Most people absolutely hate the thought of sales or trying to sell someone their product or service. We’d all like our reputation, hard work and non-salesy approach to speak for themselves to grow our business. The truth is, you can build a business with just those three approaches but not very big and not very fast usually.
These are some tips to make a conversation about your business result in a sale and for it to feel natural and not pushy.
1. It’s all about them
This is a great strategy to take the focus off you and start building rapport to hopefully get a sale. Make a list of questions you can ask a prospective client to get them to open up about their concerns in their business. One of my favorite questions I would ask a potential client is “what’s the biggest frustration about your bookkeeping right now?” This really gets to the heart of their concerns and opens up the conversation to enable you at some point to share how you can assist them with this problem. Have two or three of these questions up your sleeve. It’s not really about the problem, it’s about building rapport and trust.
2. Remove the pressure
If you really need some more cash NOW, that’s a lot of pressure on you to get the next client.
To ease the pressure, make a plan of how many clients you would like in the next 3 months, plan your marketing around that (eg. one Accountant appointment a week, 100 letter box drops a month, etc) and stick with it (this is the key). Sales is a numbers game. You just need to be persistent, follow a plan and eventually you’ll get results. I promise.
3. You’ve got time
The biggest mistake people make with sales if they don’t want to appear too salesy is they either rush straight to the sales pitch or they avoid it altogether.
The best way to prevent this, is to work out your own style and what makes you feel comfortable.
The style that set me up to feel fantastic when I was meeting prospective clients, networking events or Accountants for referrals is below. You can experiment with this, it’s really whatever makes YOU feel fantastic – people can feel that when they meet you.
- Be prepared. This can be anything that makes you feel prepared. For me it was to have all my sign-up paperwork printed, partially filled out and ready to go, and be 10 minutes early.
- Be the best dressed person in the room/office/networking event (and this does not have to be expensive)
- Google their business and write down one or two points of interest to be inquisitive or curious about in the meeting.
- Have at least two examples of clients that absolutely love what you do for them and weave that into the conversation. You can say something like...
"My passion is bookkeeping and the feedback I get gives me encouragement that I’m doing it well. My business has mostly been built on referral, actually the last one I got was from an Accountant and ----"
- Watch Youtube videos for suggestions on how to connect with people (see a fantastic one below from Chad Littlefield)
I love this 6-minute Ted Talk by Chad Littlefield to help us all be more brave around connecting.
His message is People matter and connecting with people should feel natural and normal.
So, in summary:
- Write a three-month marketing plan and stick with it
- Remember it’s all about them
- Set yourself up to shine – and be remembered!
Written by Sharon Francisco, Pure Bookkeeping Mentor
She is a mentor to bookkeepers drawing on her experience growing a bookkeeping business from 2 to 12 staff in four years using the Pure Bookkeeping System.
Article by Sharon Francisco
Sharon is a mentor to bookkeepers drawing on her experience growing a bookkeeping business from two to 12 staff in four years using the Pure Bookkeeping System.