Sales conversations: Getting the results you want faster

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David Winch pinpoints the key flaws in traditional sales conversations and outlines how to improve the process when agreeing engagements with new or existing clients.

Getting new work is all about speaking to clients in a language they understand and ensuring they trust you. As traditionally technically minded people, accountants have a harder time than most when it comes to selling themselves to prospective clients, but these conversations need to happen if you want to grow your business.

So, what's your strategy for a sales conversation? Do yours follow the familiar pattern because that is what you've always done, and you started doing it because it was what everybody else did? Were you taught that it was a reasonable strategy, in fact the best, or maybe the only strategy?

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About David Winch

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30th Jun 2010 14:29

Perspective

@David - all good stuff!

Interestingly I have been doing some one-to-one value pricing/sales coaching with an accountant over the last couple of weeks on a new enquiry they received. We are using this to get the sales process and methodology in place.

As well as explaining what happens in the prospect's/client's mind during the sales and pricing conversion, one of the things I suggested which really helped with a mindset shift was assuming the position of a consultant, rather than service provider.  

Pretend you will not actually deliver a service or solution and you are being paid by the client to assess the situation and advise what to do. If you do this you will naturally spend more time getting an understanding of the situation and the circumstances from the client’s perspective.  You will also not fall into the trap of going too far and trying to fix the problem.

When you do this and identify problems and/or uncover opportunities you can build a business case on each with the client based on the value to them and the likely investment of time, money and energy compared to other things going on in the business.  

The sales conversion is about building commitment step by step and if you do this well the client will close the sale by asking "what’s the next step?” When they say this it’s time to show leadership and move the client past the close into the solution with a suggested action plan and to set the budget based on a share of responsibilities but always taking account of the value as expressed by the client.

Bob Harper

Portfolio Marketing

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