Sometimes the biggest value of a “statistic” you happen upon is that it challenges you to think for a bit. Maybe think differently for a bit. This can be the beginning of a new habit that leads to a shift in the way you work – for the better!
I came upon some “sales” statistics* on the interweb (so we know they’re legit). How accurate are they? Who knows. But their message gave me a quick reminder of where to focus when it comes to engaging clients.
Many accountants don’t really consider themselves in sales (that’s another discussion), but if you send out a proposal to a new client, it’s possible that you may need to muster a bit of gumption to follow up if they don’t get back to you right away.
Take what happened to me after I had sent a proposal and hadn’t heard back after a few days.
Kim: Sent really nice, friendly email with value-added information (i.e. link to additional cool content) and asked if they had any questions about the proposal.
Client: No response
Kim: 1 week later. Followed up with the ‘ol “Maybe you missed my email last week? Know you must be super busy…”
Client: No response
Kim: 1 week later. Picked up the phone and called.
Client: “AH! So sorry! Been slammed with work. Yes, love to talk about your proposal. How about next Tuesday?”
But the worst part about not hearing back after sending a proposal is not knowing if they even read what you sent. That’s why Panalitix recommends using a proposal platform that can track and notify you when a document has been opened. It would be even better if it can show you how long a recipient spent on a specific page.
I had a client who was worried that their new Terms and Conditions were hindering acceptance of a proposal. But after being notified that the prospect HAD viewed the document, they went in and looked at the analytics. They found that only a few seconds had been spent on the Ts and Cs. Instead, most of the time was spent on the pricing page. This valuable insight better equipped them to follow up. (In the end, the prospect accepted the proposal and e-signed it, of course!).
If you’re sending out an updated engagement letter for straightforward tax services to a client you’ve been working with for a few years – you might not need to “tell a story” to retain them as clients. But if you are proposing something a bit more bespoke, a bit “bigger” in terms of financial investment and services to be provided to a new prospect, it would serve you well to:
- Understand the story of potential client’s business
- Show how your firm is going to add value beyond diligent compliance work, and,
- Present that “story” in your proposal in a compelling way – ideally with a document that engages your reader (with images, branding, video?) and shows you’ve made an effort to stand out from competitors.
91%? Maybe. But the point is that a lot of your clients would give you a referral or testimonial or even welcome the opportunity to be the subject of a case study. This becomes incredibly valuable content that can be used everywhere in your communications – on your website, social media and yes, in your proposals and campaigns as part of your storytelling (see point above).
A little nudge can go a long way to improving your approach to sales and proposals. If you want to delve deeper into this topic – get in touch!
*Image and stats from Brevet