TODAY, LET’S SQUASH SALES RELUCTANCE FOR GOOD SO YOU CAN START GENERATING THE INCOME YOU WANT AND DESERVE!!! Yes, I’m yelling because this is the difference between a “nice little business” and a GREAT BUSINESS that you LOVE!
REPLY and let me know: How comfortable are you with prospecting for new clients?
Fear of rejection is one our deepest human fears, so when reaching out to potential clients that we don’t know triggers many of us in the WORST WAY, all the way down to our toes! Tell the truth - have you ever found yourself staring at your phone or computer when intellectually you know that there’s nothing to fear by reaching out, but then you get up to get a snack? Ha! Been there many times myself!!
(Side Note: Sales reluctance happens with email and social media marketing too. Have you ever written an email or designed a social campaign but kept delaying hitting send or post? Yep. That’s reluctance taking money out of your pocket there too. Ugh!)
Reaching out to cold prospects really pokes our human fear OF being criticized and judged. We fear being seen as “pushy” or “salesy”, and worst of all, then we need to FEEL all those PERCEIVED crummy feelings once we actually do dig up the courage to reach out! YIKES!
With that said, EVERYTHING YOU WANT for your business and your life (abundant revenue and income for financial security, amazing experiences, and to make a positive impact in the world) are just on the other side of that comfort zone… So today, LET’S END FEAR OF REACHING OUT FOR GOOD!!
To get started, REPLY with how you feel about selling via the phone, email, face-to-face, and then I will share a few POWERFUL STRATEGIES so you’ll never be afraid to reach out (and run for a snack!) again!!!
P.S. Referrals are awesome but if you rely on them, you are putting your business at risk! You must know how to generate leads and consider referrals the cherry on top! And if you are fortunate enough to have so many referrals that you can barely handle them, it's time to start adding team members so you can GROW!!!
OK, let's DO THIS!
@lynda, @Peter_G_Stone, @Thehvacguys, @LeahIlanah, @Flyer, @ParkwayInc, @QcFinancial, @tmichellemoore, @AngelaR, @PracticalSandy, @BillJohnston, @jessbru99568, @Jennie, @cruberti, @girlFRIDAY and @vcasey210, I can't wait to hear your response! J.
Yes, absolutely this is me. I am getting more comfortable with reaching out but only when I start with getting to know them and learning about their business. I don't start with a sales pitch.
My favorite quote on fear:
I know, super nerdy.
My experience: I tend to do very targeted cold outreach, and I want to be confident in my ability to serve a prospect that I reach out to out of the blue.
When I reach out, I'm very specific about the value I can bring. I generally try to start the conversation by offering to brief them on a trend they likely aren't informed about, or to discuss a specific problem I know they are having.
When I reach out, I know I will likely hear "no", or perhaps even nothing 9 out of 10 times. I don't take this personally, and I tend to follow up until I get a definitive answer.
Looking forward to all the collective wisdom the QB Community is going to share on this topic!
Hey @AngelaR, and soooo glad you jumped in!!
First, LOVE that you don't start with a pitch. Taking the time to build a relationship pays off in the long run AND it takes the pressure off of you feeling like you need to "close the deal" right away. Awesome!
Preparation is also an excellent strategy to help calm the reluctance jitters. Understanding your prospect puts you both at ease and sets the relationship up for success! Well done!
So big question: Have you committed to reaching out to a certain number of potential clients every week? And if so, how many? Yes, putting you on the hot seat to growth!! Let me know! J.
@BillJohnston, DROP THE MIC!! That quote is AMAZING!!!! I haven't heard it before and I love it soooo much, so thank you for sharing it!!
Reaching out with an unexpected trend is also a very unique value-added strategy. WINNING!!!
So I have to ask, was there a reason that you became such a "Squash Reluctance Rockstar"? Did fear hold you back in the past?
Also, on average, how many times do you think you follow-up before getting a YES or a NO? This is also a reflection on managing fear...
Looking forward to your comments - this is next level Bill! Love it!!! J.
What is the best place to start if you are a new business offering accounting/bookkeeping services? What services are a natural extension of bookkeeping that most clients expect?
I'm trying to have at least 2 to 3 conversations a day either networking or with prospects.
What is your method of networking/reaching out to prospects?
I am not comfortable at all with talking to new clients, unless they approach me first. Then I can easily find an anchor for the conversation. Active listening is more my approach.
Says the introvert, and hides behind the screen.
I’m not Julie, no one ever could be! But I have some insight on your question since I have a similar business.
