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On this episode we talk with Debra Angilletta. We discuss the sales conversation and restructure it in a way that you are bringing value. The goal here is not to have a sales conversation but a service conversation. Debra walks us through the six steps to having an extraordinary service conversation that will get the client to say yes, or if it’s appropriate to actually say no, but no matter what always committing to the next step. That way you are always moving the sale along and bringing results to the clients throughout the entire process. Welcome to episode 81 of the Grow My Accounting Practice.
Debra and her team of bookkeepers, accountants & digital marketers support CEO’s in growth stage IT and Engineering companies to improve profits so you can strengthen cash flow, maximize profits, and position yourself for a lifetime income, acquisition, or deeper impact in your marketplace.
She puts her 20+ years of Wall Street finance and business strategy expertise to work for business owners, entrepreneurs and C-level executives.
She’s a sought after speaker, author, facilitator & thought leader. She is the presenter of popular programs such as “Profit First: The Business Owner’s Practical Guide To Big Profits And Paying Yourself First”. She is the publisher behind “Accelerate: The Magazine” for entrepreneurs on the fast track to profits.
Episode Transcription: GMAP Episode 81: Debra Angiletta
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GMAP 81 Debra Angilletta – Transcription
Mike: Listen you’ve been listening to GMAP for so long, but how long have you been working with Jetpack Workflow I bet you not long enough. This is the system that will fix all those woes of yours, no more missing deadlines, scrambling to get notes together, asking your team members for updates. Jetpack Workflow puts it on one place, all your tasks, your clients, your jobs, your notes all that stuff in one spot. They’ve helped thousands of accounts in ten thirteen fourteen countries now, manage all of this in one simple spot.
It’s jetpackworkflow.com you’ve heard it, but now it’s time for you to use it and if you go to jetpackworkflow.com/freetrial and you tell them that you heard about Jetpack Workflow on the Profit First Podcast or at GMAP Grow My Accounting Practice Podcast, you’ll get two bonus free weeks, which gives you 28 weeks a full month trial for free, so go there now.
Ron: Today, right here right now, this is the moment that you will finally say, I’m growing my accounting practice and you’re going to discover exactly how right here right now, on the grow my accounting podcast episode 81, crush and burn. Welcome everyone I’m Ron Saharyan co-founder of Profit First Professionals.
Mike: And I’m Mike Michalowicz the author of profit first and also Surge. And by the way profit first is being re-released, the re-buys expanded edition, February 21st, it’s right around now, so get yourself a copy.
Ron: It makes a great Valentine’s gift, especially a late one.
Mike: And you are also benefiting from listening to this show, this is called GMAP, grow my accounting practice and this is a show where we teach you to step by step on how to grow your accounting or bookkeeping practice, and we don’t just do that, we give you an action task at the end of the show.
That if you take it right now, we call it the GMAP now task, you do it right now you will grow your practice, plus you get the bonus, additional benefit. Of the Obi-Ron Kenobi psychology sales tip and we interview an amazing guest every single time.
Ron: Wow this is awesome Mike and as always you can find us on iTunes, Stitcher, Tune in radio, Google Play. Of course www.growmyaccountingpractice.com and www.profitfirstprofessionals.com.
Mike: Today Ron we’ll be talking about thing that no one wants to talk about, the sales if you’ve got, if you don’t the counter bookkeeping of a sales call, it’s like saying you know you have to stand in front of an audience of 10,000 people naked and sing the national anthem. It ranks up there with their with fear just pure fear. So we’re bringing on none other than Deborah Angilletta in a little bit, she is a profit first professional and she is a master coach in sales. She’s going to walk us through the process, where you can double the value you deliver to your clients in a single conversation and once and for all close that sale. Have them sign up as a client.
I do want to thank our corporate partners though for making this show a reality big run.
Ron: Absolutely, so thank you Fun Box, thank you Fundera.
Mike: Wait wait wait don’t thank anyone else just yet, I got to hit.
Ron: Thank you. Nextiva, zero, receive that, and of cause Jetpack Workflow. We got a triple bra
Mike: We’ll give more details on those wonderful supporters of this show, they’ve been with us from day one. Most of them have and we’ll get more details on them at the end the show, why we think they’re good for you and also great for your clients.
Ron: Right awesome and I want to give a little shout out today, I’m going to give a shout out to Tom Stamper, one of our members out in New Mexico. Tom recently or not recently, he purchased another accounting firm and what happens with that is you do incur a lot of debt.
