Have you ever connected with a potential client, and thought that they were going to enroll in your services, and when the time came to commit, they chose someone else?
There’s a fine line between making the perfect connection, and talking too much and losing the sale.
It’s happened to me many times: I felt a connection with a client, and thought they felt a connection with me. Then, it happened. I talked too much, and lost the sale.
It even happened to me last month! A client asked me a question, and I got excited answering it, and started talking about myself too much.
No matter what specific services you’re offering, you’ve got to learn to read the cues that your client is giving you to tell you if they are ready to buy or not.
Once you learn to read those cues, and master the art of being quiet and listening to your client, you’ll find yourself closing an abundance of new sales and bringing in new clients.
If you’re struggling with talking too much, and overselling your clients, then this week’s episode of The Abundant Accountant Podcast is a MUST listen!
Enjoy, and thank you for listening and tuning into The Abundant Accountant Podcast!
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Here are a few key secrets we talked about in this episode:
- Michelle introduces herself and the topic of today’s episode: not overselling your clients.
- We hear this all the time: people who thought that a client was going to enroll with them, and then they lost the sale! You think you have a connection, but it got lost somewhere along the way.
- The question you need to determine is how do you draw the line, and when do you stop talking to close the sale?
- 90 percent of selling is conviction and only 10 percent is persuasion.
- If you already have the right solution for your client, it’s really easy to influence a positive outcome of the sales conversation.
- People want to know that they are working with the best!
- “When you’re confident in what you offer, and you’re confident in your fees, and you’re confident in your services, and you’re confident in the results you can deliver, that confident acts as an influence to your prospects sitting in front of you.”
- Don’t forget that confident doesn’t mean cocky.
- Certainty will lead to influence.
- Whoever talks the least asks the best questions and is the real winner.
- When your client talks a lot, that is a good sign!
- The person in front of you is the person you’re here to help and serve.
- Prepare ahead so you can understand where you are leading people in your sales conversations.
- If you’re talking too much, you’re not listening to what your client’s needs are.
- When you’re not talking, your client is telling you key information about themselves that you need to know!
- If a client tells you they are ready to work with you, stop selling and ask for the sale! Learn to listen for those cues so you’re not overselling your clients and know when to ask them to work with you so you can close the deal.
- There are multiple ways you can force yourself to stop talking: count to ten, take a drink of coffee, or ask clarifying questions.
- If they ask “how can we get started,” that is your cue! Stop talking and ask them which form of payment will work best, Visa or Mastercard?
- Don’t be hesitant to ask for payment.
- Having a sales process in place helps you to not give away your time for free.
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The Dangers Of Selling When The Client Is Already Sold With Denise Mandeau
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, I am eager to discover more about those of you who tune in each and every other week. If you’re wondering how you can do this, I’d like to take a moment to extend an invitation for you to subscribe and leave a written rating for the show so I can keep on delivering the content you want and love. I’m going to take that review and highlight it here on a future episode of the show.
For this episode, you know that sharing is caring, but you’re going to want to make sure to screenshot this episode on your phone. In the end, tag me Michelle Weinstein and our incredible guest in this episode and my partner in crime, Denise Mandeau, and post it on your LinkedIn feed and #TheAbundantAccountantPodcast. Tell us what’s the most valuable lesson you got from this episode. Let’s start the show.
Welcome to the show, everybody. I am very excited to be here again with you. We have a very special guest, Denise, who is also my partner in crime. We are talking about the dangers of selling after your prospect is already sold or enrolled with your services. I’m not sure if any of you have had this problem before but that is one we are going to talk about here. We’ve all had this problem as we’re growing our firms and businesses. Something Denise and I have heard hundreds of times during the years of sales coaching and coaching sales professionals in general.
I had a client that I thought was going to enroll with me, but then they ended up not going through with it at all and I never heard from them. You thought you connected with the client, but then they just disappeared. We call this the disappearing act. We completely understand how you feel because we have personally been there.
Something that a lot of people don’t know is that you can ruin a new client engagement or a new client prospect, proposal or whatever you want to call it by continuing to keep selling after the prospect has already been on board with you. It’s how you define that fine line as to when you need to stop talking and the clients are already sold, versus when do we need to keep talking and answering questions.
In this episode, Denise and I will be explaining all of these uncomfortable situations that you might encounter, and how to never react to them again. Denise, welcome to this show. It’s awesome having you here as always. I’m in San Diego and Denise is in New Jersey. Denise, say hi to everybody. Can you share a little bit about your background so they know who you are in case they forgot?
