The huge difference between accounts staff (and technical support staff) and sales staff is fascinating. It’s the classic difference between staff who are technically trained and aim to perform accurate data entry or fix detailed problems versus sales people who know how to talk the talk.
Some of the students who enrol into our Xero Training Course Packages to start their own bookkeeping business are so scared of the word “sales” that they start off being VERY awkward on the phone with new prospective clients. We created a course to fix this!
One particular student spoke with prospects as if they had advertised a job and she has already progress to the interview stage because they wanted anyone to come and do some work for them. This put people off VERY quickly and resulted in her getting no clients at all.
Business Owners are Experts at Some Things
When you start a business you normally start doing something you know well, seems simple doesn’t it? This is where the problem starts. Almost every enquiry you receive is for something very specific or at least the employer has a very specific idea of what needs to be done in their mind. If the business is a small business they might not even have written a job description which covers all the topics they need or they want to pay junior bookkeeping rates for someone to perform advanced bookkeeping and payroll tasks.
That’s why it is important to know what to ask a new prospect.
In the scenario above our students was confident performing data entry and accounts receivable and accounts payable tasks and as a result she was charging a low hourly rate. The problems started arising when prospects started asking for:
- Catch up bookkeeping (also called Rescue bookkeeping),
- Payroll Administration
- BAS lodgement
You Can’t Please Every Customer
The biggest issues our student had when confronted with this situation were:
- She would have to turn down work (she didn’t want to)
- She spent time speaking with these people (even though she couldn’t help them)
- She didn’t have the training, qualifications or experience to do these advanced bookkeeping tasks
- The BAS and Payroll tasks need to be performed by a Registered BAS Agent
Our Sales and Marketing Courses helped this student
- Design ads that focused on her core capabilities
- Ask the right questions at the very beginning.
- Understand what an ideal client looks like for her
- Understand the value of a referral network
You Can Help Even If You Can’t
If you have a network of other bookkeepers, BAS Agents and Accountants you’ll always be able to refer a prospect to one of them if they are not “Ideal” for you.
When you hear some business advisers say “The Customer is NOT always RIGHT” or “you can choose your own customers” they are simply saying that you need to know what to ask to identify your ideal client and then be able to refer non-ideal clients to other people in your network.
It might seem silly but being able to help every person, even if not being able to do so perfectly yourself is called good Customer Service and it turns you into the go-to person when you’re needed in the future.