Well fortunately, Tom implemented the profit first strategy and he’s almost eradicated it all. How great is that, way to go and that’s the beauty of profit first.
Mike: Yes absolutely, thanks for the shout out.
Ron: No problem.
Mike: Debra Angilletta, Ron you know her, you saw her speak at Mastery Meet Up for our mastery members, you’ve seen her to present at Profit Con. You’ve seen her coach and work with people one on one, you’ve seen them turn around her, help people turn around their sales approach.
On top of all that, she has twenty plus years of Wall Street finance and business strategy background and expertise, do you know on top of all that, she’s also a sort after speaker, author, facilitator and thought leader. You know on top of that she keynotes on profit first, the business owners practical guide to big profits and paying yourself first. I’m not the only person speaking about this, there’s other folks out there and Debra is a master presenter. And on top of that she’s a publisher for Accelerate the magazine, and on top of that, you know how she says God, she says, God. Oh my God. Debra Angilletta welcome to the show.
Debra: Oh my God it’s good to be here.
Mike: You are the best, you are the best
Debra: How are you guys? It’s nice to be here with you how exciting and fun.
Mike: How are you doing?
Debra: I’m good.
Mike: You know you were saying that the way we converse in a sales conversation, I guess in just any conversation, is that we can change things around radically, we no longer is this kind of confrontational try to convince someone to buy something, but you guys should be delivering value throughout that conversation. What do you mean by delivering value in a sales conversation or any conversation?
Debra: So it’s so interesting is that, there are so many people in this business and accounting business, bookkeeping business that are absolutely petrified of sales conversations, and let’s just broaden that out to pretty much everybody right. So you know what most people don’t realize is that the sales conversation is one of the biggest gifts, that you can give your prospect. And here’s why, because most people don’t spend time, enough time with a prospect to understand what their needs and wants are. And to tell you the truth when they’re calling you, they’re usually calling you when their hair is on fire, when they’re in a crisis and they really have no clarity on their own situation or what’s going on for them.
So for you to spend some time, and you know we really want to look at the definition of a sales conversation, it’s really not about sales, it’s about being in the place of service. So even if we can kind of switch the title around and not call it a sales conversation, but call it a service conversation, really showing up fully for that prospect on the line. And you know just having a conversation and really digging into what they want and what’s going on for them and what is it that they really want on the other end of this things? What is their desired outcome?
And the reason why this is such a gift, because who gives enough time to anyone on the phone these days? It’s usually a five second conversation, oh I need this, then we read down our list of services, gives them pricing there, either in or they’re out you know where’s the service there? Right, and being able to talk with people on a deeper, level there is such a level of appreciation by the time you hang up the phone, and why is that? Because you took the time to understand their language, understand their problems.
But the big gift that they walk away with is clarity in their situation and what it is that, what they really want not even based on what they originally came to the call for. So it’s just having that deeper conversation can make all the difference in the world, in having not just a client, but a lifelong client that you’re going to partner with from here on and many years on from here.
Mike: So how do you know what they want to talk about and let me just stage that, so many sales people go right in start pitching their wares. How do you know how you can service them? What their desired outcome is?
Debra: So you just have to ask, because to tell you the truth, people want to talk about themselves. If you give people a platform to talk about themselves, forget about it, they’ll talk about themselves all day long right. So you just have to ask the question you know and really the first thing is, hey listen I’m really curious, how did you find me or how did it come that we’re talking today, what’s going on for you? So that’s a really really easy thing to start and say in the initial conversation, you know it’s a curiosity question.
Mike: Okay so a curiosity question is, will they even answer truthfully? Because now listen if you’re calling me and I know it’s a sales call and you say, what’s the desired outcome? I’m like if I answer really truthfully, if I tell her my pains I know she’s going to try to manipulate me and sell to me, so I’m going to say, oh you know I’m just kind of sniffing around for the future. How do you know you’re really talking to the truth of what they want and need?
Debra: So if somebody is going to answer like that, then they’re probably just kicking tires and you want to just close off the conversation or not continue, you know most times when you have somebody that respects you, really need your help, they don’t kind of know why they need your help, but they’re for real. When you ask a curiosity question, they are going to spill their guts to you and that’s how you know that you have somebody, a prospect that really wants to be helped.
The other thing is also deepens what we call the know like trust factor and when you have that know like trust factor, when it comes to actually partnering or closing that client, it starts to escalate and actually skyrocket. So by the end of the conversation, the prospect has actually closed himself on working with you.