I’m Denise Mandeau. I am from Neptune, New Jersey. I partnered up with Michelle. It’s our anniversary of partnering up. It’s pretty awesome. My background is I was a financial advisor for 22 years. I worked with many CPAs around helping my clients maximize their tax savings and estate planning, and all kinds of good stuff. I love working with accountants. I’ve been in sales and working with business owners for over 35 years. I’m happy to be here.
Thank you so much for being here. We are talking about a fun topic and I want to share this quote by a keynote speaker activist, Shiv Khera. He said, “90% of selling is conviction when only 10% is persuasion.” If you already have the conviction and the right solution for your clients, instead of persuasion, I like to say influence more. It’s easy to influence a positive outcome of the conversation that you’re looking for. This means that your sale might happen faster than you’ve ever been used to before. That’s where this conversation comes from. Denise, what’s your take on that? We use the word influence a lot versus persuading people, but what does that mean to you?
When you’re tuned in with someone and you’re being of service and being on the same side of the table as them, what you say and how you are being with them has an impact or it influences somebody’s choices or decisions. Whereas persuasion is moving them into something. Influence is when you have certainty. People want to know they’re working with the best. When you’re certain and you have that confidence, it’s influencing.
Denise and I like to come from the aspect of influence. The basis of that is confidence. When you’re confident in what you offer, fees, services, and the results you can deliver, that confidence act as an influence on your prospect sitting in front of you.
Let’s distinguish also that confidence doesn’t mean cocky.
Can you elaborate a little bit more on that?
Do you ever come across someone and they were like, “I know everything.” They’re a know-it-all. They’re like, “You got to listen to me.” That’s more cocky, whereas confidence is like, “I see that you have some problems and I’m certain that we can help you solve those problems.”
What we’re both saying is certainty will lead to influence. You might wonder why talking after a client’ is already enrolled could hurt you. Denise, you can share a few of your ideas too, but a lot of this may stem from probably every sales conversation you have, you’re just winging it. When we wing it and we don’t have a consistent flow and a consistent process, we miss the anatomy of the process of the sale. We don’t even know when the client is ready to engage. Working with so many accountants, we’ve learned that winging it doesn’t get the results that we’re each looking for. A lot of this could lead to a lot of talking. Do you want to talk about that part of it? We always talk about the 80-20 rule here on the show, but talking too much happens because of why.
Maybe you’ve heard this myth before, “Whoever talks the most wins.” It’s not true at all. When I was first starting out in sales, I was winging it. Because I didn’t have a sales system. I didn’t know. I would be talking away and thinking I was telling them about them, everything they needed, and everything they didn’t know. It was painful. It didn’t get the job done. The real truth is it’s whoever talks the least and has the best
When our clients are talking a lot more like we’ve chatted about here many times, that’s always a good sign. When you talk too much, it could happen because you’re coming from caution and fear that come up. When caution, fear or lack of confidence arise, it all stems from that’s why you might start talking too much. It could kill an opportunity with a new client.
This happens if you don’t know what to say at all or you stumble on your words. Maybe you don’t know when to stop talking, and you keep talking because you’ve learned what Denise said where whoever talks the most wins, whereas what you do in your firms is the reverse. The least amount that you talk, the better you’ll win.
Another area that you might keep stumbling upon is that you’re not in a neutral state. We’re nervous, excited, and not even keel. Even keel is where we want to go or maybe you’re coming from a scarcity mindset where you need the next client sitting in front of you. You keep talking and talking, thinking that will help them enroll and engage in your services when that walks people away from you. It scares them.
If you’re focusing more on the sale than on the relationship with your new prospect, that could also hurt you in having a new client in front of you. We were talking about this the other day when we were having one of our classes. It’s so important to distinguish the difference that the person in front of you is the person you’re here to help and serve. It has nothing to do with you getting a new client.
We’re here to help support you in an area in a better way to get more clients. However, coming back to the foundation of the sale, which is the relationship aspect with a new prospect, it is the key ingredient to all of your success and growing your firm with more clients that you love and want to help and serve. We want to take the focus off of the sale and this new client. Focus on sitting on the same side of their table and pretend you’re having a picnic with this person. You’re sitting next to them and not across from them. Denise, why should you talk less? Do you want to share all those reasons why?
In order for you to listen more.
That’s so easy to say.
When you prepare ahead of time and understand where you’re leading someone in a conversation, then there are no uncomfortable silences or anything like that. It’s okay for some silence to be there. You have to understand why silence is good.
Silence is great, but also knowing that your clients buy for their reasons and not for yours. It’s similar to what we were talking about as far as the client relationship aspect and not having the sale being so attached to the outcome, which sometimes has us talking too much and then you lose the sale. Another thing is to remember that people enroll and purchase based on their reasons. It has nothing to do with what you think. You might think that this is the end-all-be-all for this client, this is the tax plan they need, or this is the bookkeeping package service that they need, but it’s not about what you think. It’s about what their reasons are.
