How accountants can sell more effectively
Mark Lee interviews sales trainer Marcus Cauchi, who shares his insights about the mistakes accountants make when quoting fees and making sales.
ML: Marcus, I’ve heard you speak many times and you’re always saying ‘It’s not about the money’. Can you explain what this means in the context of accountants winning new clients?
MC: That's easy. Most accountants start by feeling uncomfortable asking for full fees for fear of losing the job.
They believe it's about the money. It isn't. So they discount the fees they really want to earn from new clients and then when they have the account they don't recover fees for all the hours worked. Often in excess of 40% of the hours are never billed.
ML: Why do you think they do this?
MC: Accountants are most often comfortable as technicians. They crunch numbers, save tax, audit accounts, advise. But when it comes to selling they have a mental block towards selling so they tend to explain why they are the best fit for the prospect instead of finding out the prospects reasons for wanting to buy from them now.
They explain how well established they are and how experienced their people are and then they try and buy the business by undercutting the incumbent's fees or the fees being quoted by other accountants. What they forget is that it's never about the money in a real selling situation.
Marcus Cauchi is a big bloke who has a proven track record of educating professionals and sales teams to adopt the counter-intuitive sales strategies devised by David Sandler. Marcus can be contacted through his website: www.london1.sandler.com by email firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07515 0937221
Mark Lee is consultant practice editor of AccountingWEB and writes the BookMarkLee blog for accountants who want to overcome the stereotype of the boring accountant – in practice, online and in life. He is also chairman of the Tax Advice Network of independent tax experts