Ron: Can you explain that a little bit more, know like trust factor, for not overly aware of what that methodology is or how to use it?
Debra: So when people make a decision of when they’re going to work with somebody they have to find something that’s in common with somebody else, so if you’re talking to a prospect. Then you want to be able to pick up on what they’re saying and how they’re saying it and then reflect it back in their words. And when you do that, you start to build a trust factor and why is that? Because there’s familiarity, can you guys help me here. Oh my God it’s familiarity.
Familiarity with the conversation because you’re repeating back their words, so once people start to listen to what you’re saying, they feel like they’re being cared for. All of a sudden, now they’re starting to trust you and now this cold conversation is starting to warm up just by asking them a couple of key questions. And that first key question is just that curiosity question, so when you’re asking about that know like trust factor, there has to be some trust built really really quickly with that prospect for them to say yes in the end. And these questions are ways that you can start building that quickly.
Ron: So Deb, most accounting practices businesses have grown off of referrals and now everything’s changing, where the educated consumer is looking for more information. If we’ve never sold before and it came down to, hey this is what my hourly rate is, how do we look to make the transition into a sales conversation?
Debra: So basically, you know when it comes to rates, it’s nice to have in your back pocket off to the side, but when it comes to your hourly rate it really is not part of the conversation when you’re really in that place of service. When you’re in that place of service, you’re asking from a curiosity standpoint you start off with, and then you start getting more specific. What’s happening? What are the pains in your business? So you move from curiosity telling me your story, okay what are the problems? What’s not working? Why are we talking today?
And so once you identify those pains, you know your prospect is going to start really understanding where you can start helping them. And that’s where the solutions can start coming in and what’s so interesting is your prospect on the phone is going to tell you exactly what they want and they’re going to also start to understand the value that you bring to the table. So when you start having the pricing conversation at the end, it makes so much more sense, because you’ve built trust they know that you understand their problem, they like the way that you’re going
to approach the solution. So then it becomes an easy yes at the end.
Ron: Now some people say, well I wasn’t born a sales person, it’s not who I am. What do you say to somebody like that?
Debra: So I say, sales is not kind of like the car salesman that you remember as a kid right. It’s really about having a conversation, it’s like having a conversation with your friend or a family member. If you come from it, not from a selling place, not from a place of work, you have to convince somebody to do something. Because to tell you the truth, think about it, most people will not convince anybody to buy anything that they don’t need or want, alright.
And I really want your audience to hear that, people don’t buy things based on something they don’t need or want. So I hear this convincing over and over again, we need to convince nobody of anything. People know what they want, it’s about asking the right questions and having our conversation with that prospect and really approaching that conversation to say, hey I’m not here to sell to somebody today. I’m here to help that person with whatever they need on the phone and if that’s just clarity that I’m going to give them through having a conversation that’s the gift you’re going to give your prospect and they will remember you for it, even if you don’t sell them today, they will probably become a client somewhere down the line.
Why? Because you’re going to be doing something that nobody takes the time to do, who takes 30 to 45 minutes to dive into somebody’s business and listen to their woes right. They are probably telling their wives or their husbands all night long, they don’t want to hear it right, but when you come to a conversation and open yourself up to that, that’s gold for your prospect, nobody does that for them, that’s how you can stand out from the crowd.
Mike: Okay so we’re trying to help them on the phone, trying to serve them and if we can give them a solution on the phone, what I heard from you, that’s the gift, like we’re done right.
Debra: Well listen, it’s a solution to say here’s the path that we can take to solve this together. And it’s not about you know, once you take on your clients they are not going to be able to do their own taxes by themselves right. But a solution could be, okay let’s deep dive into what’s going on, let’s go ahead and start the process by meeting in one meeting seeing how we can help you and move forward from there, they won’t be able to do it themselves. Right. But you’re lending that hand and starting them off slowly, some people won’t dive right into your bigger package or offering right off the bat. So you want to go ahead and start them slowly and it could start with just that one meeting that you would be charging for.
Mike: And I think some GMAP listeners or maybe many will have the challenge of making the transition from, you’re helping on the call, to asking for the sale and I think that when to do it and just being comfortable with it, it feels very uncomfortable to say, well you really need to hire me. How do you know when to make this transition to, we got to take this next step together and it’s going to cost you money and how do you do it, so that it’s comfortable for both sides?
