I was talking to a bookkeeper who had a problem with a new client. When he first called and asked her what she charged, she told him. When she arrived, he directed her to the computer where the software was installed, explained what he thought needed to be done and how long it should take and then left her to get the job done. Eager to impress, she got to work only to find that the data file was a complete mess and it was actually a rescue job and not what she was told. It was going to take much longer than the client estimated because he didn’t understand what was involved in a rescue and she wasn’t charging enough.
Her first mistake was that she didn’t position herself in the initial call.
Let’s look at a couple of different scenarios in response to a call from a prospect who is shopping around and asks – “I’m looking for a bookkeeper. How much are you?” The most common response is that you tell him your rate. The prospect says “Great, let’s make a time tomorrow to get started.” He’s controlling the engagement.
Instead, what if you said confidently - “If price is your priority then I’m probably too expensive!” He wasn’t expecting that! OK, it’s possible he might hang up (and if he does that’s a client you don’t want anyway). But what if he responds with “Price is not necessarily my priority.” And you reply, “So you want to find out how I’m going to empower you around your finances, great. I’m not available until Friday. What time suits you then?”
That’s positioning which puts YOU in control of the engagement. Have you been brave enough to use that line when you get a call from a tire kicker?
I know it takes courage, but you’ve probably got more of that than you realize.
Article by Michael Palmer
Michael is the CEO of Pure Bookkeeping, the host of The Successful Bookkeeper podcast and an acclaimed business coach who has helped hundreds of bookkeepers across the world push through their fears and exponentially grow their businesses and achieve the quality of life they've always wanted.