Your reluctance to 'sell yourself' is hindering your progress.
It's no secret that accountants hate selling themselves. And yet, it's a necessary part of our jobs. We have to sell ourselves to promote our services, stand out from our competitors and establish a positive reputation.
So, to make your self-promotion as painless as possible, we have developed a winning business strategy to transform selling yourself into a simple daily practice.
With the help of these tips (along with our winning new business checklist), we believe you can overcome your reluctance to sell yourself, grow your business and expand your expertise.
Why checklists are the secret to your success
All experts have checklists! Doctors use them to check your symptoms, pilots use them for their pre-flight assessments, and scientists use them when performing experiments. But what does that have to do with selling your services?
To become an expert accountant, you need to develop a successful, reputable firm. How? By attracting and attaining lots of valuable clients. Which means (you guessed it) selling yourself!
But what if you could shift your mindset to see selling yourself as part of your daily routine and not some daunting task you'd rather avoid?
Enter the 'winning new business checklist!'
By implementing a daily checklist, you can start forming habits that will help you attract new clients without partaking in any awkward sales pitches.
Over time, you can develop this checklist to include monthly, quarterly and annual goals to ensure you're achieving your targets, expanding your practice and consistently generating new client work.
Sell your services with our ‘winning business’ strategy
Although you may not see yourself as a salesperson, the success of your business relies upon your ability to win new clients. (After all, no clients = no business.)
So, let’s explore some daily habits you can adopt to support your professional development, expand your network and, of course, attract new clientele.
Here are our top 6 daily habits from our winning business strategy:
1. Stay up to date with trending topics
A simple way to impress prospective contacts and clients is to demonstrate your extensive knowledge. How? By discussing the latest news within your sector.
Staying informed allows you to expand your expertise, evaluate contemporary issues and access the latest opportunities within your field. As a result, you're able to further your professional development whilst also offering your clients additional value and insight into the accounting industry.
So don't miss out on this major selling point! Start incorporating reading into your winning business strategy.
2. Share valuable content
Accounting isn't always the most accessible industry. Therefore, if you want to stand out against your competitors, you need to attract your audience with exciting and engaging content.
Blog posts, tweets, and status updates allow you to share easy-to-understand, informal advice amongst your target audience. These tips can be your own, or you can share articles you have read and enjoyed. But the primary goal should be to share valuable (understandable) advice that would encourage prospective clients to seek out your services.
3. Talk to your target audience
Your target audience holds all the secrets to attracting new clientele. (After all, who knows more about your target audience than your audience members?)
So start having daily conversations with clients and prospects who fall within your target demographic. Ask them about their professional needs, challenges and successes. The more you know about them, the better, as this information will become the blueprint for developing your winning business strategy.
LinkedIn allows us to connect with millions of professionals each and every day. However, few accountants use this to their full advantage. And so, they miss out on countless new contacts and opportunities.
So, as part of your winning business strategy, we strongly recommend connecting with three people in your chosen sector every day. Not only will this present you with new leads, opportunities and advice, but it will provide you with the perfect opportunity to practice 'selling yourself' to other industry professionals. (Refer to our LinkedIn Conversation Starters for help with this)
5. Engage with the experts in your industry
Start by identifying the front runners in your sector. Who are they? What are they known for? Once you have a clear idea of who these people are, start reaching out to them. Interact with their LinkedIn posts, send them a message or drop them an email.
The goal is to form relationships with these industry leaders. Why? Because they have a wealth of knowledge and experience. So heed their advice, learn from their successes (and their failures) and use this insight to develop a fool-proof winning business strategy.
6. Acknowledge your achievements
Despite its many benefits, social media has created a culture of constant comparison. And as we all know, 'comparison is the thief of joy.'
So, instead of scrolling through social media and comparing yourself to hundreds of other professionals (who are seemingly doing bigger and better things), try focusing on your own accomplishments. If it helps, you can even write out a list of your accolades and achievements to reassure you in moments of doubt.
Boost your business with a monthly checklist
Alongside our daily habits, we also like to implement a monthly checklist to ensure we're always generating new client work.
We've kept this section short and sweet so avoid overwhelming you with too much information (but feel free to extend this checklist whenever you feel comfortable).
Here are our top 2 monthly habits from our 'winning new business checklist':
1. Check out your competition
If you want to succeed in such a competitive industry, your business needs to stand out against your competitors. So, as part of your winning business strategy, we recommend evaluating your competition once a month.
- Who are your biggest competitors?
- What are their strengths?
- What are their weaknesses?
- Can you learn from their business model?
Use this research to help inspire improvements, enhance your business strategies and retain your place in the market.
2. Assess your progress
If you want to reach your fullest potential, you need to be assessing your progress monthly. Why? Because it will identify one of two things - either you're exceeding your targets, or you've become stagnant.
So, ask yourself:
- How much progress have you made in the past month?
- Have you achieved any of your goals?
- What's working and what isn’t?
- What could you be doing to improve your business?
Adopt a ‘winning new business checklist’
Despite popular belief, selling yourself doesn't mean cold calling or sales pitches. It simply means presenting yourself in the best possible light. So why not put your best foot forward and start adopting some of these daily and monthly habits?
With a 'winning new business checklist', selling yourself will soon become second nature. And as you develop more and more proof of your professionalism, you’ll find your prospective clients need little convincing of your credibility.
Never leave business on the table!