Sales and marketing plans are not one-size-fits-all strategies, as every firm differs in regard to its clientele and operations. As a virtual firm, we have pushed ourselves to create a sales strategy that fits our work culture and adheres to our core values.
With that said, when it comes to sales, the progressive approach we employ is representative of our firm and has garnered fruitful client relationships. As we’ve grown over the years, working through unsuccessful sales tactics has led us to bigger and better ideas. Moreover, we’ve learned several ways in which to sell our services successfully.
Highlighted below are a few sales tips that we believe can bolster your firm's sales, whether you’re operating a brick and mortar or a remote CPA firm.
1. Find Your Niche
Before you begin crafting your marketing funnels and constructing sales strategies, it’s crucial that you identify who your ideal customer is and what you’re most passionate about. By identifying the industry in which your ideal client is operating, you’re able to not only directly target that specific client, but also learn more information about their field. The more knowledge you acquire, the greater your chances of attracting more businesses within the same industry as you leverage your expertise and insight to deliver relevant services.
2. Educate Your Target Client
As your knowledge of your target client and their industry grows, work towards positioning yourself as a thought leader. You can achieve this by showcasing your insights with informative and instructive content.
While this may seem like a quick way to lose potential clients, given the assumption that if you provide someone the information they need to accomplish a task themselves they will do so, this is not the case. The truth is, your target audience already has access to the information you’re providing them. What they’re looking for is someone who has a proven track record of taking this information and using it to successfully implement solutions.
3. Be Transparent
Transparency is a key component to both attracting and retaining clients. At our firm, the sales meeting we have with a potential client is typically an exploratory call where we get to know more about the client’s business, their needs, and why they came to us.
We have also established a process that allows us to identify services we believe the client would most benefit from, as well as their cost, in real-time. The client is heavily involved in determining their custom price based on the services they select. Similar to buying a car, they can select the base option, on that’s fully loaded or something in between. It’s the same car, it just has different options.
The client picks the option that best fits their needs. This level of transparency accurately represents our values and immediately establishes a certain amount of trust between us and the potential client, which typically leads to us closing the sale.
4. Keep Your Process Simple
The sales tool we’ve crafted at our firm is simple enough to where multiple members of our team can easily pitch services and articulate their respective costs to clients and come up with the same dollar amount. This tool is particularly useful because it allows us the flexibility to confidently include relevant staff members on sales calls even if they do not have extensive sales experience.
The simplicity is also important because the person we’re consulting with typically doesn’t know the answers to detailed questions such as: How many QuickBooks transactions do you have in a month?
The types of questions we ask are ones that an owner would know right off the top of their head or can make a reasonable guess. Maintaining this level of access and flexibility has been yet another factor that has helped us land new clients and encouraged current clients to increase the number of services we’re providing them.
Crafting a successful sales strategy comes down to figuring out what speaks to your target client and how to best represent your company. From there, employing the tips here can take you another step closer to securing more qualified leads and increasing client retention.
Jody Grunden is the Co-Founder and CEO of Summit CPA Group, the leading provider of Virtual CFO Services for creative agencies as well as one of the largest Virtual CFO firms in North America. Summit’s team of CPAs and accountants provide professional Virtual CFO Services and 401(k) Audits...