Debra: Yes so it’s a great question Mike because, once you start asking someone questions about their business, what’s going on for them? What are the high level problems? And here’s another really really great question, it’s if you could prioritize one thing, what would be the one thing that would make the biggest impact in your business right now when it comes to your accounting? It’s a powerful question.
Mike: Yes a big question and let me try to diagnose it, if I ask, what’s the biggest thing you can prioritize the one thing that’s most important? They may not conclude as the services I provide maybe something else I guess, I mean you’re forcing them to pick the thing.
Debra: Exactly because they know deep down what their problem is and a lot of times they are just not given the space to kind of expand on it and talk it through with somebody. So this is where your consultative role starts, this is where you start differentiating yourself from the pack. So when you’re deep diving into somebody’s problem, it’s a matter of just getting clarity, your client has all the answers. You want to be able to take their answers and what they want and just start asking the right questions, more specific questions like we just outlined.
What’s the one thing that you could prioritize that would make the biggest impact in your business right now if we solved it together? So that’s a very very specific question, it’s going to command a very specific answer from the person you’re talking to on the phone.
Mike: So if we solve it together part is where you’re including yourself, but what about the consideration of competition, what if the client is well here’s my biggest priority, but I don’t know if we can solve it together, maybe I want to use someone else. I mean I presume the competition is going to come up in the conversation at some point, how do we address that? How do we point out that we are different than the competition or a better solution for our clients?
Debra: So I’ll tell you just, you’re going to set yourself apart by taking time and asking the right questions of your prospect and staying in service, instead of going into selling mode right, so that’s one differentiation that’s going to automatically be happening. The other part of this is, is that most people aren’t going to ask the questions and get to the core of the issue, by you asking key questions, you’re going to be able to get to the core issue of your prospect where a lot of times your competition is only looking at the surface right. Oh I need my taxes done this year, okay so what have been, why are you coming here if you had your taxes done in the past? Yes, what was that experience like? What do you wish they did differently? Right.
So these are the deeper level questions you’re going to be asking and getting very very specific answers. So then now you become the natural choice as the person that they’re going to sign with right, and listen if you’re not a fit, you also have to be open to saying okay if I’m not a fit then I can refer you to someone that may be a fit and be okay with that. Because to tell you the truth there’s plenty of business to go around and instead of kind of you know jamming a square peg in a round hole. You know once again be in service, if you’re not going to be a good fit for that client, then refer them out to somebody that would, because somebody else is going to enjoy working with that client, maybe you won’t.
Ron: Right now Deb playing devil’s advocate, if I’m having a two hour conversations with prospects every other day, isn’t that taking away from the business at hand?
Debra: So a two our conversation with prospects, did I say a two hour conversation?
Mike: No Ron.
Ron: You know what I meant, I meant one, two conversations each one an hour, but the point is, if I’m having all these conversations with all these prospects and I’m sharing all this good stuff, how’s it benefiting me?
Debra: So you know first of all, you want to make sure you’re making time for these prospecting calls and it’s built right into your schedule. So what I tend to do is I keep Tuesdays open and I go ahead and schedule all my prospect calls on that day, so I dictate when these calls are going to be. I also dictate the time of the day, I’m much better with sales calls in the morning, early afternoon. If you get me around 3:00 or 4:00 o’clock forget it, we’re not going to get a good conversation.
Mike: You’re drunk by then.
Debra: Yes you’re drunk, absolutely, you’re done, you’re done you’re cooked. So you have to understand making sure that you’re scheduling these things, not on a day where you need to be getting some stuff done right. We’re coming in to tax time, so we want to make sure that you’re allocating the right time in order to be speaking to these prospects, you have to make the space for it right.
Mike: Awesome, what about the prospect that gets you know, let’s get right down to the brass tacks, how much is this going to cost me? What do you do when they’re pushing the cost component?
Debra: So this is the interesting part, in one of the courses that I teach, this is one huge thing that most people miss and it’s called the anchor. You have to be able to anchor your conversation back to what it is that they want, their desired outcome right. They came to you with a problem, they told you what their desired outcome is, you have to anchor what they want to a return on their investment. Alright, now everybody just went, oh snap right, like that, that it sounds tougher than it actually is, so it’s just a matter of once again going back and asking the right questions.
Okay, so if we solve this problem for you, what would that mean to you in dollars, in time or what would that mean to your business? So that they’re coming back and telling you what the value is, once again your client is the one that’s giving you the information right, so we want to make sure we’re anchoring the solution to the return on investment. Now if they say great this is going to save me $10 000 this year in paying taxes, great that maybe coming out of the conversation right. Whatever it is they have to understand and you have to link the value to their outcome. Once you do that, when you present your solution or your package, it now all makes sense.
