|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...|
|HDK Consultants USA Inc.|
WHY is selling Accounting services such an unpleasant and difficult task?
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 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 steel if you don't get affected by the doubts and belittling remarks that go with sales work.
And what about the closing phase - pressuring the client to decide when he slashes 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, is it?
Selling is just about the most awful thing one could think of, isn't it?
But WHY is it so horrifyingly abominable, really?
After all, what's happening in sales?
There's a prospective client who has contacted you (or remained in contact with you) by his own free will.
He 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.
Granted, there's always SOME sales resistance. But whence comes that terrible panic that takes potential clients in its grips, making him postpone the decision at any cost?
It isn't something you do. Instead, it derives its force and desperation from decades of traditional marketing push.
Selling by force - before the client knows what he is actually supposed to buy!
Effective, aggressive selling is the watchword of traditional marketing. Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against selling as such. But I do think it is silly to push for a closure before the other person is fully aware of what he is supposed to BUY.
It's not only silly, mind you. It is also terribly irritating to the client. In fact, it is such a negative experience that he isn't likely to talk to the salesperson ever again!
Traditional marketing has, as its basic principle, the insistence to SELL as soon as possible. Everything in a marketing strategy has to be sales-oriented and commercially motivated in one or more ways. Everything a salesman says is somehow intended to GET THE SALE for him.
Of course, you know this already. Everyone knows it instinctively. And why is that?
Because it's been going on for TOO LONG.
The experts behind traditional marketing apparently never realised that a client might not KNOW the product or service offered to him. These experts never figured out that THEY should ensure that the client understands what he is offered, how it will benefit him, how it will save him money... and so on.
Sure - there have been many sales lectures on naming benefits and unique sales propositions have been created... but that's not what I'm talking about here.
It's a small but infinitely decisive point - but so obvious it is hard to see:
To a client, truth is only that which HE is certain about.
He will only regard something as a FACT if HE has reached certainty about it.
In other words, if YOU tell him "a fact" it won't BE a fact - not to HIM.
This is especially true in a stressful situation like selling, wherein the salesman has obvious vested interest in having the client believe the facts presented.
Now, this is SO obvious that it almost escapes our notice: 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 client suspects every single "fact" that the salesman so carefully presents. Thus, the salesman's hard work actually serves to create a directly OPPOSITE effect than intended!
Of course, not everyone suspects every single fact presented by the salesman. But almost everyone suspects a good portion.
And that's where the fatal flaw is:
The client never really achieves certainty on WHAT he is supposed to be buying and WHY.
I stress the word CERTAINTY as in "the feeling and knowledge of having found something to be true without any reasonable doubt."
Since the traditional marketing strategy doesn't allow for any casual contact between the salesperson and prospect but instead, gets straight down selling aggressively from the onset, there's never a relaxed moment for enlightening the prospect on the product or service itself.
Have you ever been truly pestered by an aggressive salesperson? If you have, then you know what I'm talking about.
That feeling of being boxed in makes it really hard to concentrate on anything else but how to get AWAY from that situation. The salesman is just TOO active and aggressive... you feel really rushed and just want to shout "GIVE ME SOME SPACE HERE!"
You DON'T want to agree to what he says simply because he PUSHES and RUSHES you into making the decision sooner than you feel comfortable with.
You know how it is.
Have you noticed how, if later a SIMILAR situation arises, you're already worked up because of that earlier unpleasant situation?
If this happens often enough, the mere reminder of it - or anything even vaguely resembling such a situation - turns you off IMMEDIATELY.
And once that happens, you don't really listen to what the salesman is saying any more. Instead, you feel uncomfortable and just can't wait to get away from the situation.
Now - how often do you think an average business owner gets "hit" by an aggressive salesperson, be it on the telephone or in person?
Right. He is a prime target for thousands of salesmen in the area. He gets it all the time!
Now, a SKILFUL salesperson doesn't create such an effect.
Unfortunately, for every skilful salesman there are at least a thousand - some say 10,000 - salesmen with much less ability and aptitude for the job. And these boys and girls WILL make you feel uncomfortable - guaranteed!
Now, here's the important part:
Without a period of totally non-sales-related time with your prospect, there is absolutely no chance he will be able to reach sufficient CERTAINTY about your service in order to sign on.
All this "get to the point and sell" approach doesn't create a circumstance wherein a potential client COULD trust the information you give him.
He doesn't have a CHANCE of evaluating those facts on his own, he doesn't have the time and space to figure it out... and he remains uncertain.
In other words, with the traditional marketing approach, the prospect will NEVER be able to form an informed opinion about your service.
