Sales is one of the biggest and most challenging components when it comes to accountants and advisers growing their practices. In my experience, accountants and advisers are generally very comfortable with doing the actual work, but for one reason or another, sales is just something that doesn’t come naturally.
I hear people say all the time:
“Accountants are just not meant to sell, it’s not what they do and they are not good at it”.
Personally, I really dislike hearing this, but I can completely understand where people are coming from with such comments. I mean, when I went through college, got my accounting degree, worked in accounting – I kind of sucked at sales for a long time too. It’s just not something they teach you.
This led me to go on this journey of figuring out how does this sales thing work? How do you actually go about get clients without wasting a heap of time or acquiring an existing practice?
Well here’s some of the stuff I’ve learned.
When I first got started in business, I didn’t really understand that the sales and client acquisition function is really the number one level of priority. Sure, it’s important to focus on your team, it’s important to focus on the work that you do, it’s important to make sure you have the right support and infrastructure in place; that you’ve got workflow software; you’ve got the right things that you need to serve your clients.
But if you don’t have clients and you don’t have the right clients, there really is no point.
There is no amount of expense or workflow management that you can really get good at if you’re not booking sales consultations or if nobody is lining up to work with you.
So, like it or not, you have to be focused on client acquisition and sales. Its just so, so important, and I see most professionals missing that.
Now, once we’ve actually accepted that this sales thing is a priority, then what do we do? What is the process that we’re going through to actually get clients?
The first thing you have to do in today’s day and age, in today’s digital economy, is you have to get some specificity around who it is that you want to work with. In other words, you have to focus.
You have to ask yourself: “Who do I want to work with? What industry or service offering am I going to have the most chance of success with in lead generation, in sales and marketing, in doing consultations?”
Having that consistency of going after one specific group of people makes a huge difference, so you absolutely have to focus.
Secondly, once you’ve got focus dialled in, you have to have a method for generating leads. This is where people really become stuck because they start doing a little bit of everything.
That’s a huge mistake!
They’ve got YouTube videos, they’ve got SEO, they’ve got a blog, they’re doing pay-per-click, they’re doing newsletters, they’re doing direct mail, they’re doing Facebook ads, they’re doing Twitter, they’ve got LinkedIn. They’ve got a hundred things they’re doing and they’re doing everything a little bit, and they’re becoming sort of a jack of all trades, master of none.
That is where everybody gets stuck and they start thinking that they have to do everything. The trick is in understanding that literally every method of lead generation works. Direct mail works, cold call works, SEO works, blogging works, Twitter works, Facebook works, LinkedIn works. They all literally work.
The question is, are you going to take the time, energy, and effort to be great at just one or two of them? Frankly, the correct approach is to become a master of just one to two methods. If you’re currently doing more than one to two methods of lead generation, I promise you you’re messing it up. It just takes that much time, energy, and effort to become good at just one to two.
If your practice hasn’t yet gotten really good at just one or two methods of lead generation, you owe it to yourself as a business owner, as someone that has your own practice, to start making this more of a priority.