I think a lot of customers have different scenarios of what they want. And you need to feel them out with a nice long telephone conversation about 15 to 20 minutes long. See what their pain points are. Ask questions. And then the most important step, listen. If you’re working with the new owner, many don’t have a big budget for bookkeeping. But they need guidance!
I am finding with being a QuickBooks online only bookkeeping company, a lot of the clients want to have their fingers in some of the work. They may not want you to download the transactions. They didn’t want you just for reconciliation. They may want you for guidance as to where to put a transaction. Or some of the complex transactions like purchasing a vehicle.
You can create a lot of different plans for your customers. Just know your customer base.
Get to know your customers. Many times I start on a very basic service level with them and then eventually they realize that they rather not be doing the bookkeeping and I take over in more of a full-service capacity. But it’s all about getting your foot in the door.
I hope that helps. If you have more questions feel free to ask.
Apologies for the latergram
Yes, I came from a big corp setting, so being in business for myself was a shock to the system. I was initially terrified to reach out... also a bit of ego "don't these people know who I am?!?".
A mentor sat me down and told me: "there are only two numbers that matter: money in the bank and your pipeline". That got me motivated on the pipeline side.
Re: Following up: for non-responsive folks, I typically follow up 1 week after initial outreach, then another at 2. Then 30 days, then I have a "passive" short list of companies I'm *really* interested in working with that I hit every 6 months and also try to find new contacts at those companies.
For folks who respond, obviously, it is easier to get to a "let's talk", "maybe later" or flat out "no".
All of this is to say it is still more of an art than a science for me.
This is a goody! I lack confidence when it comes to cold-calling or any other form of lead generating or sales prospecting. Currently, I don't have to do much of it, but that is going to change VERY SOON and I really need to learn how to overcome my fear. Obviously, it is difficult to grow a business if you are not gaining new & PROFITABLE clientele. Honestly, it is not even the possibility that I will hear "no thanks, we are happy with our current firm". This is a given and will happen more often than not; I can live with that. My angst stems from my own insecurities and confidence. I'm an introvert by nature and anxiety can cause the knowledge in my brain to hit a roadblock when trying to exit my mouth! It makes sales difficult, which is a problem because at the end of the day when operating as a sole proprietor you need to wear many hats including salesperson.
If you are not comfortable talking to new clients @LeahIlanah, WHO might be a possible client that you would love to talk to about LIFE? You may love the same hobbies, live in the same neighborhood, or you love what THEY do... See where I'm going with this? If you first connect on a common interest, the "what I do" part will flow naturally...
Who might you practice this with first?
Coach I Believe in You
Really good @lynda and thank you for jumping in! The only thing I would add @CPY_NJ is that once you are VERY CLEAR about the client profile you want to serve, spend a good hour with them so you can go deep on not only their current needs, but their future hopes and dreams so you can offer them services based on where they're going (higher level) instead of just where they are at the moment. Future frame the conversation because that's where the goodness is! Talk soon! J.
@BillJohnston, focusing on money in the bank and the pipeline is SPOT ON advice!! Revenue is a scorecard of how many people you are serving in the world, so with that mindset, we can't NOT sell, sell, sell!!!
Thanks for sharing your story Bill!!
@Peter_G_Stone, thank you for sharing!! Yes, prospecting generates the lifeblood of your business (CASH!!!), so try these 4 tips to push through:
1) Create a call script or email template.
Save time and anxiety by knowing exactly what you want to say. If you reach out by email first, you can literally consider it a cut and past numbers game project! To maximize results, you should make follow-up calls for the emails sent, but you can create script for those too! Yay!
2) Read fear affirmation @BillJohnston shared EVERY DAY because it ROCKS!! Here it is:
3) Rip the band-aid off FAST. No gentle pulling... just pull that darn thing off and hit SEND!
4) Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway. This is actually the title of a great book! Truthfully, the more you do it, the easier it gets (kind of like accounting!), so be OK with how uncomfortable it is and KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE... A SUPER SUCCESSFUL COMPANY!! YOU CAN DO THIS!!!
So with that, who can you reach out THIS WEEK to get started? I'm a Business Coach remember?! #accountability
Excellent @Peter_G_Stone and one last thing - no "getting ready to get ready"! Keep it simple and jump in because imperfect action is always better than no action at all!
@JulieatTheWELL, that's sound advice and I love the quote @BillJohnston. I'll have to begin putting together some templates next week when I get back in the office. Having an outline of topics to discuss is a good way to keep the narrative flowing in a positive direction.