This means that you have to PUSH to get him to sign on, because he definitely doesn't possess the required certainty to do so. With "certainty" I mean the knowledge of doing the right thing or, conversely, the confidence of knowing he isn't making a terrible mistake.
Now do you see where that terrible panic making the client avoid decision comes from?
Right you are. It comes from not being allowed a FACT-FINDING phase prior to selling.
To make your selling EASY, you only need to AVOID selling until it IS TIME to sell.
It's not at first contact. It's not at handling the prospect, not during presentation of your services, not during defining his needs and wishes for the service, not during creating a tailored quote for him, not during going it over with him... but only when all that is said and done.
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?
The fundamental mistake of traditional marketing philosophy - the wrong flow
Tell me - if you start running aggressively towards another person... what happens?
Obviously, nothing positive, if your intention is to strike up a friendly, trusting relationship with that person.
And that's the fatal and fundamental mistake of traditional marketing: It teaches us to attack people aggressively from the onset.
But that's not the way you create relationships, no matter what type of relationship, is it?
For instance, if you want to find a spouse, you wouldn't just walk up to every representative of the opposite sex and ask them to marry you, would you? You'd get turned down awfully fast, every time!
First impressions are so vitally important. You don't make friends and you don't get clients by ATTACKING them. I don't care HOW the traditional sales experts paraphrase or justify it - it is the wrong thing to do.
You don't easily correct a bad first impression. Well, I'm being too nice here - for it's a fact that you rarely even get a second chance if you blow it the first time.
And yet, what does the traditional marketing strategy so emphasize? SELL! Go for the jugular! Ask for the sale twenty times and you will get it!
Definitely, you'll get some sales. But it'll be very few - you won't like the success ratio a lot... and you'll like the reactions of your prospects even less!
Modern Marketing Technology - the right flow
So, if you shouldn't go directly AT the prospect, what should you do then?
You should place yourself in his vicinity with a natural, slow and unthreatening way. It shouldn't have ANYTHING to do with sales. And then you don't demand anything of him, you don't tell him what he should think or do.
What do you do if you want a person to come TOWARD you? You walk AWAY from that person in a very definite way. Not upset, not discarding... but in an atmosphere of "feigned disinterest," while making very sure he or she NOTICES.
It sounds silly, I know. But bear with me - it gets sillier!
The game young people play when forming a relationship is quite educational to observe to learn the correct approach in sales!
See how the boy and the girl seem to "accidentally" bump into each other ever so often - pretending disinterest, casual... nothing special here... oh, hi there! - see that?
Have you noticed how they talk about the things that interest the OTHER person, trying to look at things from his or her viewpoint?
How they find mutual likes and dislikes, friends and hobbies... things like that? The way they want the other person to talk and enjoy listening to what he or she has to say?
And have you beheld how the more they talk and feel what they say is accepted by the other person, the more self-confident they become?
How CERTAIN they are that the other person is the right one - from here to eternity... no matter HOW many times they may have had their hearts broken previously?
Observe how GRADUALLY their relationship develops. It is as if there were modules or phases of preplanned contacts, following each other at short intervals - they can stay apart two-three days, maximum... seen that?
That, basically, is the anatomy of Modern Marketing Technology of Accounting services.
While you don't marry your clients, the principle of creating trust and cooperation still apply just the same.
You create a natural reason to be in contact with lots of business owners.
You look at things from THEIR viewpoint - not yours.
You have preplanned tools to find out mutual likes and dislikes, to get the business owner talking and then keep him talking, feeling clever and self-confident, enjoying your company.
You get HIM to evaluate what went wrong on any earlier disappointment he may have had with Accounting firms and services.
You get HIM to define what kind of an Accounting service would be valuable beyond anything he's experienced - what it would be tailored EXCLUSIVELY for him.
You set it up so you have SEVERAL contacts with each business owner, each phase carefully preplanned to further increase that mutual good feeling, to advance that certainty he has about your specific services tailored for him alone... well, you get the idea.
You build it up into a set of contacts - it takes no more than 3-4 from first contact to a sale, if you have the precise tools for it - and get him to make SMALL DECISIONS all along the way.
To get an idea of how this works, CLICK HERE to read about the modern accountancy presentation technique that so many of your colleagues rave about.
We also deliver several theme seminars in and around the subject of selling accounting services. Click here to read about HDK Theme Seminars for accounting firms.
You gain his trust and readily answer his question about Accounting and finance - all while becoming HIS recognised expert on these matters. You give him a sense of what it feels like to be serviced by you.
And you DON'T ASK FOR THE SALE until it is TIME to do so. You don't SELL AT ALL!
The benefits of Modern Marketing Technology
Could a big decision actually be a constellation formed by lots of SMALLER decisions?
Is there a power strong enough to turn the head of someone who has achieved CERTAINTY that another person is trustworthy, good, skilful and the one he wants to cooperate with?
What happens when a potential client gets more and more HOT on the service you're presenting and you STILL WON'T SELL?
You figure it out!
To get a better idea of the exact tools to have the right approach which allows you to effect sales at an extremely high success ratio practically without selling, CLICK HERE to view the contents of the Modern Accountancy Marketing & Sales System.
It might be the starting point of something big.
- Monthly Financial Consulting Service: Introducing the proven superior BASIC accounting service that will give you a steady flow of new clients: The MFCS practically sells itself!
IF there was a way to ensure that clients understand and use the information they receive from YOUR basic Accounting service... you would have a mile-long queue of business owners outside your door, all begging for you to accept them as new clients!
CLICK HERE to read how to start delivering a basic Accounting service that 85% of business owners consider so valuable that they would immediately start considering a change of Accountants if they thought it was available...
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As the owner of an Accounting firm, you have many separate tasks and hats. In this article, we examine how easily one can think about marketing "wearing the wrong hat"... and how to avoid the inevitable cost...
Why not offer what businesses want MOST?
51% of small businesses turn to their Accountant for advice...but are we WASTING this natural demand by NOT advising SMEs on the most make-sense and NEEDED areas of enterprising... just because they don't know how to ASK FOR IT?
Packaging Accounting services into highly desirable products
What on earth is PACKAGING? Well, it's the first and most important part of marketing... something without which you will have enormous hardships in getting your services sold effectively because you're not utilizing the PULL that's there. If you read nothing else from our web site, PLEASE read this...
Instead of paying thousands, how about GETTING PAID for marketing your Accounting services?
In your wildest dreams, have you ever imagined that marketing your services could DIRECTLY BRING INCOME instead of costing an arm and leg?
No, you didn't misunderstand and there's no mistake here... and it's not a wild scheme but something a growing number of firms are employing today...
Looking for inexpensive marketing ideas for a small or startup Accounting practice?
A small Accounting firm has some very speficic requisites for any marketing system. Otherwise, you're playing with the very survival of your practice.
There are certain simple basics on how to EVALUATE Accountancy marketing systems on whether these really have what it takes for you to get new clients.
Making use of normal people in selling Accounting services... or are you planning to do it yourself forever?
Read this article to find why it's seemingly impossible to get someone to sell your services successfully. Once you KNOW, you can actually DO IT...
EXPANSION-MINDED OR NOT? Why not take this tongue-in-cheek test to measure your readiness for expansion...
Expansion doesn't just happen like a lightning out of blue skies. It requires favourable circumstances... Here's a test for you if you have what it takes to BITE bite into this hot chilli pepper...????
Ready-to-use tools for finding prospective Accounting clients and to present & sell your services successfully:
What's all the fuss about ready-to-use tools for marketing & selling Accounting services? What's the difference if these are NOT software solutions then WHAT are they?
The biggest trap stopping you from obtaining Accounting clients at will...
There's an insidious, invisible TRAP into which we've all fallen. If allowed to remain unnoticed, this trap mechanism will effectively keep any Accounting professional from ever gaining the ability to obtain clients at will.
Knowing the anatomy of this insidious trap (and knowing how to get out of it) is probably the most vital piece of knowledge for unleashing your true potential in acquiring new clients at will.
Why you can't find anywhere NEAR as many prospectice clients as you want:
If only you could FIND MORE PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS...
Why does it appear impossible? Why do you get SO FEW referrals and prospects? What's causing this?
Well, chances are you've totally overlooked the biggest source of prospective clients in your area!
Pricing Accounting services at value... but what's the value to clients?
Pricing your service by hourly rates will always result in lots of upsets and unnecessary explanations.
Why not adopt the principle of charging for availability of advice and at the value your expertise really represents to clients?
How can you CREATE that value in the minds of your current and future clients? Its not all that hard if you know how to do it...
Do you KNOW what what business owners think about, value in, and want from Accounting... or just THINK you do?
Are you LOSING THOUSANDS by assuming business owners think the same way you do about Accounting services? Could it be that their viewpoint is very much different?
One thing is for certain: If you align your marketing message to meet EXACTLY what business owners want from Accounting services, you will start gettin a lot of new clients. Read why most Accounting firms are SO CERTAIN THEY KNOW while they still can't get new clients...
Accounting service marketing: Getting your message across
Why is it so difficult to get ANY response to marketing letters, ads and sales promotions? What can you do to change it?
Why "hiring a marketing expert" won't cut mustard if you want new clients...
One of the most common misconceptions among mid-sized Accounting firms is to think that all they need for marketing is to hire a marketing expert.
