A couple of years back, we heard from an accountant who was really excited about offering online access for his clients, but he wasn’t sure how to sell them. Our response surprised him. We told him that he shouldn’t try to convince his clients, and that the next time he speaks with a client, he should just tell him about his new portal offering and ask “Would you be interested?” It’s that simple.
This episode has repeated itself many times over the years. An accountant falls short on implementing a new service because he or she can’t think of the right way to sell it to clients. This is just making the situation more complicated than it needs to be. You often don’t need to sell to your clients — you simply want to make sure that they are aware of the services you offer.
Use Your Standard Communication Tools
How do you make your clients aware of all the services you offer? Obviously, you want to make sure that your standard communication tools include all the new services you provide. This includes your website, brochures and any other promotional material about your firm. If you have a newsletter, include an article on your new service. And, as suggested above, simply ask your clients if there is any interest at the conclusion of meetings and phone calls. No pressure. Just ask.
Consider These Alternative Communication Methods
Anytime you send out a communication to a client, it is an excellent opportunity to see if they have interest in other services that you offer. You can place a small promotion on the invoices you mail out highlighting your additional services. You can also add a question to your client tax organizer to identify interest in a current service or to gauge interest in a potential new service. Consider questions like: “Would you like to learn more about our online services?” or “If we offered financial planning services, would you be interested?”
Don’t Sell Them — Just Tell Them
There’s a reason you don’t feel comfortable selling new services to clients. It’s because people don’t want to be sold. So don’t. Just make sure that your clients know what you have to offer. Ask them if they are interested. You may be surprised by how many say yes.