If somebody is going to save $10 000 and they’re going to invest three to five thousand to do your taxes and make sure you stay out of tax jail. Let me tell you something, that is an easy yes for me.
Mike: Yes I hear your and that makes sense, but is there already risk of you seeming like you’re voiding answering the question? Meaning customer A goes to me or prospect A says, so hey Mike what is it going to cost me? And I say well, let’s talk about the return you’re going to get, what is it going to cost as a you know. I wonder if they can see that as I’m trying to avoid answering their question by not being direct and that maybe I’m being manipulative. You know, can you express to us how to actually do this so I don’t sound cheesy.
Debra: Sure, so as you’re asking the questions and you’re going through it, most people don’t disrupt the process, they let you have your process through. Don’t forget you want to always be controlling the conversation, you’re the one driving the conversation and you’re listening a lot right. So when you ask the questions, they’re answering, you’re asking the questions, you’re answering. So you’re the one that’s driving the conversation and also when you’re asking about this desired outcome, you’re already starting to bridge into that anchor to be like, okay great, what would be the one thing that would make the biggest impact in your business right now if we solved? Great and what would that mean to your business dollar wise or time wise? Okay, so here’s my suggestion of how we work together.
So you see how that flows nicely, because you’re getting very very specific answers and people allow you time. You know if there is somebody that is going to be on the phone and they’re going to be demanding what how much you charge, they’re probably not going to be a good client, they’re a tire kicker and that’s actually how you can start weeding out some of these conversations and say, okay this person isn’t worth the half hour, forty five minutes. They’re going to get ten minutes of my time, because they are price shopping.
Mike: Right right, and that’s someone you don’t want anyway unless you’re for some reason you want to be a commodity. What about building up the hutzpah to do this? Because as you’re talking through it, I’m like I’m ready for a sales call, but I know the second I make that call, my hands are going to be shaking, palm sweating, dry heaving possibly, is there a way to break in and be able to do this is? How do I build the guts to consistently do sales calls well?
Debra: Absolutely, and you want to know what, all it is having some guidelines so there are six
questions that you can ask in every sales conversation.
Mike: Oh lay it on me.
Debra: Talk sales conversations to me.
Mike: Talk dirty, I love sales conversations.
Ron: Easy guys.
Debra: So once again, we’re rebranding right we’re not saying sales conversation, we’re saying service conversations. So there are six questions that you can ask, first of all it’s the curiosity question. You know why are we talking? So that’s question number one question, number two and this is something that you can get information on. Are you the decision maker in your business? Do you have a partner? Because most times, sales calls or service calls get sabotaged because you don’t have the right person on the phone, so this saves a lot of time to make sure that you’ve got the decision maker on the phone.
And then you move into the pain, so you know what frustrations or challenges or concerns are you having right now in your business? So that’s number three, hitting on the pain points and then number four is that is that anchor. What’s the one solution that would make the biggest impact in your business? So that’s number four, what’s the one solution that will make the biggest impact and then number five is, what could get in your way of moving forward? Oh this is a good one.
So you’re already starting to subconsciously ask your prospect, what are going to be the objections right? What are the roadblocks? What’s going to get in your way of moving forward? And a lot of times they’re going to tell you and it usually falls in one of three categories. Number one is time, but you’re going to start gathering that based on the conversation, so time money and it could also be, oh I have to get permission from somebody else. But remember question number two was, as far as the decision maker goes, so we already did that, we already covered that.
So right there, they’re going to tell you the objection before you even make your offer, isn’t that great?
Mike: Yes that’s cool.
Debra: So once you put that all together then you say okay, are you ready. If they say no roadblocks I’m ready to go right, because you’ve had a great conversation, you’ve given them clarity on the situation not only for what they want but for how you can solve the problem. And now it’s a natural, number six is okay, are you ready to rock? You’re ready to move forward, here’s how you can do that and it’s a natural transition to make your offer and make the right size offer based on the conversation right.
Don’t just slam them into a package and package and pricing, when you value pricing, that’s awesome, I’m all for it. Just make sure you’re giving them the right slice that they need at the time.
Ron: Now how would you handle the owner or the prospect saying, you know that sounds great Deb everything that you told me, there’s no problems, I just need to think about it?
