SELL: It’s Not the Bad Four-Letter Word You Think It Is

Learn BDU's 8 tips for sales success without "selling"

Non-selling professionals such as lawyers, accountants, consultants and small business owners need to grow their client base, but they want to do so without coming off as too pushy. It’s hard to walk that fine line between gently pursuing new leads and aggressively going after them, so how exactly to do you sell without being too “salesy?”

BDU has eight important rules to keep in mind when pursuing prospects and developing your business:

    1. Just because your prospect didn’t return your call does not mean they weren’t interested. Always plan to follow up with a call or email if you have not heard back from them in a week. Sometimes people are just too busy to talk on the phone or the fact that you called has slipped their mind. Maybe they simply just didn’t get your message. Make sure you always circle back with them and follow up.
    2. Email is often an easier method of contact for your prospects. Follow up your phone call with an email to allow them the option of replying using this contact method. An email is often easier to reply to than a call is to return.
    3. Don’t wait too long to follow up. For example, if your first call was in mid-October and you wait until January to reach out again, that is way too long. There is a fine line between being persistent and coming off as too aggressive, so it is important to be persistent and polite in a professional manner.
    4. Don’t sell. Find ways to help them instead. No one wants to be sold anything. Instead of trying to sell yourself and your services, let them know that you want to find out more about their business to uncover ways you can help them out. For example, “I’d love to set up a preliminary meeting to find out more about your business” will land you more opportunities than “I want to talk to you about our services.” Talk about them, not you.
    5. Use an assertive voice, not a passive one. For example, a sentence such as “Please reach out if you would like to talk” is way too passive. This easily gives them a way out of calling you. Try instead a sentence like “I’d love to set up a time and I have availability this time and this time.” Also, reference another similar client and how you’ve helped them by offering benefit statements like “I’ve been able to help a lot of other companies in your industry grow their business and reduce their tax burden.”
    6. Use the alternative choice close when scheduling. The alternative choice close offers two choices and either one selected lands you the outcome you desire. For example, “I am going to be right in your area next Thursday at 11:00 AM. I can either meet at 9:30 AM or 1:00 PM. Which one works better for you?” is much better than “Let me know when you want to meet.” It’s the difference between fill-in-the-blank and multiple choice, making it easier for them to select one and guaranteeing you the meeting you’re trying to land.
    7. Get more LinkedIn recommendations. Having a great group of reviews on a professional network like LinkedIn highlights your past accomplishments. Instead of having to speak about your strengths yourself, your past clients’ recommendations can speak for you. Send your prospects to your LinkedIn page to give them a great feel for who you are and the work you’ve done.
    8. Ask for referrals. If you’re speaking with a current client and they are expressing how pleased they are with you and your services, it’s a great time to ask for a referral. You can say something like, “What you just said made me feel great! Can I ask you a huge favor? Looking back on the last few years, I see that most of my business comes from referrals from happy clients. Do you know anyone I might be able to talk to and help out?” Once they compliment you and assure you they are happy with you, there’s no reason you can’t see if someone else in their network could benefit from your services.

Want an easy tool to help you remember some of these tips and more? Download BDU’S Client Visit Checklist.

We also have a variety of other tools to help you pursue new leads, organize important information and determine where to focus in order to maximize your efforts. Access our BDUtensils and download them for free.