If you’re talking too much, then you’re not listening to what their needs are. How can you even know if you’re talking away? That comes from not being prepared, winging it, and not being sure what to say or what questions to ask. Sometimes when you’re in the conversation, all of a sudden, your client starts asking you questions. That happened to me a couple of times. A client asked me, “How did you get into this?” The tendency is to start talking about me. That’s dangerous because that gets you off track and then you can lose control of the conversation. The next thing you know, an hour later, nothing has happened or they’re like, “Bye, I got to go.”
How many sales did you miss out on from talking too much and talking about yourself?
I don’t know if I want to share that.
There were a few. It happens to all of us, everybody. You’re not alone in this. This is a normal thing, but we want to share it with you because this is an area that you can practice and work on right now in your firms. This is something you can change. Even in the last few months, I probably missed out on 3 or 5 opportunities because they start asking me questions. I then started talking about myself, and I don’t even realize it because I was so immersed in the conversation. I’m sure each of you with your prospects and future clients has a similar challenge.
What you miss out on and what the important element here is the key information. What is it that you want to know about your clients that if you talk too much, you’re never going to learn? How can you ask questions to gather the key information from your clients and write it down? We always say, “Live by your strategic questions,” because if you ask the right questions and they’re open-ended, your clients will talk 80% of the time, and you will only talk 20% of the time. It’s a win-win for everybody.
Denise and I both have lost out on opportunities due to this. We don’t want that to happen to you at all. Denise, what keeps people from enrolling with a new accountant or with a new accounting firm? What do you think those main reasons are? We’re all about taking action here at our show. Whatever we are discussing, we want you to put it into action immediately. What are some ways that we keep people from enrolling with us?
Sometimes what we found is when the person says, “Yes, I’m ready to move forward,” and then you keep talking. I used to work with this guy, Mel. He was a fun guy and a good colleague of mine, but we would be doing a presentation for a potential client and there would already be a yes, and he would keep talking. I’d be stomping his foot under the table.
What did you do to get him to stop? What happened?
I would kick him under the table. When he wouldn’t stop, we would lose the sale every time. It’s almost like you’re talking them out of it.
That’s a good point. When you talk too much, you talk your clients out of working with you. It’s a fine line. If you don’t have someone like Denise to kick you under the table, you can think about Denise and me kicking you under the table. What are some things for you, even right now, when you’re working with clients or when I’m working with clients that you can pick up on to catch yourself? Sometimes we have to give ourselves a red flag like, “I’m saying that. I better revert back to asking an open-ended question and keep my mouth shut.”
Ask a question and maybe in your mind, you’re counting ten seconds even if they’re not answering because they may be thinking.
Another way is to drink a sip of coffee. Especially during the tax season, I know that you guys are busy all year round, but have a sip of coffee to stop the chatter coming out of your mouth. I always have massive bottles of water everywhere, so I drink water. The other little trick is I ask a great open-ended question. I put my phone on mute. That only works if you’re on the phone with a client. If you’re in person with them that won’t work as well.
You can say, “That’s interesting. Tell me more about that.”
Another way is to repeat what they said and then say, “Did I get that right?” It could go something like this, “Denise, I heard you say when you were working with Mel, he would keep talking and you would have to kick him under the table. Did I hear you right? Is there anything else that you had to do to get him to stop talking?”
That is right. That happened all the time. I had to take him aside and train him to stop doing that. We had a code word.
A lot of you are solopreneurs or I like to call you solo accounting entrepreneurs and you don’t have someone to kick you under the table. You don’t have a partner like Denise that will yell at you across the country. I want to make sure you understand a few takeaways of some signs when your clients are ready to start working with you.
Hopefully, this will bring up some of the things you can start listening for, so when you become a good listener, this will stand out a little bit easier. Typically, these are a few things that your clients will say when you know they’re ready to start working with you. They will say, “What are the next steps?” When someone says that to me, I say, “Do you want to use American Express, Visa, or MasterCard?” You go right into the payment piece. A lot of you have heard me share to never send a proposal.
They might even say that they agree and they believe you’ll be able to help them. They might say something like, “Denise, I believe that you are going to be the exact firm I was looking for. You can help me fix all my bookkeeping problems. My business books are a mess. I can’t wait to get started.” If you hear I can’t wait to get started. That’s another key thing to listen for. That means stop talking and ask for payment. Denise, do you have any other ones that you’ve heard that are good that you’ve experienced even?
