Business is about people, it’s about interacting, and it’s about giving yourself to these people, comfortable and confident to do something with you. That’s a sales skill and that will not sit well with many accounting and bookkeeping professionals.
Develop that personal relationship; it could lead to higher value services. Relationships are more important than contracts. Try and get to know and understand the people you are dealing with. Business deals are relationships between people; a contract is the result of the relationship, not the cause. A good relationship is better than a good contract.
Settling is easy
The reality in selling, even for bookkeeping professionals, is that it is a process and requires a number of ‘touch’ points. Many sales people quit because they get dejected when they get rejected early in the process. A well-reported study found that the typical salesperson gives up after the fifth contact with a prospect. After five times, the salesperson figures she’s wasting her time and the prospect’s, quits, and moves on.
Of course the study reports that 80 percent of these customers buy in the seventh attempt to close the sale. If only the bookkeeping professional had not settled for so little.
Sales results are a symptom
What does a high performance practice look like? Metrics are the results of efforts and a sales effort needs to be measured if the firm owner wants to be a high performance practice. For your practice, the key measure may be the growth in number of clients. You might also be interested in engaging higher value clients, so the revenue per client (i.e. the trend measure) is a key metric.
Old-school firms do not measure recurrent billing; progressive firms move to the cloud and are able to offer bundled packages on monthly (or quarterly) billing. The measure to track here is Monthly Recurring Revenue (‘MRR’). The trend in (MRR) is key metric in the SaaS world where customer acquisition is a key driver and metric.
It is clear that contemporary metrics for accounting and bookkeeping professionals seeking to be relevant and prosperous going forward are based on a shift to the often uncomfortable role of being a salesperson as well as a competent technician.