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How to sell your firm’s business advisory services; the ten key strategies

You have to be success minded.
You have to feel that things are coming your way when you are out selling services; 
otherwise, you will not be able to sell anything.

Benjamin Jowett

I am often asked by practitioners; how do I sell my firm’s business advisory services to current clients and future prospects? Another common question is; how do I keep the clients engaged as we move through the years developing their business and enhancing our business advisory service offering?

There is no hard fast system or process that works every time however the following ten strategies may help:

  • Know how to explain simply to clients the business advisory services your firm offers. Understand the service benefits from the client’s perspective.
  • Develop your staff’s soft skills in particular basic customer service and selling and promoting skills. Give them the skills to ask the right questions, handle objections and introduce and present new ideas to clients.
  • Promote services based on benefits – not features or functions. Remember the key selling acronym – FFB. You can interest a client with a feature, further support that interest with a function, however ultimately clients buy on benefits – what is in it for them!
  • Use some time at staff meetings to share experiences about promoting your business advisory services to clients. These are great opportunities to learn new techniques and review performance for handling these situations.
  • Have staff members role-play a client meeting where a new service is to be discussed. Role-plays build confidence and help team members prepare for objections and reactions.
  • Ensure staff are thoroughly trained in all new services, as they are introduced. Keeping staff knowledge current is paramount to the successful implementation and ongoing management of business advisory service offerings.
  • Develop one-page summaries of each service noting key features or technical details. Do not use these with clients, however; build knowledge and confidence by reviewing before meetings.
  • Immediately address a client’s objection. An objection to a service, or its features, suggests the client has some level of interest.
  • Have well-structured procedures and systems in place if a client decides to buy. Staff should know exactly what to do if a client decides to go ahead. Getting buy in and failing to deliver is not acceptable.
  • Include referral targets in staff key performance indicators and monitor progress to budgets regularly. Reward those who succeed and performance manage those who need additional support.

Most importantly, bear in mind that when we refer to “selling,” it’s essentially a dialogue aimed at understanding a client’s objectives and determining the best approach to help them accomplish those goals.

Why not get the ball rolling by taking a complimentary 45 minute Business Advisory Readiness Assessment webinar with me? We will examine where your firm’s business advisory service is at the moment, where you want it in the future, how to get there and who is going to do what. Just reach out to me at [email protected] and we can organise a suitable day and time.

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Mark Holton

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