Something many struggle with is hitting the right balance between ensuring the client understands the need for their services and – coming off like a pushy salesperson!
Some practices are way too passive – they tell the prospect how they can help, and leave it at that. A person’s attitude and approach to sales often has a lot to do with what culture they originate from, their upbringing, personality type etc. Fortunately there is a technology to sales that can be applied successfully, regardless of one’s background or experience in this area.
Here are three of the biggest factors to consider to determine if and how your sales skills need adjustment:
1) Remembering your willingness to educate the client fully and have them move forward with all of the services they need will be higher, the more you realize that sales is all about ‘caring’ for the person in front of you. The key is caring enough about the prospect to e.g.
a) ensure that they don’t just have you do their return annually, but that they also have you help them put a financial plan together for their future;
b) allow you to show them how they can increase profits in their business;
c) hire you for your knowledge on strategies to minimize taxes, not just calculate what is due.
2) On the other hand, some practice owners have had prospects complain – either online, over the phone or at their offices, that they or their staff were too pushy; were just after their money etc. There will always be people who will do this – just like every other business has its customers who think they overcharge/are too expensive. The truth is that – unless you have a few percent of your client base who complain about how you “sell” or your fees – then you are totally underselling. You have to have your fair share of this % – just like any other business. For example, what % of the public refuse to shop at Wholefoods? Doesn’t mean the company’s management team are overcharging criminals! Everyone has their individual subjective opinion on how they should and shouldn’t spend their dollars, and it has little to do with anything you say or do – or your fee. If their financial wellbeing is not high on their list of priorities, they would likely still complain, even if your fees were half what they currently are;
3) The only other reason people complain about fees – apart from the usual few percent every business has, – is if the formula of how to successfully educate and close a client on services, is not followed. Like doing a tax return, sales has its own technology and if this is not applied, the result, as with a tax return, can be a client who is as upset as if their taxes were incorrectly calculated! So, it definitely behooves a practice owner to ensure they and their staff are following the techniques that will result in the client closing for services they need! These techniques result in a happy client as they focus on the care factor i.e. the fact that the practice cares about the client’s wellbeing, as the only motivation for the services proposed.
The ironic thing is that practices who succeed in getting clients to accept the higher level of service they really need, will have a better reputation, as they enjoy the rave reviews that can only be gotten if clients get all of the help they need. For only then can they spread the word to others and talk about how much attention and great service they received, as well as the results obtained.