Prepared, You Need Not Fear
Using these suggested responses you will find that these objections won’t trouble you. Knowing that you have good responses to these questions, you may even welcome these "objections" as a way to sell yourself better. Your confidence will spill over to your clients. They will know that you are prepared and have been around a while. When you turn what your potential client things of a negative and deal with it as a positive, it diffuses them and can help create a more open discussion.
Learn More Ways to Market Your Accounting and Bookkeeping Skills