|New sales techniques for Certified Public Accountants will make sales & prospecting for Accounting service clients much easier, natural and more comfortable. What is more important, it also brings better results - in an ethical way...|
Sales Training for Accounting Professionals
These two factors make the selling of CPA services difficult.
|The role of a salesman ill becomes a CPA or Chartered Accountant. The trust required by the very nature of your services makes it hard to change hats from a salesman to a consult. Therefore, specific CPA sales techniques are required.|
The two factors that make selling your own services so difficult
How to sell accounting services, close clients for monthly services such as write-ups & CPA consulting - and sign up clients for Accounting Practices in general?
Certified Public Accountants, just like Chartered Accountants, are bound by various rules of ethical conduct and also legislation. Thus the planning effective sales systems and actions to sell CPA services presents several challenges.
Developing a workable campaign with all these rules to follow requires careful planning. For not only are there rules to abide by but the system itself should be suited for the special nature of Accounting Industry.
Any system for CPAs would have to be tested and piloted to ensure it
These points, while important, only represent the mechanics of it.
Behind the mechanics, there are factors that cause most to experience ANY sales as negative. These factors greatly effect the behavior or your prospects and more importantly, can impede your own sales efforts.
Let's look at these two major stumbling blocks.
1. Emotional reservations on sales-related subjects
Let's face it - sales has a bad name. More often than not, we don't like to be the target of sales activity - and usually like even less to be the one selling.
Behind these negative emotions there are many, many reasons. It's useful to know these. So, let's have a look.
CANNOT BE TRUSTED - THEY ALL LIE"
Almost everyone has doubts about anyone trying to sell him something.
Salesmen have acquired a bad name in general. Selling is decidedly a controversial profession; when it's good, it's very good... and when bad, very bad. There is no way to please everyone. People are that way.
A salesman is in an awkward position. It is a battle front position... you are right there up front of it all and have to face the worst. Sales persons get to face Man at his worst behavior.
A prospect can be quite rude if he feels "attacked" by the persistence of the salesman. The prospect can get so afraid of the sales situation that he just blindly defends himself - not noticing that the salesman is not his enemy but usually attempts to HELP the prospect to get the SOLUTION he needs and wants.
Most prospect aren't even aware of their rudeness in a situation like this.
Would the world be a better place without salesmen? I doubt it. At least the economy would be much weaker.
But the point here is that SALES is a subject that will create passions, emotions, suspicions and other kinds of negative feelings.
OF BEING CLOSED (SOLD TO)
Here's my guess: He tries to help the client to get the solution he needs and came in for.
Why would people dislike the sales person so much for trying to help them? Isn't that crazy?
- Yes and no. There is a factor that can be so strong and overwhelming to a client that he "goes crazy" for a while.
It is a fear. It is the fear of being closed.
When a person is in the grips of this fear he will over-react strongly and suspect everything. So powerful is this fear of being closed that it will make him do ANYTHING to avoid becoming "sold to."
It's that "I will need some time to think about it" -case. The bigger the decision, the greater the fear.
There's a funny phenomenon about this fear.
It has to do with the size of EFFECT the offered service may create.
Strangely enough, the more and bigger POSITIVE benefits your service promises, the bigger the fear will become.
In other words, if you were to sell your service by telling the prospect you could save him MILLIONS (which very well might be true in some cases) THE PROSPECT WOULD IMMEDIATELY THINK YOU ARE TRYING TO CHEAT HIM.
Remember there is NO logic to fear. Try to talk sense to a prospect in the grips of irrational fear... doesn't work. Anything you say will only "prove" you're trying to pull a fast one on him!
What it comes down to is that FEAR OF BEING CLOSED WILL ROB YOU OF PRICELESS OPPORTUNITIES TO GET AHEAD because once your prospect starts to "think about it" he will never make a decision.
Instead, the opposite occurs; he will NEVER think about it because that brings back the discomfort of the original situation. So he instinctively avoids it.
