Avoid these common sales mistakes
Regardless of your firm’s size, selling challenges the comfort zone of most accounting professionals. Although some firm owners make it look easy, don’t be fooled. Selling your services doesn’t come naturally for most accounting professionals. And you’re likely to make several highly common sales mistakes. That’s exactly why sales is the worlds highest paid profession.
But don’t worry; selling is not something that’s impossible to figure out. If you’re willing to learn, you too can build an accounting firm that enrolls high value clients through consultations.
So this article tells you how to avoid the common errors which happen during a typical consultation with a potential new client.
Common misconceptions about sales
Selling isn’t being salesy
As an accounting professional, you enjoy bringing the financial insights to life. Sales, however, may not be your strength. Let’s immediately clear something up. Closing a sale is not about selling someone.
Enrolling consultations are not your time to boast about all you’ve accomplished. And, pressuring a potential client to sign on with your firm is never acceptable.
Highly successful accounting professional want to help others first. That means you want to be a trusted resource.
I’m sure your current clients appreciate the work you do for them. Well, selling is an extension of that skill. A trusted advisor wants to guide a potential client to make the best decision possible. Sometimes not working together is the best decision.
It’s all business, nothing personal
Expect some objections. Don’t take an objection personally. That’s because it’s not about you.
If you’re someone who quickly gets discouraged when a potential client quickly says no, let’s fix that. The last thing you want is to have a potential client see disappointment wash over you. Unless you’re a professional actor, the rejection appears in your face, your eyes and your voice.
But what if the objection means something else? How would you respond differently if you knew this was really an opportunity to continue the conversation? There are many ways to overcome such objections and it’s all about shifting your perspective.
The real meaning behind objections
Instead of shutting down the conversation, Discover what’s underlying the objection. Get curious. Ask questions to uncover the real meaning behind the objection. You may say something like So what questions do you have, Lisa? When a potential client states an objection, ask them to tell you more.
For example, you can say, What do you mean, Laura? I’d like to hear more? As a trusted advisor, continue to express genuine empathy and concern. Be patient as she formulates her thoughts. Then, and only then, you’ll learn where she needs more information.
Objections call for more information
Hardly anybody will waste their precious time objecting to a deal that they have zero interest in. Accounting professionals, especially when they don’t like to sell, take objections as a sign to end the conversation.
Objections, however, are another step in the consultation process. It could mean, I want to know more to determine if you can really help me. A trusted advisor realizes this part of the conversation helps a potential client recognize the value you offer.
The silence is deafeningDuring a sales conversation, silence is your friend. Read full post. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet
You decide to make an offer to your potential client about how they can work closely with you. The initial couple of seconds afterward seem like an eternity. Will the deal be closed? Or, will there be an objection to the price, a component or the entire offer?
When your offer is met with silence, you may jump to conclusions and believe your offer doesn’t appeal to your potential client. However, there’s another possibility – she’s pondering over it. In fact the silence could be strategically planned.
If you interrupt the silence, you could disrupt her thinking. She may have been a few seconds away from saying let’s get started. However, don’t give into the impulse to speak. Allow the silence to linger.
Make silence your best friend
During a sales conversation, silence is your friend. Here’s how you can use silence to your advantage.
Silence Can Lead to Opportunities
Some potential clients do not have an issue talking about their needs, or voicing concerns, about your offer. Then there are others who are more reluctant to share negative, or honest, feedback. In case your potential client falls into the latter category, no amount of persuasion will draw out their core concern.
All things considered, silence works in your favor. When you ask a question, the potential client may not want to immediately reply. Silence, however, encourages them to share. Pay attention to what they say. That’s because they’re going to reveal their true concerns.
So who should break the silence?
How does the prolonged silence affect you? Your probably want to break the tension. Remember, your silence allows your potential client to continue talking. The more they talk, the more information you gather, and the more information you gather, the greater value you provide.
Silence is Your Ally
Remain quiet! I’ve spoken with too many well-meaning accounting professionals who broke the silence by offering a discount. Even when the potential client didn’t give any indication that price was the issue. But their nerves got the better of them.
Rather than giving out freebies or a premature price reduction, simply state your offer – and then remain quiet. Do not sabotage the consultation. Wait for your potential client to share her thoughts.
Do not make offers you will later regret because the silence unnerved you. During that seemingly painful silence, you can rehash or rethink questions. You can silently count to 30. However do not say something you’ll later regret. This is one of the common sales mistakes you can avoid.
You don’t need to become a salesperson to enroll high value clients. Pinpoint where you go wrong. Then avoid the common sales mistakes. Start to see objections as an opportunity to learn about the client’s needs. Don’t take things personally. Then, practice sitting patiently in silence. This shift in your perspective can turn a potential client into a new client!
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