Debra: Okay so this is how I handle this when people say I need to think about it. I say okay and I’m honest with them and say okay, while we’re on the line, I’m staying here in support with you, I’m here to support you, let’s take about two minutes to think about this together. Now usually when I have to think about something, it’s usually because I didn’t understand something, I have a time factor or there’s a money factor involved. Which one of those would you say is happening here? Did I explain everything correctly? Do you need clarification on anything? Do you have a time factor, do you have a money factor?
Let’s think about this together and I stay with them, I won’t give up on them because once again I’m staying in service. Because one of the worst things you can do is leave someone and hang up from someone from a conversation when you’re leaving them in a place of indecision. Your job is always to drive somebody either to a yes, a no or putting that next follow up call on the calendar, why? Because now they made a decision to talk with you again, if you just leave them open ended, you haven’t really completed the cycle of being in service.
So never leave a prospect in limbo when it comes to a decision and that’s part of your process, just guiding them very very nicely and gently through that process, just through these questions. Did any of these questions feel like abrasive or hard or difficult?
Mike: No no I actually wanted to put on some music for me and you as you’re asking those questions, I was like these are pretty nice you know it’s very fluid and I can see that. I think, Deborah, does it make sense to have these printed out and have a script in front of ourselves? Not that we’re speaking line for line, as we’re going through on a sales call, but to have this so we don’t miss a point.
Debra: Yes it would be and that these are you what we call your prompts, there are six prompts and you can fill in any way you like so. And as a matter of fact, I have them available
Ron: For a free download if you act now. You get 10% of our services, okay so we’re going to talk about that in a second, because we want people getting all the resources that you have available, you said get people to yes no or next action. If you sense they are a no maybe during the curiosity phase, you’re like you know what this client is not in a niche I’m in or is not a space I’m in. Now we’re five minutes into a call that could go for an hour, but we don’t to waste this time. When you know it’s a no, what’s the polite professional way to get them off the phone out of there?
Debra: So most of the times I try to drive them to the no and I know that can be, that is a skill that you do accumulate over time, having a lot of conversations but if you have a feeling, you know if you’re asking your first couple of conversations and they’re very wishy washy and they’re not making decisions, that is your red light to say this person is going nowhere, this is not worth your time. If the person on the phone cannot make a decision in answering your question, they’re not going to make a decision at the end of the conversation to do business with you.
So at that time I would say listen, I’m probably not the person for you, I don’t think you’re ready for my level of services, can I give you a referral? So you’re staying in service.
Ron: Right right, you’re moving them on to someone else, I love it. You are getting them off your plate because you can’t you can’t serve them. What about someone that comes to you with the money issue, I just can’t afford this? How do you navigate that?
Debra: So it’s interesting kind of like a little background, when it comes to the money issue that is just a smoke screen, that is a roadblock that people put up because it’s a natural thing for us to do we say, oh we don’t have the money right, but that’s where your anchor comes in. You have to be able to link what they want, the desired outcome that they want, to the value that you’re going to provide and what is that worth to them and get them to say it. That’s why you ask the questions that you do, so if they want the desired outcome of they want to have clean taxes done, they want to be able to have every savings that they can possibly get and stay out of tax jail, well what is that worth to you, all it’s worth my business, right?
It’s worth, it’s worth, it’s worth, it’s priceless, okay great, so now they just gave you the answer of priceless, right. So now it makes sense, but when it comes to the money objection, it’s usually because they don’t understand what you’ve presented to them, they don’t see the value so you’ve got about go back and do the anchor again. And then number three, are they serious about moving forward or are they kicking tires? That’s what that money objection is really about, they’re not clear. So you have to get them to a place of clarity and say okay, well if you did have the money, would you move forward?
Great, so the luxury about being in the accounting business is that you can actually find the money for them, how awesome is that right? There’s no other business that can do that, and you know I’ve gone to the extent of saying okay listen, I hear you, I hear what you’ve said, why don’t we take this one next step? I know somebody is going to be a really really good client and they’re just an easy and they’re not understanding something, I’ll be like hey listen, why don’t you send over your piano and your tax returns from the last two years. Let’s take a look at the together and then let’s schedule that next phone call, I’ll find the money for them and they appreciate it, because they want, what you have they just don’t know how they’re going to pay for it, solve the problem, solve the problem.
Mike: Nice, Debra the clock’s working against us, we’ve got to split, but I know you coach other profit first professionals. You’ve coached accounts and bookkeepers to help them with their sales, where can they get more resources from you and learn more about the services you provide?