You're always the new CPA on the block - the one prospects have no experience of. To become your client, he has to DECIDE. For that, he needs a definite certainty. That, in turn, is created by correct information, pleasant communication and an adequate number of meetings and contacts.
Remember, to STAY with his current CPA, the prospect doesn't have to make ANY decision. It's always the "easier way out" to take if the fear of being closed strikes!
You need effective tools to keep the prospect from entering this fear. You also need something to use to HANDLE it with if and when the prospect becomes scared.
He will not make a positive decision if he is afraid. You will not get a sale if he does not make the decision.
Once you know this fear and learn to recognize it in yourself and others, you can DO something about it.
If you see your prospect in fear, slow down and pull back so that he can relax. Otherwise you will lose a future client.
2. Not having a workable marketing and sales system tailored for the sales of Accounting services
The second major barrier to sales with most CPA firms is the lack of correct system and tools tailored fo selling Accounting services.
This is the most underrated of all vitally important key points of success.
Marketing and sales cover a wide area of practice management. To get results in a controlled, predictable and affordable way, a long series of correct actions and tools have to be created, tested, piloted and documented.
Yet very few CPA firms have in place any organized sales or marketing system. One can only imagine the huge loss of revenue this causes the industry annually.
Accounting services are not regulated by law of supply and demand per se. It's not the same thing as "food," for instance - a necessity that the general public is aware of.
Businesses would greatly benefit from MORE Accounting services. The problem is that they don't KNOW this - they don't understand the need or the benefits.
And the Accounting Industry isn't educating their target audience on it. Not effectively, anyhow.
For that, precisely, is what marketing of Accounting services is fundamentally all about. Educating the business sector on the benefits available from Accounting services.
The traditional industry standard on this is to sit and wait that business owners realize these things on their own.
It's going to be a long wait.
The changing world
The Accounting Industry has developed tremendously in terms of services and knowhow. In other words, there's much more to offer to the business community than say 50 years ago.
But where 50 years ago businesses were run by people that understood the need of Accounting services, today the majority of business owners are totally oblivious of these things.
The potential has grown immensely but the Accounting Industry has not found effective ways to MARKET these excellent services - make their benefits known to the business community - and thus, most of the work CPA / Accounting firms do, is still the very basic of Accounting services.
The way into selling more of those specialized, highly valuable services is with precise marketing tools that CAN make the benefits understood.
For those that implement such tools, there's a lot to look forward to. And for those that won't... well, there's a long wait.
Principle of a workable CPA service marketing & sales system
A workable marketing system concentrates on those issues the target audience considers important - and uses THEIR viewpoint in looking at things. It's marketing - not the actual delivery of the services, see?
A good system COMMUNICATES - the business owners understand what is being said, like it... and it makes sense to them.
A good system offers only what the target audience considers valuable. Sure, it is a pure Accounting service, but formulated and explained directly with the words and preferences of the target audience.
A GREAT system carefully plans the route on which it takes each prospect. Avoiding too steep steps, too big decisions, too fast moves.
You simply have to keep the prospect making SMALL decisions all the way as you go along. Create a system that allows you to communicate long enough with your prospect on several occasions... give him or her a chance to get to know you... and then just get the prospect making small decisions that you in now way influence.
You see, if you do it RIGHT, you don't have to influence your prospect's decisions at all. Why, he will know what kind of benefits to expect from you. The two of you will notice that your purposes with the service will be almost IDENTICAL. Client wants good accounting, advice and savings - and that's what you are there to deliver.
There is a detailed marketing and sales system developed solely for CPA Practices that allows you to present your services not like a salesman but as a professional CPA. This system has been tested and piloted and is currently in use in CPA and Accounting firms in 45 states in US and 30 countries worldwide.
|Which are the effective elements in a CPA service presentation and sales system - which parts are essential if you want RESULTS with certainty?|
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