Becoming more client-centered and actively promoting your firm’s services may seem at odds with each other. It’s true that many accountants are uncomfortable with the idea of selling to clients. But selling in accounting firms doesn’t have to come at the expense of trust.
Many times, employees shy away from mentioning additional services because they misunderstand the role of selling in accounting firms. Rather than being contradictory, selling clients additional services can actually build trust. Employees can start to improve their selling skills once they learn to see selling in a different light.
Don’t believe these myths
- Myth: Accountants aren’t good at sales.
Fact: Many accountants are uncomfortable with the idea of selling. However, accountants are natural advisors, well-suited to recommend additional services that would benefit a client.
- Myth: Clients don’t want additional services.
Fact: Clients begrudgingly pay for compliance services because they have to. But many firms have found clients are actually enthusiastic about paying for higher-value services that help them protect and grow their wealth.
- Myth: Cross-selling to clients distracts from your role as an advisor.
Fact: In many cases, cross-selling *is* advising. Understanding client needs and offering solutions is part of building relationships.
- Myth: Accounting services sell themselves.
Fact: Your clients may not even be aware of all the services your firm can provide. If you don’t tell them, how will they know?
- Myth: Finding new business is the partner’s role.
Fact: In today’s competitive marketplace, ensuring the health of the firm is everyone’s responsibility. You don’t have to work on commission for your firm’s bottom line to affect you.
- Myth: Forcing staff to sell will alienate them and make staff retention more difficult.
Fact: It’s true that selling comes more naturally to some people than others. But focusing on strengths while working on a stretch goal is a great way to develop professionally. Staff may be out of their comfort zone, but most will be able to learn a new trick or two.
Embracing your role as a client adviser is a key part of becoming a more client-centered firm. Download the whitepaper, “Focus on the Client: Developing a Client-Centered Firm” today to learn more.