“Can I pay for this monthly?”If your client says 'Can I pay for this monthly?' or 'When can I get started?' stop talking and ask for payment. Click To Tweet
That’s another good one. If the client is saying, “When can we get started?” It means that they’re ready to engage with you. You do not need to sell anymore and explain how amazing you are. This is an opportunity for you to collect payments from your clients and start helping and serving them. After you’re paid in full, you can talk as much as you want. That’s your green light.
That’s another mistake I see people make. They’ve asked for payment and while the person is looking, they keep talking. No, be quiet. They’re in the mode and let them get the credit card and sign the form.
Let them sign their ACH payment because now you have a new monthly client. It is important to stop talking when you get to the payment part. When you start over-talking and overstepping what the next step is, this is where clients will say, “Maybe we can talk about this next week,” and you can ruin it for yourself. It happens all the time.
There’s this great quote by Theodore Roosevelt, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” When you show how much you care, they will start saying some of those things that we shared, collect the payment, and then you can show them what you know. The know part is your knowledge. Your knowledge is worth money. Your clients need to pay you for your knowledge.
I want to make this clear because we have worked with so many of you. We give a lot of our know away for free. Denise and I are taking a stand for each of you that you don’t ever do that in your firms anymore and you get paid for your know. Again, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. The whole sales process is showing how much you care because you do. Every single accountant that Denise and I have worked with, you care a lot. You’re the most caring people I’ve ever worked with and I love it because of that.People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Click To Tweet
However, we are here to take a stand and support you in any way we can to make sure that you get paid for your know. I want to make sure we’re clear on that. Anything else you would like to share from your personal experiences and stories? You and I have gotten stuck in coaching people by accident. This is an area where sometimes we want to help people and we want to give away our know, but we can’t. Otherwise, you won’t understand how much we care because if we gave you a little piece of our know, it’s not going to solve your problem. It might make it worse.
That’s so true. That’s what we hear. People are so good at giving, but you don’t want to get band-aids out when somebody needs brain surgery. We talked about that a lot. A little piece of the recipe is great. Maybe you need a little fine-tuning, but what we found is that most people that we have worked with don’t have the whole process in place. That’s why they’re not getting the results they want and they’re like, “I’m giving so much of my time away for free.” We are like, “No, that has to end.” We want you to get paid for that.
We want you to get paid for your knowledge. Our takeaway for you is to self-reflect and think about if you continue to sell after your prospects in front of you are already enrolled, want to sign up, and work with you, be it on a monthly package, tax plan, tax resolution engagement, bookkeeping client, or whatever it may be. Think about, “Are you?” Be true to yourself because step one to changing something is owning up to where you’re making mistakes.
Take some good notes on the tips that we shared with you so you can improve your sales conversations and areas as it relates to growing your firms and increasing your revenue so you can work with more clients. Denise and I want to thank you for being here with us on the show. Feel free to share this with a friend, a colleague or another accountant that you know because they might learn something from this. Thank you so much for being here. Denise, any other closing thoughts?
None that I can think of. We covered a lot. It was awesome.
Thank you all so much for joining Denise and me in talking about everything selling after your clients are already engaged and enrolled with you. They’re looking for you to guide them to complete the process so they can start working with you. Also, if this show has helped you in any way, shape or form with your firm, I’d love to hear your stories. If you could email me at Hello@ThePitchQueen.com, that would be amazing. I would love to see how this has helped you grow your firm.
Also, if you have a quick second, please leave us a rating and a review on iTunes and subscribe to the show. I always love reading your reviews and sharing the show with your other accountant friends and colleagues. One last thing before I let you go, if you’ve ever felt like you give away too much information for free, that knowledge that I was talking about, and you’re tired of not being paid what you’re worth, then you’re probably like a lot of the other accountants that Denise and I have worked with.
You might be on that cashflow roller coaster. We do have a solution for you, and you can join us at our Abundant Accountants Masterclass over at TheAbundantAccountant.com to learn how to communicate your value, collect higher fees with confidence, and be paid what you are worth for that knowledge so you can work a little bit less and make more money. Once again, please share with me your stories by emailing me personally. I would love to hear from you. Have a wonderful day.
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About Denise Mandeau
I coach/advise talented, accomplished women 50+ enjoying great success, on what they can do now, to live a life that is in alignment with their calling, heart, and spirit.
These women know they are not done yet and want to make sure they have no regrets looking back. They are looking to answer big life questions, like: “When do I want to stop working full-on? What do I want to do now? Who am I now, if I am not doing what I have done for the last 30 years?”
Drawing on my coaching skills, financial planning background, and personal experience, my clients are ready to build on their wealth – spiritually, emotionally, and personally. After years of building a life measured on performance, they are ready to uncover the truth of who they are, hear God’s word in their life, and shine in a whole new way.