Many CPAs and accountants have often wondered if having a salesperson is the right move to help them grow their practice. After all, most other industries and professions utilize salespeople to bring in business, so why can’t you? The answer is you can and, in my company’s 27 year history, we’ve learned there is no better, faster or more cost-effective way to obtain clients than this method. However, you are probably not the best person to do the selling; the reasons for this are many. First, when doing your own sales prospecting, time becomes your greatest enemy. Very few business owners have the time necessary to actively search for new clients, meet with them to explain their services, and then follow up on those prospects who have not made a decision right away. Many accountants are not comfortable in the sales role either, which further complicates the process. After all, if you don’t like doing something, chances are you’re not going to be very good at it. Finally, assuming you like selling and are good at it, is this really the best use of your time when you have a business to run and existing clients to manage? These issues start to really suggest that you should look into acquiring a professional salesperson to market your firm on a full-time basis. If I have you nodding your head as you read this, let’s take a look at some of the important aspects of doing this successfully:
1- All salespeople are not created equal, so selecting the right person can be a challenge. I suggest you look for someone who has at least three years of sales experience selling intangibles such as insurance or financial services.
2- During the interview, make sure they have a valid driver’s license, as they will need a car to drive and meet with potential prospects. Do not assume they do. It’s a big mistake to find out later that they don’t, and your salesperson becomes a potential legal liability to the firm if they have an accident on company time.
3- Perform a background check to ensure your candidate is who they say they are and that they haven’t just been released from your local penitentiary. Also, Google them and see what comes up.
4- Training is critically important, as you will find very few, if any, sales candidates with experience in selling accounting and tax services. If you expect them to succeed, they need to know what they are selling, how to prospect for new business, how to price the services, how to overcome the various objections they will receive, and how to close the sale and get an upfront commitment.
5- You should develop an incentive plan that ties directly to productivity. Great salespeople are motivated by commissions. I suggest a small base salary of around $500 to $600 per week, depending on where you are located in the country, along with a commission equivalent to one times the monthly fee being charged to the client.
6- What gets measured gets noticed, so it’s important to have a system to track results each week and month to determine how many leads they created, how many presentations resulted from those leads and how many sales were made.
7- It’s equally important to have a system to keep track of follow-up on each prospect. Many people who said no to your offer today could very well end up as clients down the road. Why? To put it simply, things change. So a system to keep your name in front of prospects who have previously expressed interest is invaluable, as it will lead to more sales in the future.
If all of the above seems like a daunting task, it is. But here’s the good news: if you’d like learn about how to accomplish having a salesperson hired and trained without having to reinvent the wheel, all you need to do is contact my company at 1-888-New Clients (that’s “888-639-2543”) or visit us at newclientsinc.com. Do so and you’ll find out how we’ve helped over 4,000 accounting firms nationwide add new clients that have resulted in hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in growth for their respective firms through the effective employment of sales professionals.
Bruce J. Clark
Chief Executive Officer
Author, NCI Effect, Explosive Client Growth Plan for Accountants and CPAs
No related posts.
Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.