As a professional, like any business owner, your customers are a vital part of your business. But selling professional services can be complex. One of the challenges professionals face is finding time to sell their services. From the long consideration and buying process, it’s not as easy as it sounds.
For most professionals, selling doesn’t come naturally. Being a salesperson is the last thing you thought of when setting up your professional service, but it’s an integral part of your business.
The dynamic of offering professional services has upscaled over the past decade. You are no longer just a lawyer, accountant, engineer, IT consultant. etc. It’s time to add business development to the list if you want to succeed in the long run.
While it takes a while to master sales, you’ll find out that there are thrills in every selling process. From finding new opportunities to discovering problems and unearthing the solution, every process comes with its risks and rewards. But only when you are willing to take the leap and learn.
Perhaps the most challenging fact is the crucial difference between tangible goods and professional services. Products of tangible goods can be evaluated, unlike selling professional services where clients can only evaluate the person they are talking with.
As a professional service provider, you may feel that your fate is in the hands of your client with whom you negotiate the prices of your service.
As there is a broad range of professional services to offer, there is also growing competition in the professional consultant and advisers’ sector. This is why it is important to stand out among your competitors.
If you find it difficult to pitch or sell to clients, here are a few tips to help you break free.
Read Also: 5 Ways to Successfully Handle Sales Slump
#1. Research Our Clients and Their Needs
Whether your clients are big firms or small businesses, the underlying fact is that they are still human and are ruled by their emotions. Even their decision to buy from you is an element of their emotion.
If you can understand the emotion of your potential clients and how it affects their decision making, then the rest is history.
What exactly is their emotion? It’s their needs and desire. It’s the problem they want to solve so much it keeps them awake at night.
It could be sales, redeeming reputation, or handling their financial investment. Find what ticks and know how to tweak it to your advantage. While doing this, bear in mind that talking to the right person is also crucial.
Ensure you get the attention of the decision-maker in the company to ease your process of selling professional services.
When selling professional services, remember that your clients are different and will come with different emotions and needs.
Your job is to discover those needs and satisfy them excellently. Ask insightful and strategic questions that will build engagement and trust with your potential clients.
#2. Build A Reputation
If you gain their trust without providing value, then your effort is as good as nothing. Building a reputation is the basis of servicing clients and retaining them.
How do you do that?
It’s by offering value. Connect with more clients and build lasting relationships with them. Share valuable knowledge, and provide valuable resources such as eBooks, case study and white papers.
It’s not profit first—it is what you have to offer and what your clients gain from you. When you eventually get the gig, execute it to the latter and ensure it satisfies their needs. Communicate with them each step of the way and get them involved in the process.
Make sure your work generates a long-term result. This not only builds your reputation but increases your chance of referrals.
When you offer value, clients know your worth, and you won’t settle for less. Back up your reputation with social proof and always ask for referrals when satisfying our client needs.
#3. Quality Is the Focus
It’s not about the long list of prospects you have but the quality of people you have on the list. Identify demanding clients that add little to your revenue and weed them out.
If a potential client is difficult to work with or can’t decide on a project, working with such a client might not be easy.
Be prepared to reject work or clients that don’t fit, focus on clients that know what they want, and won’t make selling professional services difficult for you.
#4. Take Action
Learn how to take the right action at the right time. Prioritize the actions that will help you increase your value. Regardless of how busy your schedule seems, don’t neglect important information that could help grow your business.
There’s never enough time. You just have to create it. Set a reminder, make a plan, and delegate responsibilities so you can have time for other things.
Successful sales come from showing up and taking action, but many professionals get caught up in their work and forget to create time for selling professional services.
#5. How Good Are Your Business Development Skills?
Whether you are an accountant, engineer, or offering other professional services, your expertise is probably limited to your professional skills. And if you don’t have enough business development training, the thought of selling to anyone may make you feel uncomfortable.
However, selling is easier than you think. It’s the same skills that have made you a great service provider to your clients that also make you a great salesperson.
You just have to figure them out and apply them. Take your skills a notch higher by going for business development training. It will give you the experience and confidence you need when selling professional services.
#6. Be Organized
Your business development skills and professional skills require organized efforts. Balancing selling professional services and focusing on work can be daunting.
From keeping track of your contacts and leads to looking for new clients, it can get to be too much to handle. Make your work easier by using a CRM tool to keep track of your sales and clients.