6 Steps to Sales Success
By Eileen Monesson, CPC, PRCounts, LLC –
January 17, 2017
Just like any business discipline, sales is a process that requires a strategic and disciplined approach. Accountants who invest the time to establish goals, identify target market(s), define a market-dominating position, communicate frequently with contacts, discover what prospects value and provide value-based solutions will achieve a greater level of sales success.
1. Establish Goals
Decide how much revenue you want to generate from new clients to reach your revenue goal and what needs to be done. If you want to earn $100,000 from new clients in 2017 and your typical engagement is $20,000, you will need at least five new clients to reach your goal. Determine what you will have to do to get five clients. Typically, accountants develop leads by attending networking events, nurturing referral relationships, presenting seminars, attending trade shows, writing articles/blogs and participating on social media. Decide which of these activities produces the greatest number of leads that convert to sales meetings. Calculate how much time you will need to invest in each activity, how many sales meetings you can expect from each activity and how many meetings you need to win five new clients based on your success ratio.
2. Identify Your Target Market(s)
Some say that the “riches are in niches.” Identify a service that appeals to businesses in your area. Ensure that there are enough companies for you to serve that are the right fit for your firm. You want to make sure that you can make money, so choose an industry niche or service area with a lot of growth potential.
Become an expert and thought leader in your niche. Know everything there is to know by subscribing to industry publications and e-newsletters, following key influencers, reading market research and talking to your clients. Then share the information you learn with prospects on a regular basis.
3. Define Your Market-Dominating Position
It is not enough to say you are a certified public accountant who provides great service, takes a proactive approach and cares about your clients. Every accountant says the same thing. You need to define your unique position to dominate the market. A “market-dominating position” is any value-added, client-perceived benefit, or a combination of benefits, that differentiates you from your competitors.
Prospects don’t buy based on price — they buy based on the value they receive for the price they pay. The key to adding value is determining what your clients and target market perceive as valuable.
4. Communicate Frequently With Contacts
Consider developing a “drip campaign” to keep in touch with contacts over time. Base the campaign on your market-dominating position, niche expertise and the value you deliver to your clients. Make sure that prospects “opt in” or agree to receive electronic communications. Stand out from the competition by incorporating print media into the campaign.
5. Discover What Prospects Value
Sales meetings should focus on discovering what prospects value. Get prospects to open up, and recognize their needs, wants and pains by asking probing questions to identify emotional hot buttons. People buy on emotions. If they don’t recognize pain or clearly know what they want, they won’t buy. The sales process is not about articulating your service offering — it’s about uncovering what the prospect values.
6. Provide Value-Based Solutions
Focus your solution on what the prospect values. Use their words to highlight how what you offer is right for them. Tell stories based on client experiences so they can visualize the value you can bring to the relationship. Make the decision easy for the prospect by eliminating any objections before attempting to close the deal.
Finally, a positive mindset will influence your success. The bottom line is that you have to have the right attitude and believe in the “ask” to get the sale.
This article appeared in the Jarnuary/February 2017 issue of New Jersey CPA magazine. Read the full issue.