But that's really like solving a transportation problem by hiring a chauffeur and forgetting that he needs a VEHICLE to drive before any results can be hoped to be obtained...
So you're looking for a faster, easier solution to finding new Accounting clients?
Many Accounting professionals in public practice don't really want to get involved in marketing and sales that much. Instead, they're looking for a fast and easy solution to finding new clients.
But BUYER BEWARE... does such a system EXIST at all? Well, many CLAIM that it does but if it sounds too good to be true...
-Vital necessity of troubleshooting-- When choosing a marketing system for your Accounting firm...
Learn the insider secret on how you can instantly spot a functional marketing system and reject untried and unproven systems. The secret lies in whether or not the system has TROUBLESHOOTING TOOLS...
Risk Management: Controlling the risks in marketing Accounting services
So you HATE cold calling and don't AT ALL believe in telemarketing?
Then JOIN THE CLUB... you're definitely not alone!
But is telemarketing really a waste of time and money... or is it simply that you need a completely DIFFERENT approach (and system) to get lots pf prospective clients for Accounting services by way of telemarketing?
Prospective Accounting clients through direct mailing?
Many Accounting professionals in public practice have tried their hand in creating sales letters. And most of us have had to give up for it's very expensive to find out that the letter doesn't bring results...
To get results, you need to use exactly the right words and concepts in your letter. And while it's not much of a secret, it makes a huge difference in response...
7 factors governing the success of Accountancy prospecting
You're 98% success... but to get a new client you need a hundred!
- FIGHTING BACK: How certain are you that it is impossible to get new clients for your Accounting firm in today's economic situation?
Midst all the bad news, it's easy to forget that an economic slowdown contains both risks and opportunities, just like any other. Doing nothing is the only certain way to ensure that the situation can do maximum damage.
In fact, during recession you can make a HUGE LEAP FORWARD in terms of increasing your clientele and income... simply because most of your competitors do absolutely nothing. All you really need is to have a marketing strategy that aligns with the economic situation.
How to SELL without having to use superlatives about yourself?
If only it was easier to sell...
Selling your own ability - yourself, in essence - is often not too pleasant. Using superlatives can be very embarrassing... and one can also argue that such salesman antcis don't go well with the image of an Accounting professional.
It's a paradox - if you tell the client how great you are, he might get turned off... but if you don't, he just won't know.
New Generation Accounting Service PRESENTATION techniques
The traditional Accounting service presentation has outlived its usefulness. It still works with referrals and some prospects, but if you are serious about getting a lot MORE clients, you'll want this amazing new technique...
Advertising & Marketing of Accounting services - a complete waste of effort and money?
Well, admittedly it often is. Why is it so difficult to get RESULTS from advertising or marketing campaigns? What's the catch?
Are you practical or not when it comes to selecting a marketing system for your Accounting firm?
How can you find out beforehand whether or not a marketing system is practical and easy to use? Is it possible to estimate how fast and easy it is to start using the system and actually OBTAIN the expected results... new clients?
Comparing Accountancy marketing systems: The ease of getting started and the degree of support
In selecting a practice management system for your Accounting firm, it is essential to ensure those offering the system have actually used it themselves...
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Traditional Accountancy marketing has a lot of good and perfectly applicable parts and practices. But some parts are ineffective by now. Learn how you can get results by using the MODERN marketing tehniques...
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Sometimes the idea of increasing the number of clients isn't appealing for obvious reasons. Not everyone wants to expand through a vast clientele and take on the hassles of employing many people. A sole practitioner who's been in practice for a while usually has TOO many clients already... and too much hassle. The old 80/20 rule (20% of clients cause 80% of the hassle but not of the income) can be beaten but it takes a bit of cunning.
How to sell advanced added-value Accounting services
Many Accounting Professionals have superb additional services to offer to their clients. But why are those added-value Accounting services, special consulting, valuation and other such excellent services so difficult to sell?
There's a very simple and logical reason for it - and once you know what the barrier is, you can effectively open the door to increase the sale of these additional services.
How to sell Accounting services: Getting your hourly rates accepted by prospective clients
Majority of business owners seek for low-cost Accounting services. Justifying reasonable hourly rates is a constant pain and source of disagreements.
There is a simple way to help your prospects and clients accept your fees...
Do you want to get a lot more REFERRALS for accounting services?
Referrals are the cream of all potential clients for an Accounting firm. They're easy to deal with and you can close almost all of them onto your services.
But why are they so hard to find? And how do you INCREASE the flow of referrals?
from contact to sign-on to follow?
to really GET results?
with TOOLS that require no training to use?
& sales activity of practical nature?
and troubleshoot problems?
independence to obtain new Accounting clients wherever you want?
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