Are you selling yourself short?

Are You Selling Yourself Short

As bookkeepers, most of us offer our potential clients a free consultation.  It’s the recognised thing in the industry, but how many of us really get the most from these meetings?  And how many end up doing free work for the client?

How many of you can relate to this story? 

When I started out as a bookkeeper I would go to meet potential clients for their free consultation.  When I got there they would tell me all of their business woes and I would bend over backwards to help them. 

Often I would give them the information they needed to solve these problems there and then.  After all, with so many bookkeepers out there we need to show the client that we know what we’re talking about. 

Imagine my surprise when often I’d never hear from them again, or they’d decide not to go with me. I gave away valuable information thinking they’d appreciate the value and love me for it. 

Surely I’d end up getting their business. 

What I didn’t realise is that the client really has no idea of the value at this stage.  They are just using the information I was so happy to give.  I had no one else to blame but myself. 

No one really values something they get for free. It took me a while to get my head around the real reason for the initial consultation.  I didn’t need to solve their problems, just assure them that I could. 

When you meet a new client who has a VAT problem, use a story of how you solved a similar problem for another client.  You don’t need to tell them all of the ins and outs, just give them the confidence that you have. 

The real objective of the initial consultation is to find out if you are a good fit for each other, you’re not there to solve their every problem for free

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Excellent point. This is a frequent problem for inexperienced sales reps and one that crops up in many different businesses. It is always good to stay slightly guarded when meeting a potential client as it is all too easy to lay all your cards on the table leaving you with nothing to play with. A potential client is after-all just that, potential and loyalty does not factor at all during an initial meeting.
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Tracey K

Exactly this has happened to me! Be especially aware if they pick your brains about cloud based systems, included cashbook systems offered by banks - they want to do their own bookkeeping! Keep it non-specific.
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