Why selling is THE most important skill - Limiting beliefs

Limiting beliefs
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In this first of two articles to conclude his content series on selling, James Ashford explains why some accountants struggle to implement changes, and what stops them from moving forward.

So in my previous articles, I aimed to change a few of your beliefs around selling - what it is, why accountants don’t like it and why we need to master it.

We agreed that the reason accountants don’t like to sell is because:

  • Historically accountants were not allowed to sell
  • Sales is often taught badly
  • Selling isn’t what accountants traditionally do

But then we went deeper into selling and established that:

  • To sell is to serve
  • To sell is to influence
  • To sell is your ethical obligation

And finally we discussed the fact that:

  • Selling is where we exchange value with our clients
  • If we’re not able to sell, then no value can be exchanged
  • The clients who cause you the most problem pay you the least because we’ve not sold them enough

But unless we do something with this knowledge, nothing’s going to change for you, your firm, your staff or your clients.

Knowledge is Worthless

Knowledge is worthless. Google put pay to that.

Only ACTION has value.

So unless you’re prepared to implement some of the key strategies I’m about to outline, then nothing will change in your firm or in your client’s businesses.

But taking action isn’t as straightforward as that is it?

You have partners who need to be convinced. And if you get passed them, you’ve got a wall of managers and staff who are happy with everything just the way it is, thank you very much. And if you manage to break through them, you now hit the thought of presenting your clients with the news that they’re going to be spending more money with you or they have to leave.

And this is where most accountancy firms fail to move forward.

They have the strategies that will move them forward, but their mindset or the mindset of their team isn’t aligned with the strategy.

And moreover, accountants naturally have two limiting beliefs, which prevent them from growing their business.

The Limiting Beliefs

So accountants have two limiting beliefs which make them great accountants but not so great business owners, and they are:

  • They believe everything has to be perfect
  • They’re always looking for what’s wrong

Now, these are great traits when you’re looking through a set of accounts, but not so great when you’re implementing new strategies or ideas into your business.

This is why ideas go in and out of meetings for months with no decision ever being made.

Firms become paralysed by the fear that something might be wrong or less than perfect.

The accountants who I see making the most progress at the fastest rate are the ones who

  • Believe in progress, not perfection
  • Look for what could go right

Next time, I will reveal what accountants will need to do to make progress right away. 

Have limiting beliefs stopped you from making decisions or implementing changes to your firm? Alternatively, how has a positive, progressive midset changed the ways you have approached your firms. 

About James Ashford

James Ashford

James Ashford is author of "Selling to Serve", founder of GoProposal & The 7 Systems and Director at My Accountancy Place.

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29th Jul 2017 13:24

"To sell is your ethical obligation"

What?! Where do you get this from?

I can't find this anywhere in my Institute's ethical guide.

Aren't you just para-phrasing from your 'sell at all costs and as quickly as possible' manual?

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