|Selling Accounting services isn't anyone's favourite job. But WHY is it so difficult and unpleasant? Could there be some underlying factor that makes it hard? What if you corrected that one thing and selling became easy and comfortable..|
Modern Accountancy Marketing & Sales Course
What makes selling Accounting services so difficult?
|The Modern Accountancy Marketing & Sales Course is used by CPAs, Chartered Accountants and Accounting firms in 45 states in US and 30 countries worldwide to get a constant flow of year-round Accounting clients inexpensively and predictably.|
WHY is it such an unpleasant and difficult task to sell Accounting services?
Let's open our coats here and just say it as it is: For most of us, selling is a job for dogs as far as enjoyment is concerned.
And selling yourself having to use superlatives about your own service and expertise is ten times worse.
Really... who would ENJOY having to sell his or her own services?
You're selling yourself, in actual fact - and your self confidence has to be made out of concrete if you don't get affected by the doubts and belittling remarks one unavoidably receives from prospects while selling anything.
And what about the closing phase pressuring the client to decide and then watch him slash out with all his might to escape having to make that decision now?
If you're like the rest of us, it isn't your idea of fun...
Selling is just about the most awful thing one could think of, isn't it?
But WHY is it like that? Why is it so difficult to convince people and, indeed, to HELP them?
Let's take a look at what exactly happens in a sales cycle.
Emotional response to change
Every sales proposition represents a CHANGE for the buyer. Whatever it is that he is being offered will, if purchased, CHANGE the way things were, in one way or another.
Mind you, it the SIZE of the change is not all that important a factor, albeit bigger sums of money (or longer commitments) always mean bigger decisions, of course.
But the CHANGE in itself is the difficult point for the prospective client... because he is reacting to the unknown risks of it through EMOTIONAL reaction, not by logical thinking.
Change worries people. Change often means a worsening of conditions, the loss of control, the missing out on something one doesn't want to miss... or the necessity of facing issues one prefers to leave untouched.
The last point is always an issue when you sell expertise. An expert is feared because he can SEE things that others can't.
"Self-selected" ignorance is a bliss for most of us; we know we're avoiding something but, not wanting to find out that things could be a lot WORSE than we fear, we simply look the other way, avoiding the thing instinctively.
It's this avoidance of things that you have against you in selling your expertise, really not the business owner himself but his FEARS OF THE UNKNOWN.
"Unknown" defined here as "that whose existence he is vaguely aware of but fears enough to want to ignore it (for a little while longer)."
I wonder if you fully realise how much FEAR your expertise can arouse in laymen?
I've seen it myself in marketing. Many a time I've watched the mysterious behaviour of prospective clients when conducting a meeting THEY have asked for: They spend the time convincing me how they DON'T need any help in marketing or sales from an expert!
Why do they do that? Well, they do it because of a "caveman reaction" an automatic emotional response brought on by the fear of an expert possibly pointing out some grave and costly mistakes in their business activity.
We all have this fear to some degree. Many of us can control it... but for all of us it's an instinctive reaction which, unless handled by the sales person, will make us avoid the decision.
But let's get back to the problem of selling your expertise.
The prospect's mind will be loaded with worries. Here are some of the things he might be thinking:
What if you will force him to face his own inadequacies as the top executive of his business?
What if you point out some grave mistake he has made or find some killer-problem whose effects are irrevocable?
See. You're the doctor and he fears he has some terrible illness that will change his life and possibly be an inoperable growth.
Ignorance is a comfort zone. It is an agony easier to bear than full certainty of some terrible problem or impeding doom.
(Or so they think, for nothing is worse than having to worry about something for months and years without having access to the actual facts and the help of an expert to SOLVE the problem and rid one's mind of the fear!)
Now, you might not believe that your sales efforts could bring about such a strong emotional reaction in the prospect. He will hide most of his reaction behind cynicism, suspicions and all kinds of behaviour.
But it's there, make no mistake about that.
The problem of selling your services to prospective clients is that those who NEED your expertise don't have it... and for them to AVOID this emotional reaction they should already HAVE their finances under full control, see?
No doubt you've often had cause to wonder why prospective clients think so irrationally. Why can't they SEE the need for change? Why don't they REALISE the benefits they could receive from your services?
Irrationality is caused by feelings such as fear, suspicion and avoidance of change.
The rational side of the prospective client obviously WANTS a new Accounting firm. He is obviously INTERESTED in what you have to offer - why else would he BE here? - and yet, it is like World War III when you try to close the deal that both of you so obviously want!
It doesn't make any sense, really... unless we realise that the resistance comes from an irrational source negative emotions concerning the fear of change.
Now we see that it would be better to find a way to AVOID awakening those instinctive negative reactions.
And so it is that the easiest sales you've ever made are those in which the client has FIRST been made to feel at ease before any attempts to SELL are begun.