Debra: Great, so you can find me at www.debraangilletta.com, Two L’s to T’s. So debraangilletta.com And if you guys want those six probing questions for your service conversations, just go to my contact tab, type in your name and in the subject line just put sales conversation outline.
Mike: Great, you’ll get an email from me in like three minutes.
Ron: Can you sign me up again?
Mike: Great and we’ll have all this in the show notes, so people just click on the links and go there, but everyone please check out what Deborah is doing. She is a she’s extraordinary sales herself, so it’s not just preaching it’s practice, she does it but she’s also coached so many of our members to higher level sales that she is a must.
Mike: Alright Debra we’re going to release you now.
Ron: Thanks Deb! Chao!
Mike: We just whipped her out of here. Alright you know we do next Ron, we are going to summarize, because here is what I’m going to talk about our corporate partners in a second because they’re key folks. But I want to summarize what we learned from Deborah, I’ve got two pages of notes, you got two or three. I want to get the Obi-Ron Kenobi psychology sales tip and I got a killer GMAP now task, but first, I love that but first, it’s a trigger. We’re going to talk about our corporate partners, Ron if you could run with it, that would be cool.
Ron: Sure absolutely, let’s talk about Fun Box the ultimate cash flow accelerator, if you need an injection of cash and you have receivables that are about to come on in, but you can’t get them in your hands in time, reach out to the folks over at Fun Box. Next is Nextiva, voice over IP phone, it’s the phone of choice here, our profit first professionals H.Q. Mike and I and the rest of the staff also have phones. At our houses they’re Smartphone’s and plug and play very easy.
Then text Receipt Bank, this is a tool and an app that Mike and I use on a regular basis. It’s one of the best productivity savers that we have, because we don’t have to pay the additional time to have an admin or somebody else literally type in the information or even bother scanning all the stuff in, it syncs rate to zero which is our actually our corporate partner as well as the accounting platform of choice. It was the only accounting platform that was built with the cloud in mind.
Next let’s now talk about Fundera; Fundera is an educational company that helps business owners navigate the sea of loans available. What type of loan would be best for your company? What brokers would be best? Well, reach out to the folks over at Fundera and they will point you in the right direction and provide you with various different options.
Next is going to be Jetpack Workflow, Jetpack Workflow one of the ultimate workflow systems for accounting, bookkeeping services located out of Australia, right. Many of our members are actually using Jetpack Workflow, it really is a way to prevent things from falling into the crops, cracks.
Mike: When you have things falling in the cracks you’re in trouble and It’s a workflow manager, it’s extraordinary and it’s designed specifically for the accounting space. Alright Ron you’ve got something that you’re, oh don’t don’t pull that out yet. First I want to know what you learned from our wonderful guest.
Ron: You know what I really learned is the beginning, it’s not sales, it is not sales. It’s education and you’re having sales conversations, if you’re looking at it as the biggest gift and call it a service conversation, that’s what you’re doing. You’re in service of the person, you’re generally trying to help out. Additionally, you know one of the things is time and what I really loved about what Deb was saying, is you need to control the scheduling of the time of your prospect and calls, you also need to control the conversation. But listen listen listen and the fact that she dropped those six beautiful questions that we can all use every single day bonus.
Mike: Bonus, love the six questions, I love also the service conversation I think we should change the vernacular here, we should never again say with a sales call, we are a service conversation. I like the if you can prioritize one thing what would it be, the way to get to the top list and the other thing was the objective of these calls is to get to yes, no, everything’s get to yes or no. No means not right or next action, meaning if you leave a hanging chat nothing’s going to come of it. Oh well, if the conversation ends with I’m going to think about it, stick a fork in you, so have a conversation end with a yes I’m using your services, no I’m not using your services or our next action, we’re going to have a call in one week or whatever. So that was my takeaways, Ron it’s time for you to you know whip it on now.
Ron: Alright watch it Chui, watch it Chui, Chui duck, I told you big orf. So have you guys ever wondered why it’s very difficult to get people to do things, well what I’d like to talk about is a law that I’ve kind of created. It’s called the Please Do It Law, this law comes into play when situations arrive where you actually want the other person to do something or act in a certain way. Okay now an the example of a frustration of mine, I had a former financial advisor. Oh Ron you need to do this, you also need to do that and when you’re done with this and the other thing you might as well also do that. I’m like what? Overwhelm overwhelm overwhelm, I felt paralyzed and ended up not doing a thing.
