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Resources
The resources focuses on specific topics relating to the
accounting and bookkeeping industry. Take advantage
of the information and tools in these resources.
Chapters
1. DEALING WITH CLIENTS
2. SALES & SERVICES
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3. PRACTICE MANAGEMENT
4. CLOUD COMPUTING
5. OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY
6. STAFFING ALTERNATIVES
7. NETWORKING
2.4. Increasing Your Sales -
Work Smarter, Not Harder
As discussed in our Intro to Sales article, the key to building sales is to
develop relationships with your clients. You may not see immediate results
from your initial efforts, but like any other relationship, the longer a business
association exists, the more trust and loyalty is established.
To do this, really listen to your client’s response when you ask how you can help them and
what their needs are. Help your clients find the best solutions for their problems. Note that
this does not require you to be an expert at everything. Rather, lean on the network of
industry contacts you’ve built up through your networking efforts.
Offering solutions or being able to put your client in front of someone else that can help them
really goes a long way in developing the trust that’s so important in a long term relationship.
Additionally, actively listening to your clients can help you identify areas where you may be
able to develop value­added services around the needs of your clients.
According to Hamish Knox, author of Accountability the Sadler Way, the problem with the
traditional approach to sales is that most salespeople don’t use a repeatable system for
selling. This results in wasting a lot of time working harder, not smarter. Without a
consistent need for clients to return to you on a regular basis, you will find yourself working
hard, spending your valuable time trying to get them to come back to see you.
Instead, work smarter. Create a need for your clients to see you on a regular schedule. Get
them excited to meet with you and discover what insight you have to offer them next. One
tool that can help with that is ProfitCents (www.profitcents.com).
ProfitCents
ProfitCents is a web­based financial analysis solution developed for Accountants and CPA’s. You can check the pulse of a client’s financial health against industry data and create a plan based on that initial benchmark.
ProfitCents offers customizable, plain­language reports and “what­if” scenarios that your
clients can relate to. Using a product like ProfitCents will assist you in creating urgency for
your next visit.
ProfitCents is a web­based financial analysis solution developed for Accountants and CPA’s.
You can check the pulse of a client’s financial health against industry data and create a plan
based on that initial benchmark.
Clients will be eager for their quarterly update to see how they measure up in their industry
and the progress they’ve made. Together you can strategize and develop a progressive
action plan for growth (which will give you numerous opportunities to follow up and reinforce
your value).
PlanGuru
Another tool is PlanGuru (www.planguru.com). PlanGuru is a budgeting, forecasting, and
performance review software.
It allows you to create an accurate analysis in a short amount of time with several
assumptions built right into the program. That enables you to make changes quickly and
easily on the fly, and the changes will flow down throughout the budget. Discussions about
cash flow can be your best sales tool as, generally, these discussions lead to additional
projects as areas for improvement are discovered.
In summary, to increase your sales, focus on building, strengthening, and reinforcing your
relationships with your clients. Create a system in which your clients will be excited to
return to you on a consistent basis for your value ­added services, and you will create a
sales­ generating machine that needs very little assistance from you to continue to move
forward. That’s working smarter, not harder!
Kort Mehrle
A degree in Economics with a focus in International Studies from Lawrence
University. She is a Marketing and Sales consultant for Clear Biz, focusing
on their expansion into the United States.
CLEAR BIZ
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