Most accountants don’t like being ‘salesy,’ but at social events you may find yourself needing to make small talk with a business owner who could be a potential client.
So what do you talk about? Once the “what do you dos” are out of the way, the obvious commonality is your profession. So how do you get them talking about their accountant (if they even have one)?
Three Ground Rules
It’s easy to get off on the wrong foot. Avoid these three mistakes:
1. Overtly selling. Remember the pushy real estate or insurance broker? That’s not you.
2. Criticizing. You don’t light your own candle by blowing out someone else’s.
3. Price cutting. Competing on price is a race to the bottom. Think about the wireless ads you see on TV.
The Basic Questions
So, you mention you are an accountant and they explain their business works with one. They name a local firm you recognize. Give a compliment, not an off color question like: “Are they still in business?” Remember the candle analogy.
Next, you might ask: “How long have you been working together?” The object is to get them talking and stay on the subject.
This leads into: “What do you like best about them?” and “Would you recommend them?” If they can’t think of anything positive to say, you might ask: “Why do you stay with them?”