Because hears the logic, when we’re asked to do something, inevitably, we think it’s going to cost us something even if it just involves my time. So while we may perceive that we have more important things to do, then comply with your request. So we need to react and understand and combat this. So here’s what you can do in your accounting practice and this goes for prospects, customer, but mostly customers and staff, there’s a couple ways you can approach your do okay. And one is asking nicely, showing vulnerability, another thing is reminding them that you’ve helped them in the past and ask them to help you out again.
Another good way is explaining why you want them to do something or act some way, another way which isn’t the best way is commanding them to do it, right now you’re using your authority to get things happen. However, what has worked best for us and for me personally over the years is to lower the bar and start with a very small ask, something that they can do and also incorporate one of the additional techniques above. The combination of lowering the bar minimizing the ask, will create a momentum that for further ask will continue.
So you’re lowering the bar and then you can take another approach by asking nicely, reminding them, explaining or commanding them and it’s going to build the momentum for additional and futures asks with compliance.
Mike: I love it, I love it. It reminds me of there was a study in Robert Cialdini’s book Influence, where you ask people simply. If a salesperson asks, may I open my demonstration box and gets permission. The likelihood of them taking the demonstration and then buying the product opens significantly, as opposed to just saying, may I do a demonstration, mean just may open the box is a small ask and it gets you momentum. Alright what you hear in the distance is building, here it comes, Cory’s on it today.
Ron: Best part of the show.
Mike: Dude his fingers have been resting on that button all day, for hours, it’s probably stuck on it because he was eating earlier. But you know in the mythology of either tire a lot of you think. Corey coats are engineer is the guitarist and the drummer on the song, back in the 80s right Corey? He loves hair metal, so this was definitely him. Alright here’s the deal, we’re going to do the GMAP now task, that’s the one task that if you do this now it will have an impact on your business, is the 81 GMAP now task, here it is. I want you to write this down, so when you have your next sales call, this is how you’re going to start off the call. Of cause you have a little banter upfront, but then you’re going to say, I have a process that I have found consistently allows me to fully help you.
Ron: What can you repeat that?
Mike: I have a process that I have found consistently always or consistently allows me to fully help you may we follow this process, and that stages for your free six questions, because this is what Debra was pointing to, as you ask these questions, people make, tell me the cost. You can say, oh I’m just following my process I found allows me to fully help you. May we continue the process, it stages you to go through the process before having that client to kind of jump on you and just get to the price. It stages you to follow the process thoroughly. Boom, mind blown, mind blown.
Ron: Wow what an awesome episode and I really want to thank Deb, I mean being able to talk about sales and it’s an opportunity, for all you out there to provide us feedback. Did you enjoy that conversation with Deb? And I want to thank all you listeners for joining today, please review us on Stitcher, iTunes, Google Play, Tune in radio. We’d like to get a five star rating, so go ahead and rate us, we’re looking forward to your feedback.
Mike: Yes and you know what go to profit first professionals our blog. You can also go to growmyaccountingpractice.com and it’ll bring you there. But put a comment in our blog post, Ron and I are monitoring that constantly. When Ron is not doing phone calls, he’s on our blog answering questions. And here’s the deal, there’s one more thing, let’s go to profitfirstprofessionals.com. Now here’s a small ask, maybe you’re not a profit first professional member, maybe you don’t even know what it means. Why don’t go to Profit con, if you go to the upcoming events on profitfirstprofessions.com. Profit Con 2017s up there, tickets are at their lowest price right now.
Last year 125 accounts and bookkeepers there, this year we’re anticipating, 150, 175 folks, they’re going to learn how to deliver profit consultants to their clients. So do that, but man if you’re ready to deliver profits consulting, if you’re ready to grow the profit, the bottom line for your clients and yourself, if you’re ready to truly move to the consultative model. We’re waiting for you and we’re ready too, go to profitfirstprofessionals.com right now, click on the become button, fill out the form and Ron, myself, the crew here, will walk you through next steps, we’ll walk you through our six question sales process.
Make sure it’s a mutual fit we will service you, you feel it’s a fit, we proceed, so go to profitfirstprofessionals.com click on the become button, fill out the form. Alright, we’ll see you later.
Ron: See you.
Mike: Oh oh oh next week, next week, we will see you next week. Next week Episode 82 Brian Kurtz is coming, we’re going to talk about profitable direct marketing. Oh yes.