Useful Resources for Business Development: Part 1: The Sales Coach

For most accountants and CPAs, selling is often not a favorite part of the job. In order to develop and maintain a solid book of business, however, selling is a must whether you are a sole practioner, seasoned partner in a large firm, or a new associate.

Turning to a Sales Coach is a vital and powerful way to meet the business development goals of your business by learning more effective selling skills. At the same time, you want to be sure you optimize your Sales Coach experience to ensure a high return on your investment.

By following five simple steps, you can make your partnership with a Sales Coach purposeful and profitable for you and your business.

STEP 1: Interview Several Coaches
A good Sales Coach immerses himself into your business and its needs. He commits for the long-term in order to guarantee results for you. Approach hiring a Sales Coach the same way you would hire a new employee. Interview several coaches before you make a final decision in order to establish true compatibility.

STEP 2: Accept the Sales Coach as a Member of Your Company's Team
A successful Sales Coach will be someone from whom you are willing to hear constructive criticism, and who can identify strengths and weaknesses with candor and clarity. With that in mind, accept the Sales Coach as part of your company's team. After all, this person will be a mentor and motivator who provides tools to successfully find and close new business.

STEP 3: Expect a Long-term Relationship
During your working relationship with a Sales Coach, you will need several sessions to hone your existing strengths and develop new selling skills. It is with long-term follow-up and mentoring that you become comfortable practicing new techniques learned. From there, the long-term relationship will make you and your firm successful.

STEP 4: Do NOT Expect a To-Do List
While CPAs are used to working with a formal process, assessing existing abilities is part of what a Sales Coach does. No two people have the same goals, skills or challenges. Therefore, a good Sales Coach does not come with a turnkey to-do list. In addition, the assignments and tasks you receive from your Sales Coach may shift once you begin working toward your goals. It is important to listen to your Sales Coach with an open mind and be ready to adjust as you progress.

STEP 5: Take an Active Role
Your Sales Coach will give you assignments to complete. Take an active role in practicing what you learn. Make the calls, go to meetings, network effectively, and time your sales presentations to your advantage. Work with your Sales Coach throughout the process to assess yourself, make improvements, and sign new business.

Working with a sales coach offers profitable business development benefits for CPAs. With a Sales Coach to train and mentor you, you have the opportunity to achieve your growth goals and gain the personal skills and confidence needed to build a great business career.

Jill Mercer"Business Development: Resources to Use" is an eight part series written exclusively for AccountingWEB. The series' authors are Jill Mercer, president of Wilson-Mercer Marketing and Vanessa Stiles, president of Victory Sun, Inc. Visit their websites at www.wilsonmercer.com and www.wearevictorysun.com.

Other articles in this series:

  • Useful Resources for Business Development: Part 2: Public Relations Counsel

  • Useful Resources for Business Development: Part 3: Effective Events

  • Useful Resources for Business Development: Part 4: Hiring a Telemarketing Firm

  • Useful Resources for Business Development: Part 5: Hiring an Ad Agency

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