Much has been written and produced over the years to teach people the fine art of persuasion.
If you don’t have time to read them all but you really need to get your clients to invest in your small business services, consider this my version of the short course. ☺
There is only one way to get your client to do what you want, and that is to give them what they need.
And what is it they need?
They need solutions to their problems.
So if you have a small bookkeeping business and you want another business to hire you to keep their books, you need to consider what problems they have that you could solve.
The average small business owner launches their enterprise to pursue a dream they have of offering the public a service or product that they need. Normally their first line of interest is in their area of expertise. There’s a good chance that is not bookkeeping.
If you can persuade them that you can provide reliable bookkeeping services to them so they will have free time to do what they like about their business and help it grow, you will be solving a problem for them.
If you can show that by outsourcing their bookkeeping services, they can make better overall decisions regarding their growth because they have all the relevant financial facts at their fingertips, that will also help to persuade them.
The only way you can get people to hire your services or expertise is to convince them you can do the job better, cheaper or more efficiently than they can do it themselves.
Convincing another small business that you can solve their problem isn’t the only barrier to getting them to invest in your business. You need to persuade them that there are financial advantages or personal advantages to outsourcing the work to you.
You do this by presenting attractive service packages that illustrate how much simpler their days will be if you take over a certain set of specific chores they have to do regularly – especially if these chores they hate doing, which is often the case with bookkeeping. You have to let them know that with your training and experience, that you can do the job and give them more than what they are currently doing for themselves, and how these extra services can help them operate and manage their businesses better.
Consider what you are capable of offering and make your package as attractive as possible. Can you work remotely from scanned or emailed documents? Can you drop by their premises regularly and pick up hard copy files if that is the way they still operate? Do you store their relevant documents in the cloud so they can access them 24/7? Can you provide them with real time accurate financial data with in depth reporting? Of course you can…with QBO and apps there has never been more you can do for a small business owner.
Even if you can solve their problems and do the job better and more efficiently than they can do it themselves, they still need to know about you to hire you.
The third rung in the ladder of persuasion is ensuring that your targeted client knows of your existence and can easily get in touch with you.
To do that you need to reach potential customers with a touch that they connect with.
That means you have to hone your skills of communicating persuasively and effectively, and make sure that the messages you draft and deliver reach your intended target.
This is where so many competent service providers fall down.
They believe that by talking a lot about themselves, they will be more persuasive than talking a little about themselves and a lot about their clients.
The most important thing to remember when attempting to communicate with potential clients is that everyone these days has a seriously limited attention span. If you cannot illustrate the relevance of your message in seconds, you will be ignored.
For example, if you want to persuade a potential client that you can make their life easier and do their bookkeeping better, don’t send them an email talking all about yourself for two paragraphs and then adding a third that says “why not check out the packages on my website and see how I can help you?”
Your “ask” in the third paragraph is fine, but you need to move it up to the first paragraph and ensure that you present it in terms of what will really work for the client.
Instead of sending emails that say “let me tell you about my firm” make sure that your tone and target message is more like “why do routine bookkeeping yourself when I can free up your time to grow your company?”
Even when you move into persuading them to purchase your packages of service, keep presenting it in terms of how it will help them.
For example, you can point out that your confidential, efficient and affordable bookkeeping services make it easier for small businesses to make better decisions based on their up-to-date financial data.
You can tell them that they don’t have to wait until their bookkeeper comes back from vacation to get the report that they need, since you have 24/7 access.
Invite them to click on your website (link provided) and learn more now. Make sure you leave a phone number they can call directly as well as your email.
People are persuaded by people they know. If one of your current clients is a friend of a targeted lead, ask if you can use their name as an introduction to them.
Nothing builds trust and a willingness to be persuaded faster than a recommendation or introduction from a respected friend or relative.
People are much more comfortable hiring people who are referred to them by someone they trust. That is especially true in businesses where the product involves handling their financial affairs or entering their place of business or their homes.
Put a process in place now for gathering testimonials, and don’t be afraid to ask your clients to personally pass on recommendations for your services. Offer a small discount if one of their recommendations turns into a contracted client if you wish to encourage their behavior.
The art of persuasion is really all about building a bridge of trust. Do that by being relevant, offering to solve problems, showing that you are credible to deliver what you offer, and secure open doors by collecting excellent recommendations.
Thank you for reading this post. Until next time, take good care of yourself.
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