Identify Your Sales Conversation Style
Let’s be honest. You enjoy working with your clients. But sales conversations aren’t fun. Well, your accounting firm depends on both. Do you know your preferred selling style?
Your personality favors one of these two styles —hunter or nurturer. They exist at opposite ends of the spectrum. Nurturers enjoy building relationships while hunters aim to enroll new clients. As an accounting professional, you want to develop both skills.
Sale conversations are uncomfortable for most accounting professionals. You didn’t start your accounting practice because you enjoy selling your services. Rather, a great idea inspired you.
Without sales your firm doesn’t grow. Without client nurturing you lose clients by attrition and your business stagnates. Basically, selling keeps you in business.
Where Are You in the Spectrum?
To evaluate your current place on the spectrum between nurturer and hunter, look at the qualities of each selling style. Write your own list. Put a checkmark next to the qualities you currently possess. Then note which aspects your struggle with most during your sales conversations.Without sales your #accounting firm doesn’t grow. Read full post. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet
Nurturers gravitate toward relationships and conversation. As a nurturer, you’re dedicated to your clients and what they need. By the way, it’s easier to offer new services to an existing client than a new one. As a result, clients stay with your firm longer than average.
- Connection. You enjoy connecting and developing the relationship.
- Rapport. You easily build rapport and quickly earn trust.
- Gather information. Because you genuinely care, you are naturally inquisitive. Therefore, you learn a lot during sales conversations.
- Discovery. Your initial consultation uncovers the client’s specific problem or need.
- Solutions. You get excited when you know you can help them resolve their financial concerns.
Clients of nurturers feel heard and understood. Working with you gives them peace of mind.
Hunters excel at taking the lead and directing sales conversations. There’s nothing more exciting than signing on a new client.
- Challenge. Since you’re slightly competitive, you genuinely enjoy bringing on new clients.
- Persuasive. You expertly guide the sales conversation so they sign on with your firm.
- Objections. Objections don’t scare you off. They are simply part of the conversation.
- Lead. Your process leads a client from being interested to being invested in the solution.
- Close. Once someone signs on, you onboard them as quickly as possible.
Hunters love a challenge and enjoy closing the sale. They constantly seek to improve their close rates.You enjoy working with your clients. But sales conversations aren't fun. Well, your business depends on both. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet
Improve Your Sales Conversations
Larger accounting firms hire teams of hunter salespeople to sign on new clients. Once a new client enrolls, then client relationship managers step in to maintain the relationship.
Until you’re at a point where you can build a sales team, enrolling new clients is up to you. So, you either need more ways to add on services with your current clients or improve your sales skills. Both contribute to growth.
If You’re Weak on Hunter Skills
If you shine at building relationships but can’t close the deal, you may wonder why someone didn’t become your client. You know you can solve their problem. And it’s discouraging, especially when you felt a connection to them.
Take heart. The biggest problem is the disconnect which occurs as the conversation shifts to the close. Even nurturers can improve this part of the sales conversation.
Follow the lead of hunters:
- Practice. Practice, practice, practice. Become comfortable with discussing what it’s like to work with you, asking for their business and confidently discussing the money part.
- System. Winging it doesn’t work. Follow a step-by-step system which guides you through this part of the conversation.
- Genuine and authentic. Shift your view about closing the sale to remain engaged and authentic. Consider enrolling a new client as a give instead of a take.
- Objections. Your mindset influences how you respond to objections. Don’t view this as an end to the meeting. Realize objections are a signal that they need more information. List the top 5 common objections you’re most likely to hear. Then, decide how you want to answer each one.
- Mistakes. Learn from your mistakes. Those mistakes offer valuable insight about what happened and how you could respond differently the next time around. Improvement occurs with each conversation.
Like any skill, from driving a car to playing the concert piano, developing your hunter skills takes practice. Skilled sales people practice these skills for hours…and hours. You will feel uncomfortable in the beginning, but over time you’ll find the words flow naturally.If you shine at building relationships but can’t close the deal, you may wonder why someone didn’t become your client. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet
If You’re Weak on Nurturer Skills
If you gain new clients and then they disappear after awhile without a word, you can boost your client retention through practice. Your bottom line improves when you take care of your existing clients.
- Team player. There’s no room for a lone ranger. Instead of seeking a zero sum game where one person has to lose in order for another to win, aim for a win-win scenario. You’re willing to go the extra mile, even when there’s no obvious benefit for you.
- Address concerns. Don’t ignore your clients by being unresponsive. When you acknowledge concerns as soon as they voice them, you won’t leave clients feeling unheard. Your clients want to feel as if they matter, not as a transaction. Unheard clients leave, often with no warning.
- Top of mind. Don’t take your existing clients for granted. People want to be acknowledged and appreciated. Find ways to keep them engaged so they realize they matter to you.
- Client retention. Ignoring current clients is like leaving money on the table. Remember, it requires less effort to keep a client than to continuously bring in new clients. Determine how your accounting services can better serve your existing clients. Improve your renewal process. Also, discover what upsells or cross sells they need.
Self-Evaluation is Your Starting Point
Know your strengths and use them. Know your weaknesses. Then practice to build your skill set. You need to be a hunter who knows how to nurture a relationship. And nurturers need to know how to shorten the sales cycle.
Like learning any new skill you may feel awkward and clumsy at first. But with practice, you’ll turn yourself into a hunter-nurturer.
If it’s uncomfortable, then you ought to be doing it. Follow these recommendations for your business to be successful, and grow while keeping your passion alive. Do you avoid sales conversations? Discover how to enroll new clients who are happy to pay your fees. Right NOW claim your FREE RESOURCE to grow your bank account.