How Can We Combat These Feelings of Being Pushy? – Part 2
In part 1 of this topic, How to Avoid Being ‘Pushy’ when Winning New Clients, we discussed how the objections and concerns we imagine, as an accountant, the prospect will have; they're all in your mind as a result of not believing in your own value, not as something coming from the prospect.
We must overcome these self-made objections. We, first of all, need to convince ourselves of the value of our offering. Secondly, we need to convince the prospect of the value we have to offer them.
Let's focus on the first one of these as it is an absolutely critical issue. It is a scenario that I refer to as winning your first client, also known as “Selling to Self”
Selling to Self – A Scenario
The simplest way to explain this is to focus on someone you admire in public life, such as a sportsman or an actor, musician, politician or writer; someone that you admire.
Next, think about their achievements. That is, something they have done or created that you have enjoyed watching them do, listen to, or read about. You have gone on the journey with them and cheered them on and felt a great sense of pride in what they achieved. But they did not just become good by accident.
For each of them, they have gone through years and years of practice and education in their specialism that has brought them to this point of success. For the actor, it is a thousand rejections; the sportsperson it is a thousand injuries; the politician, goodness knows what it might be, but one thing is certain. It's repetition over and over again at what they do until they know their craft inside out.
“Winning new clients is a craft, a skill, an art and a science all rolled up into one, and this takes practice.”
Why Do We Feel Pushy?
We feel pushy because we are not convinced of our own value. We struggle because if we were convinced of our value to the client’s business, we would have no need to push.
What we need to do in our meeting with potential clients is to be very relaxed. Whether we win the client or not, we have the attitude that the outcome is ‘no skin off our nose’.
If the potential client is not going to recognise our value, we are simply going to give it to someone else. It is no big deal to us.
Don't Let Emotion Get in Your Way
If you feel desperate to close the deal and think “I must get this deal in because I do not have any other deals in the pipeline…” that is when we start to become pushy. It's when we are not convinced of the value we have to offer. So in order to improve our position and confidence, we must rehearse, we must practice, we must educate ourselves, we must answer why WE would buy from us.
If we cannot articulate why we would buy from us, how do we expect the prospect to do that? How do we expect them to work out our unique selling points on our behalf? That is not their responsibility. It is our responsibility to present our unique selling points to them.
Therefore, if we feel that we cannot do that and need to improve, we need to address that issue and fix it. If you are comfortable with it all and think that you are great at this, and I am sure that you are, you need to find the right way to communicate that to the client and not come across as being cocky or overconfident.
How to Demonstrate Your Value
How can we demonstrate our value and come across as assured and relaxed but not cocky, pushy, overconfident or manipulative? Complete this exercise and write down your thoughts in bullet points:
Review all of the wins you have had in your career whether it was in your practice or whether it was someone else you were working for.
By this, I do not mean client wins, but the things you have done for clients; the money you have saved them, the efficient structures you have introduced, the favours you have done or the crises you have solved.
Make a list of all of the wins you have made and what you did.
Examples can be things such as: the time when you did the R&D credit, the time when you increased their top line by 1% and showed them what would happen to the bottom line. Include the time when you implemented a new system and that saved them from hiring another person and paying an additional £20,000 salary a year.
Think about all of these things and look at the value and difference you have created for your clients or clients of firms you have worked for over the years.
If you have recently become a partner or started your practice, think about the biggest wins you have had so far. Think about your first client for example.
What did you do for them and what value did you create both in terms of financial figures and outcomes such as discretionary time? How much time and money have you saved your client? Has the business owner had more time and money to achieve on the back of the work you have done for them? Have they been able to reinvest in the business or made a personal purchase of something they have always wanted?
Whatever it may be, you created that.
You always need to be mindful of capturing these stories so you can tell them over and over again without thinking twice. Tell stories that can be verified independently and are irrefutable examples and proof of your value.
Think about the approaches I have addressed. I want these insights to give you a starting point in planning how you approach prospective clients and how you believe and portray the added value you can give to your clients.
Some of these points you may already know but have not yet put into practice. Some of my advice is common sense. Some of it is a more advanced approach. However you put it together, the critical end result is that you must convince yourself of your value first before you go out and try to convince anyone else of your value.
Tell Client Stories
Storytelling is a method attract and hold the attention of potential clients. When you tell your stories, they will think “Ahh, okay. I understand this. It’s a business just like mine.” or “Oh, you did this in your practice. You have walked this path. You have overcome the same challenges I am trying to overcome.”
This creates empathy and when there is empathy, price resistance reduces and pushiness is no longer a consideration. That is what will take you into the next stage of being able to win new clients.
If you're ready for the next step in managing prospective client conversations, you'll love The Winning Clients Masterplan video series. Learn how to focus the prospect on what you can offer so that they will not be judging you on pricing, but will be more eager to engage your services based on value.