To ensure your bookkeeping firm will grow and be profitable, you’ll have to do one thing bookkeepers hate: selling. Fortunately, you don’t have to love sales to be great at it.
Lori Richardson is a master of sales who is best known as the CEO, speaker, and founder of Score More Sales. For over 20 years, she has helped companies all over the world grow their revenues through strategic sales efforts and her knowledge. But here’s something surprising you need to know about Lori: She didn’t love sales at first. In fact, she was just a humble school teacher long before she started a career in sales. But when she became a single mom and realized her teacher’s salary won’t be enough to provide for her family, she switched careers and turned to sales.
Lori learned all the skills that she used—and still uses—to sell different things for different companies. Then, she eventually grew a strong passion for selling. This is why she now helps hundreds of businesses take their sales and profit to new heights.
I bet that just like most bookkeepers, you also dread the idea of selling your bookkeeping firm’s services to your potential clients. However, it’s still an important part of any business’s growth and success, which means you can’t avoid it. Fortunately, Lori shared her knowledge and tips on how you can be great at selling even if you hate sales. And that’s what you’ll find out in today’s article.
The Nobility of Selling (and Why It Isn’t As Bad As You Think)
Most owners of bookkeeping firms dread the idea of selling because of the negative stereotypes it has. They see it as a tactic that people use to sell scams. They think that focusing on it is “sleazy”. They believe it’s used to sell people things or services they don’t need or want. But Lori has a different opinion about that. She said that sales, in its very essence, is the complete opposite of “scammy”, “sleazy”, or “evil.” At the end of the day, sales is all about taking your services, ideas, concepts, and products and turning them into money.
Lori even went on to say that it’s actually a pretty noble act. Because when you look at the effect that sales has: It helps keep businesses alive, which helps keep the economy healthy. It helps people keep their jobs, which, in turn, helps them provide for their families. And it helps communities and industries grow. The bottom line is that sales isn’t trickery. It’s actually an admirable aspect of business.
How to Find Potential Clients
Here’s of the biggest questions bookkeepers have about sales: “How can I find people to sell to?”
According to Lori, the answer to this is a lot simpler than most bookkeepers think. She said the best way to find people to sell to is by “being the hub instead of being the spoke”. The idea here is to find people who can refer you to clients. Lori mentioned that this is more about serving others. Because through serving others, you’re helping them find companies who are a good fit to work with them. And at the end, it all just boomerangs back to you because in turn, they’ll refer clients to you. Instead of directly finding people whom you can sell your services to, being the hub lets you find more people to sell to with less effort.
One great way of being the hub instead of the spoke is networking with the following:
- Business bankers
- Sales experts
When you connect with these people, you’ll also get access to their connections who may need your services. This, of course, helps you find more people to sell your services to—without the time-consuming outreach process.
Making the Sales Conversation Easy (and Profitable)
I know that bookkeepers often struggle with starting their sales conversations. Seeing that how you strike up a chat can make or break your chances of selling, it’s pretty important to get it right. But, there’s no need to over-complicate it. Generally, the best way to start, and even sustain, a sales conversation is by asking the prospect about their business. Lori says you can say something like:
- “Hey [name], do you have a business? Tell me all about it!”
- “When did you start your business?”
- “Is it challenging to run your business?”
This approach works since it’s a surefire way for you to get a response and keep your prospect engaged in the sales conversations. And once you learn how to start your sales conversations like this, you’ll be able to build profitable relationships. It’s because you’ll get to learn more about who you talk to. This then allows you to gauge if the prospect is a good fit for your bookkeeping firm or not. At the same time, you’ll have an easier time finding the right opportunity to pitch someone your bookkeeping services.
Lori says with sales conversations, you really just build relationships and learn about your prospects. That’s why even if you’re an introvert, you can do it. And it’s something you can get good at.
Asking Questions For Productive Sales Conversations
Lori mentioned that there’s another key tool you can use to keep the sales conversation going: Asking questions. When you ask your prospect a question, it becomes a lot easier to keep the sales conversation going. Every answer they give opens up a new topic to talk about—and this leads to even more questions you can use to carry the conversation. And that’s not even its biggest advantage.
Aside from not letting a conversation go stale, asking your prospect some questions will help you prime them for a successful sale. This is because it shows that you’re someone that cares about their success and, in turn, helps them trust you more. Asking questions also makes it easier to position your services as something someone needs. This becomes something they think about until they finally decide to ring you up to say yes to your offer and get started.
You Can Learn to Be a Master of Sales
No matter how much you hate the idea, sales is always going to play an important role in the success of your bookkeeping firm. The good news is that, as Lori demonstrated, you can still be great at it even if it isn’t something you’re head over heels about. By viewing sales from the right mindset and using the right approaches, you can use selling to your advantage. And once you start doing these things, it’ll be much easier to boost your profits and grow your bookkeeping business!
If you'd like to learn more about mastering your sales process, go ahead and: