If your prospects don’t like and trust you, they won’t become your clients. But once you know how to create great conversations, you’re one step closer to building a VITAL firm.
Like so many accountants, Claire started out with a pretty straightforward view of marketing. She figured that offering a good service was all she needed to do and the marketing would grow from there.
But with Oompf Global, she discovered the massive impact that good marketing could have on her business:
“What surprised me the most is the amount of content that Amanda’s got that is so relevant. I kind of thought all marketing was the same. But actually, when she starts going through all of her different steps, you suddenly realize how straightforward is to do it and how many different ways there are to do the marketing.”
Thanks to her work with us, Claire is a good marketer who knows how to make her firm VITAL to her clients. Among the many things that Samantha learned was how to have great conversations with her prospects.
This is an area where many accountants struggle.
If you’re like most accountants, you don’t consider yourself a master conversationalist. Before starting your own firm, you spent most of your time delivering a service, rather than talking to people about it.
But if you don’t master the art of the marketing conversation, you’ll allow so many prospects to slip through your marketing funnel. In fact, filling your funnel is so important that we call it a marketing and sales Superpower.
And we want to help you discover your Superpowers.
With these techniques, you’ll have better and more productive conversations with prospects and clients. And in the process, they’ll like, trust, and be more willing to engage with you.
Technique #1 – Find Common Ground
Ask anybody what makes their relationship so great and you’ll likely hear the same thing over and over…
“We have so much in common!”
This isn’t just an empty platitude. With relationships, discovering the common ground you share with somebody else is a crucial part of building trust.
When a prospect comes to you, they don’t know what they’re letting themselves in for. They’re leaving their comfort zone and taking a risk just by talking to you. This creates a sense of nervousness that leads to them feeling guarded.
Finding common ground is one of the best ways to help a prospect feel relaxed. People trust those who are like them in some way. By finding common ground, you inject a little familiarity into an unfamiliar situation.
But how do you find common ground?
Be curious. And – above all else – listen. Ask questions that encourage them to share a little bit about who they are. For example, asking what somebody got up to during the weekend could give you some insight into their hobbies. If you share a hobby, you now have something to talk about that will help you build trust.
The conversation will segue back to the business end of things, of course. But that small bit of common ground creates a level of comfort that makes the conversation flow more smoothly.
Technique #2 – Build a Strategy Around Conversations
“I’ll just wing it.”
This is not a good idea in the context of having conversations with prospects.
Understand that these conversations are marketing tools. They’re an opportunity for you to learn about the prospect and talk about how you can help them. When you wing it, you’re taking any concept of structure out of the conversation.
This means that you and the prospect might go off on tangents that distract you from the point of the conversation. Ultimately, you’ll likely end up with several unproductive hours spent on the phone.
Conversations are a part of your firm’s marketing strategy. And just like any other form of marketing, they need to have a strategy built into them. You need to know the end goal of the conversation and the journey you’ll take the prospect on.
Of course, no two conversations will be exactly alike. But without a stable structure, you risk wasting time and failing to provide what the prospect needs from you.
Technique #3 – Personalise the Interaction
Nobody wants to feel like they’re just a number to your accounting firm.
That’s why it’s so important to personalise the conversation to each prospect. Of course, this includes the basic stuff, like using their name. Finding common ground, as discussed earlier, is also a form of personalisation. It shows that you care about them, rather than the income that they bring to your business.
But personalisation goes far beyond that.
What specific problems does this client have? Has the client talked to you about their aspirations? What’s the vision that fuels their organisation?
These are all questions that you need to answer to make conversations more personal. And those answers need to go into your CRM so that your sales and marketing people can leverage them.
A generic sales script won’t work in today’s market. Your prospects expect you to know about them.
Technique #4 – Be the Pain Reliever
We talked about identifying your prospect’s problems in the previous point.
This isn’t just about personalising the conversation. When you identify problems, you also learn what it takes to become the pain reliever for the client.
What is a pain reliever?
It’s the person who provides the remedy to the problem, of course.
Think of yourself as a doctor and your prospect as a patient. They’re presenting symptoms. And you’re going to use those symptoms to diagnose their illness and provide them with a cure.
Ask what they’re struggling with and provide actionable advice. This establishes you as a voice of authority, which means the prospect is more likely to listen to you in the future.
Technique #5 – Be Honest When You Don’t Have the Answers
You don’t know everything.
Hopefully, that isn’t too much of a blow to the old ego. The point we’re making is that sometimes a prospect will come up with a question that leaves you completely stumped.
The key here is not to try and stumble through an answer. The prospect will notice that you’re just trying to appear knowledgeable and they’ll disengage with you.
Instead, take the honest approach.
Tell the customer that you don’t have the answer right now. But as soon as the conversation is over, you’ll make every effort to find it for them. This allows you to move the conversation back to an area where you do have expertise.
There’s one last point to make here.
If you tell a prospect that you’re going to find an answer for them, you need to follow through. They’re waiting on you for this important piece of information. If you don’t provide it, after saying that you will, you damage whatever trust they might have in you.
Technique #6 – Talk Less (And Listen More)
Mike Weinberg is the best-selling author of books such as New Sales Simplified and Sales Management Simplified. He likes to talk about an incident early in his career that taught him an important lesson about conversations.
Mike and a co-worker named Frank had a meeting set up with a client. We’ll let Mike explain what happened next:
“Frank stood up in the front of the boardroom to (his exact words) “tee-up our demo with a brief presentation.” And in front of the president of this giant company and the committee, Frank put up self-focused slide after self-focused slide.”
The result of this approach?
The client endured over 20 minutes of self-promotion before finally banging his fist on the table. He wanted to see a demo, not listen to some salesperson prattle on about himself.
There’s a simple lesson here.
Your prospects aren’t interested in you. They’re interested in the benefits that your product or service can bring to their lives. So talk less, listen more, and show the prospect why you’re the right choice based on what they tell you.
Tip #7 – Use Your Content to Establish Yourself as a VITAL Voice
When does a conversation with a prospect start?
It doesn’t start when you pick up the phone and say hello. The conversation starts long before you actually talk to the prospect.
The content you put out is the real starting point of the conversation. It’s where the prospect gets their first experience of you, your firm, and what you can offer. And the strength of your content will determine whether they’ll want to talk to you directly.
So, you need to create VITAL content.
How do you do that?
Listen to your audience. Figure out what questions they’re asking and focus on providing the answers with your content. This establishes you as an authority before the prospect even hears your voice.
Create Cracking Conversations
Samantha learned just how much of an impact conversations can have when it comes to marketing. Now, it’s time for you to take an honest look at how you talk to your prospects.
Do you listen to them, establish their needs, and focus the conversation around solving their problems?
Or do you constantly talk about your firm and the features of your services, without considering the prospect’s needs?
If it’s the latter, you need to put these tips into practice. After all, a great conversation can make all of the difference when it comes to turning a prospect into a client.
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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