I have noticed a common theme among business owners and practice leaders: the desire for more clients and the aversion to “selling.” This dichotomy presents a challenge for these leaders.
This issue is especially prevalent among attorneys, CPAs, and engineering firms, though I have seen it in other industries too. These professionals are highly skilled and enjoy the technical work of what they do, but the idea of sales throws them for a loop!
I have outlined 5 steps to help non-salespeople increase revenue (as well as those who love to sell):
1. Check your mindset. The biggest roadblock to increasing the number of customers for most business owners is the fear of looking too pushy or coming off as “sales-y.” The typical image is the slimy used car salesman that no one wants to emulate. I encourage you to shift that thinking and focus on the service you provide, the money you save your client, and the problems you solve. By focusing on the help you offer, you can approach your next prospect with an energy of service and the conversation can focus on their needs rather than your desire to “make a sale.”
2. Clarify your ideal client. Many business owners resist the idea of specifically identifying who they best serve in an attempt to get as much business as possible. Who do you want to work with? What types of businesses are they in? How are they about paying their bills? Determine the types of clients that make the most sense for your business and target more of the same. Identify where you have found your best clients. Was it from networking, referrals, social media posts, or somewhere else? Without determining specific criteria you’re left with scattered efforts, and then frustration – spinning your wheels. Think about the how much better your business would be if the time and efforts you’re spending on non-ideal customers was put toward those that are a good fit for you and your firm.
3. Set measurable goals. Once you breakdown how much business you want to generate and where it should come from, based on your ideal client, you can set goals about how many new prospects are needed and which efforts will generate those results. It is stressful to think about a vague idea of bringing in new business. It is easier to think in quantitative terms, like bringing in 3 new clients per month and attending one networking event a week, for example. You must have measurable goals in order to evaluate if you are making progress. And don’t forget to celebrate when you achieve your goals!
4. Create a sales process. What steps are required to bring in a new client? What happens after a lead is identified and how do they get from prospect to client? I recommend creating a system for all important parts of your business and most certainly for sales. After all, without sales and customers there is no business. It is much easier to follow a routine once the routine is created, so take the time to develop and document your sales process too.
5. Be disciplined and accountable. It is human nature to resist the uncomfortable and to resist change. In order to be successful in increasing business it is essential to create new habits, be disciplined and have a system of accountability. I recommend scheduling regular time for your sales activities – actually put it on your calendar and treat it as an appointment even if it is only a few hours a week. Find an accountability process that works for you too. Whether its creating a contest with another member of the firm, working with a coach, or coming up with a reward for each week you meet your goal, find a way to stay on track.
Sales can be broken down into manageable steps and a new approach can actually be enjoyable. I work with many business leaders who don’t like to sell and I help them increase their bottom line with a simple process. Check out my upcoming program, Sales Mastery. I would love to help you develop your sales process and bring in new customers that would benefit from your expertise. I also have a few spots open for a complimentary Strategy Session to discuss your specific business. Sign up here for your customized consultation.
Kim Ellet is a certified professional coach and owner of The Growth Coach of Metro Atlanta. She finds joy in helping successful leaders committed to continuous improvement, be more of who they are, dream bigger dreams, and accomplish more than they realized was possible. www.TheGrowthCoachATL.com