The trouble with traditional marketing and sales techniques is the insistence to SELL as soon as possible.
This haste simply activates those emotional defences... and once that happens, it's ten times harder to close the prospect onto the sale.
The "no-sales" approach of Modern Accountancy Marketing technology
Basically only two primary actions are needed to sign a prospective client onto your services.
The first of these is to have a totally different approach to selling than traditionally. It needs to be something that puts him at ease and increases his interest, thus activating his rational thinking.
The second part is to have a way of making HIM "invent" those claims and benefits of the service which traditional sales technique tries to enforce on the prospect.
If YOU state those claims then he will instinctively SUSPECT what you say.
If you ask him questions to which he feels free to answer in any way he likes... and if those answers that HE formulates based on his own thinking then end up speaking FOR signing onto your services... then you have a sale.
See. The business owner will trust what HE has concluded to be a fact. Thus, the trick is to go about it the "inverted way" never stating claims but always asking questions to which he will form an answer that IS the claim you want him to believe!
Now, the reason for this is almost too obvious to be noticed:
The facts presented in any sales activity are, of course, carefully selected to give the client a REASON TO BUY the product or service.
Only, the PROSPECT is looking at it like this:
"Oh well, this person gets a bonus if I buy so obviously, he would only tell me positive things about the service. It is in his interest that I buy and I won't buy unless it's good - so therefore, he may well be LYING or telling me only a partial truth..."
Can you see how this "inverted logic" works here?
The remedy is to "re-invert" it so that YOU never state any claims at all no point in doing so as he will only suspect those claims and you end up achieving the adverse effect but, instead, ask him a set of carefully prepared questions whose ANSWERS (coming from him) will form those claims.
Of course, one cannot guarantee the "right" answer to EVERY question. That's why the Client Requirements Interview in Part 4 of Modern Accountancy Marketing Course contains SEVERAL questions of similar kind.
You can only have relative certainty that the prospect will end up forming ENOUGH facts speaking FOR signing on.
That's the trick, really. He makes many small decision along the interview which then form the big decision.
And guess what? If you do it the right way, you won't really have to sell at all!
Because done right, this will CREATE the required certainty in the mind of your potential client. He will KNOW what it is he agrees to, he will have confidence in that he is doing the right thing and he is sufficiently assured signing on is not a mistake but something that will clearly increase his own success.
Makes sense, doesn't it?
Modern Marketing Technology - the comfortable yet effective way of reaching a high success ratio in sales
In our client-acquisition system, presentation and sales are basically intertwined into one, albeit that there are several tools and two phases to affect the result.
Once a prospective client has been found (by direct mailing, telemarketing, networking, through a special prospecting web site or by whatever means) there's an invaluable tool called the Client Requirements interview. This is done on the phone to save your time: No point wasting time with a prospect BEFORE you've found out whether or not he is serious about wanting to improve conditions.
This interview consists of a set of cleverly planned (tested and proven) questions which will put the prospect at ease, focus his attention on the improvements he wants and allows him to form a large number of positive realisations on how your service is by far superior to what he currently receives.
Once that's accomplished, you set up a meeting. In the meeting, you have two further tools to use for closing the prospect onto your services. The great thing about these tools is that they produce positive results if only you READ them out loud... no additional sales talk is necessary.
Part 4 of your Modern Accountancy Marketing & Sales Course gives you all that you need to sell the service without any salesman antics or training in sales closing.
If you have sales skills, you can use your knowledge... but it's not necessary for obtaining positive results with this system.
This system of selling is very natural, comfortable and unthreatening to both the prospect and you. It allows you to remain in your role as an Accounting professional... and you never have to turn into a salesman.
Instead of using traditional selling techniques, this system lets you win the trust of the prospect gradually, continuously increasing his level of interest so that HE becomes the "proactive buyer," asking questions and convincing himself of the benefits of your services.
Now, I want to stress that this whole system is already fully incorporated in the set of tools that you receive in Part 4 of your course. You don't have to invent any of the steps, you don't even have to KNOW how or why it works... it will still WORK and produce new clients.
Summarising the basic STEPS within this system I would explain it in terms of a few simple steps (each of which are already in form of ready-to-use tools so you don't need to figure out HOW to do any of them) like this:
Again, I stress that you don't have to KNOW these steps in order to effect them more or less perfectly and obtain the expected results at a reasonably high success ratio you only have to use the tools, follow the questions... basically just read out loud so please don't get overwhelmed by the theory of it.
It's very much simpler DOING it than understanding its theoretical basics from this very short introduction.
That's just one of the reasons why you'll want to HAVE the materials of Modern Accountancy Marketing Course.
It's the awesomely powerful technique of directing your prospects to make small, positive decisions all along the route.
In the final analysis, a big decision is merely formed from many SMALLER decisions. Once you achieve that then the prospect achieves sufficient certainty of his choice... and nothing can stop him from signing onto your services!