Selling your service can sometimes feel a little…awkward. You might even feel guilty about asking somebody to buy your services. Fix that mindset and you’ll soon be on your way to mastering sales.
You’ve worked hard to build a relationship with a prospect. They respect your opinions and they see you as an authority in your niche. In fact, they’re pretty much ready to pull the trigger and become a client.
So…what’s stopping you?
Why do you struggle to make the sale, even when a prospect shows you all the signs that they’re ready to buy?
We think it’s because sales feel a little “dirty” to many people. Some people even feel like they’re pushing their services on others and intruding on their prospects’ lives.
This is a clear mindset issue and there are two factors at play here.
The first is that you need to realise that selling isn’t about being pushy or intrusive. It’s about offering value in a service so amazing that your prospects want to pay for it.
The second issue comes from having the technician’s mindset. Jayen Patel had that problem before coming to our Oompf Global marketing workshop:
Jayen came to us because he felt like he’d reached a plateau in his accounting business. No matter how hard he worked, the firm just wasn’t growing.
He soon realised that he was still stuck in the technician’s mindset. This is a common problem for those who start their career working for other accounting firms. They’re accustomed to providing services directly to clients. When they start their own firm, they continue to do just that, instead of switching their focus to growing their business.
Jayen’s realisation made it much easier for him to market and sell. And now he’s got a growing firm, and he relies on others to handle the technical work.
It’s time that you change your mindset too. You need to get past this idea that selling is a “dirty” thing. And with these tips, that’s exactly what you’ll do.
Tip #1 – Be the Purple Cow
That sounds like an odd phrase from the off, so bear with us here.
Imagine that you’re driving past a field full of cows. Every single one has the same brown and white patterning that you expect to see. You may occasionally spot a little bit of black thrown in there, if you’re really lucky.
…And then you see something different.
There’s a bright purple cow in amongst the sea of brown, white, and black.
That’s going to catch your eye!
Seth Godin came up with this idea, and the philosophy behind it is very simple…
You need to find a way to differentiate yourself. You need to be the purple cow amongst all the firms that offer the brown and boring services.
When you become the purple cow, you don’t have to worry so much about trying to sell your service. The things that make you unique are also the things that draw people to you. Instead of feeling like you have to force people towards you, the uniqueness of being the purple cow will draw them in.
And because they’re attracted to your firm, you feel more confident in selling to them.
Tip #2 – Learn How to Say No
There’s something very important that you need to realise about your services…
They’re so valuable that a lot of people will want to take advantage of them. And because of that, you should never feel uncomfortable about selling those services. You know that they bring something special to your clients, so have confidence in them.
But that value also brings with it some challenges.
You’re going to have prospects who aren’t ideal for your business. And when those people raise their hands, you need to have the confidence to say no to them.
When you can do that, you’ll see that selling isn’t about invading anybody’s life. It’s about building a mutually beneficial relationship wherein you both get value.
Furthermore, having the power to say no removes any desperation from your sales pitch. It reverses the balance of power. When a prospect knows that you might say no, their focus switches from what they can get to how they can impress you.
Suddenly, they’re selling themselves to you, rather than the other way around.
Tip #3 – Focus on Making an Impact With Your Service
You need to get away from the idea that selling is simply a transaction.
It’s actually about you making an impact on somebody else’s world. You’re giving your prospect the opportunity to achieve a transformation, thanks to what you do.
In accounting, that may mean you’re helping them free up money to invest into growing their business. Or, you’re freeing up their time so that they don’t feel like they’re burning themselves out.
What you do has a positive impact on your clients’ lives.
Remember this whenever you enter a selling situation. This isn’t just about the money. It’s about you and your client working together to create a transformation that they really want.
Tip #4 – Become the Detective
Ask any salesperson what you need to do when talking to a prospect, and they’ll tell you to ask questions.
This is absolutely sound advice…as long as you’re doing it for the right reasons.
In traditional sales, you’re asking these questions in an effort to find an angle for the sale. You’re looking for the problem you can pounce on to make your pitch to the prospect.
That’s what often feels so dirty. You may feel like you’re manipulating the person, so that you can get what you’re looking for.
You need to refocus your questions.
Instead of looking for an opening to make your pitch, aim to find out more about the client.
Specifically, you want to find out if this client is a good fit for your business.
This often means going beyond asking about the needs that they believe they have. Really dig into their issues to figure out the root causes of the symptoms that they present to you.
Only when you know the client inside and out should you make your offer. And if the client turns out to be a bad fit, don’t be afraid to say no to them.
Tip #5 – Help Rather Than Sell
So far, we’ve focused on a few things that can help you feel more confident in a selling situation.
But maybe that just doesn’t work for you. Perhaps it’s the very idea of selling that feels unpleasant, to the point where you struggle to do it.
If that’s the case…stop trying to sell.
Instead, focus on helping the prospect as much as you possibly can. And when we say “possibly can,” we mean that you need to draw a line between the help you provide for free and what you charge for.
The key here is to place the focus on the prospect.
Focus on finding out more about them and aiming to build a relationship with them. Show that you care about them and want to help in any way you can.
This focus on nurturing will eventually bear fruit. You’ll soon find that you don’t need to actively sell to the prospect. Instead, they’ll come running to you when they’re ready to buy.
Tip #6 – Get Ahead of Objections
Every single prospect you talk to will raise some objections.
This doesn’t mean that they’ll immediately shoot down your offer. Instead, they’ll ask questions and highlight concerns.
It’s a simple fact of selling…And yet it makes so many accountants feel uncomfortable.
When somebody raises an objection, it can feel like they’re telling you that you’re not good enough. You may start to doubt your offer and the value that’s attached to it.
And from there, the feelings of discomfort related to selling only keep growing. You feel like you’re intruding, because you don’t believe that your offer has value anymore.
So, understanding that every prospect will have objections is the first thing that you need to do.
The second is that you need to prepare for those objections.
There are likely some common sticking points in your offer that prospects often bring up. The price is a common one, as is the way that they pay you.
These are all things that you can pre-empt and prepare answers for.
Ask yourself what objections a prospect may have about your offer. Create answers to the questions they’re likely to ask and you’ll find that your confidence doesn’t get knocked.
Sales Isn’t Dirty
In the end, selling is as much about mindset as it is technique.
You’ve likely spent much of your career as a technician, rather than a customer-facing accountant.
As a technician, you’re all about providing the service, and less about convincing people to buy it.
That mindset needs to change.
You need to approach selling as an opportunity to provide value to the people who really need it. And to do that, you have to recognise the inherent value that exists in what you have to offer.
P.S. When you are ready to have more TIME, increase your PROFITS and catapult your IMPACT here is how you can get help and increase your superpowers:
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