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Sales Training for Accountants that Can’t Close Clients Over the Phone

Guys, ever had somebody say, “Hey, don’t push me.” It’s funny. I had a woman yesterday and I was talking to her and it’s sad because their biggest problem is setting boundaries with potential clients or existing clients. Once you try to set a boundary there, “Oh, don’t push me.” Sales training for accountants is what I do, so I spoke to this woman and this will be a good illustration for you on how to think about closing at the end of the call. What most people do is they get to the end of the call with the client and then they just say, “all right, well, you know…” whether it’s for a cleanup or it’s for monthly recurring accounting or tax planning or tax prep, it doesn’t really matter. They typically just say, “okay, well…we’re going to send you an invoice”.  

Or they might say “we’re going to send you an engagement letter” or “we’re going to send you a proposal”, that is the worst. Right? And so you, as the sales person on the call, you kind of prompt the next steps. You prompt some series of actions that delays the process. If you would just ask them now, if they’re ready to get started, then they might be ready to get started. They might not. But here’s the key. The reason why it’s so important to try to close the sale on the call is not because we care about the money, it’s about…is this person really committed? The money is just a sign of the yes, it’s a sign of the commitment. If somebody says, yes, that’s not a yes.

Here is some sales training for accountants: If somebody signs an engagement letter, that’s not a yes. If somebody looks at the invoice, that’s not a yes, it is not a yes until that payment information has been submitted. It’s really, truly not a yes, until the cash is collected in the bank, which on a credit card typically is the same day. You can actually see the payment clear, but on an ACH, sometimes it can take a couple of days before it really actually clears. So towards the end of the call, what do you do? This is what I would recommend you do. “Um, yeah. Okay. I guess so, you know, does this sound like something that you do want to do?” 

Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Or they might say at this point, man, I gotta talk to my spouse or blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. All these things. Or let’s say they say yes, right? Okay, great. “So for the payment we do visa Amex, MasterCard, Discover.” If you’ve already gone through all that, the way that I typically do it is I’ll say, “Do you have your calendar in front of you?” And then they’ll say, yep. And then you say, “okay, um, how does Tuesday at 2:00 PM work?” They’re like, all right. That works great. And then I say, “okay, um, did you, did you get that calendar invite? I just sent it to you.”

They’re like, yeah, I got it. And then I’m like, “Okay, and I also sent you the agreement. Did you get that too?” Yeah. I got that too. Do you want me to fill this out right now? “Yeah, that’d be great.” So you want to be prepared. Whether you’re going to accept the payment information on the phone, whether you’re going to send the agreement. Sometimes you can have the payment information in the agreement. You’ve got to either get the payment information on the phone, or you’ve got to send them the agreement where they put the payment information in and they read the agreement with you on the phone. 

They read the engagement letter on the call. The reason why that’s so important is because if they say I really need to talk this over with my spouse, or I need a little bit of time to think about it, or I need to make a transfer, here’s where you start to go through the process.” So are you a hundred percent and you just need to let your spouse or business partner know, or are you still thinking about it?”

“Okay, so you’re a hundred percent and I guess what do you think they would say? Okay. So, when do you think you’ll get a chance to talk it over with them and make a final decision one way or the other?”

“Right after the call? So I guess, so you wouldn’t be able to know, I guess by 5:00 PM today. Is there any reason why, I guess we won’t be able to know by 5:00 PM today? So let’s just set a check-in for 5:00 PM and then we’ll go from there. I just sent you the calendar invite for that. Did you get it? And is there any reason why you won’t be able to make that call?

And so people consider that pushy. You know, it’s so funny. Cause I always tell people, if you consider that pushy, I mean, honestly, if the answer isn’t no, you could just end the call right here. Like I’m totally fine with that. I mean, if you would’ve told me, no, that’s great.  But if you say you do want to do it and you do want to make a decision today and everything, it’s just kind of the process. 

Her biggest challenge was setting boundaries with clients, showing the value, getting client to make a decision. You have to set your boundaries, just ask the simple questions. If they want to do it, go through it. Does it sound like something they want to do? Are they a hundred percent? Are they still thinking about it? What are the specific things that are standing in their way? When will they make a final decision, get the commitment and go forward. So here’s the key reason to wrap this all up, and the reason why this is so important, the first call is really a mirror of the entire client relationship.

Whenever you’re requesting files, whenever you’re trying to meet a deadline, whenever you need something from them, whenever you need payment down the line, if they’re the way that they treat you in this moment, it’s an exact reflection of how they’re going to treat you later. You want to make sure if you’re going to be an advisor…if you’re just going to be like, “Oh, Mr. Entrepreneur, please let me serve you. Let me do your tax preparation please. Oh, you’re so awesome. Just let me if I could just get in there and do a 1040, I would just love you so much,” 

If you’re sort of  have that kind of servant mentality, as opposed to your advisor, where you’re actually advising their business and they are looking up to you and you are giving them advice.

Where you are in that alpha role. If that’s what you want to be, then you’ve got to be firm on your process because if they won’t work on your process in the beginning, then when you work on your process later and it’s just going to lead to all sorts of problems. 

So if this sales training for accountants has been helpful, if you think this is something that you want to do a little bit more of, you want to be a little bit more intentional, you want to be able to take more of that alpha role. You want to be more direct. You want to set better boundaries from the beginning and all the way through the client relationship. Put an application right below this video. You’ll be able to apply. We work with people over the course of a year.

This presentation it’ll take about an hour when you go through and apply. We used to work with anyone, now about 60% of people that apply. We don’t even call, we say, “This person is not a good fit.” So if we do call you that’s because we think you’re a good fit. 

We review every application and every single person’s LinkedIn profile before they actually talk to any of us. You’ll see an amazing presentation about this, I talked today about setting boundaries on the call. There’ll be a lot of other things. We go over client acquisition, conversion, how to retain clients and get them to pay more year over year. I will go through the whole process of what it’s like to work with us. Even if you don’t end up working with us, you’re going to walk away with a ton of great information. So I’m going to go and post this video and I will see you on the other side. I want to give you more sales training for accountants.

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