“Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman – not the attitude of the prospect.”
W. Clement Stone
Is This Your Challenge?
32% of firms with over $100 million in assets see prospecting as a key hurdle to growth and 74% of these same firms believe the ability to close on sales is a growth requirement. Firms of this size have access to financial resources as well as more specialized personnel such as business development executives (e.g. sales); if they’re worried about sales, what about small- to mid-sized firms?
In small- to mid-sized professional services firms, the principals must play many roles. Achieving a firm’s growth objectives – and basic viability in new practices – falls squarely on sales. This term, “sales,” brings a host of emotions and opinions. It is safe to say that practitioners know “sales” must be done but generally don’t like doing it.
A foundational concept in professional services is the practitioner is “the product.” Unlike tangible products where there is some distance between the salesperson and the product itself, your product, in the form of advice/counsel/wisdom, and you, the person, are one and the same.
When a prospective client (“prospect”) says “Yes” to your services he or she is also saying “Yes” to you. Stepping from this happy occasion, when another prospect says “No,” it hits personally. Certainly, not every “No” suggests a rejection of your “product” – there may be legitimate reasons for “No” even though the prospect viewed you favorably – but most often some disconnect occurred.
The challenges selling presents to you personally must be overcome. After all, no business can succeed without the revenue produced by sales.
And, sitting at home are millions of people pondering an uncertain future made ever more real by recent financial pain. Even if one were protected from this pain, only a doorstep or two away others tell of lost wealth, dashed dreams, family strife, and medical decline. Whether directly or indirectly impacted, people across the wealth spectrum look into their core and feel worry.
Missing this mark, though, financial and wealth services most often emphasize what can be done in money terms without an equal telling of how emotional and mental distress can be alleviated. This is a misreading of the core motivation for wanting help in the first place. Yes, while money issues sit as the common denominator in any client relationship, the hungering for a plan and solution arises from layers of anxiety with some measure of aspiration. Solving a client’s needs is not simply an economic transaction.