David Fisher, keynote speaker, author and coach, has seen all the mistakes financial professionals like you have made when networking for accounting clients. Most spend zero time networking or they don’t spend their time correctly when networking for accounting clients. David’s built a catalog of books you can use to learn more advanced networking strategies whether you’re a : freelancer, business owner, Linkedin user and more. On this episode of Grow Your Firm Podcast, David Cristello and networking guru David Fisher dissect:
- The best way to network without doing “traditional networking”
- How just a few minutes a year could turn into new accounting clients
- Advanced strategies for closing the sale
- David Fisher's Website
- David's Twitter
- David's Linkedin
- David's Books
- Interview: How to Handle the Top Rejections (podcast)
- Interview: How to Generate Your First 100 Clients (podcast)
“You can be good at networking without going to events.” - David FisherDavid recommends reaching out for a new conversation each week. Invite them to coffee. Make sure while you are meeting these connections, do more listening than talking. QUICK TIP: Don’t answer the question you ask. For example, if you ask: “Where are you from?” and your connection answers. DO NOT follow up with “I’m from _______”. It kills the conversation fast. When meeting new potential clients/partners, make sure you have a strategic elevator pitch down. Don't simply say "I am an accountant." Become more dynamic: "I work with small businesses to lower their tax bill so they can re-invest the savings to grow their business." See how much more "strategic" and direct the latter is? All you need to do is find what your core values are to your clients. Ask your spouse or a friend to listen. They can direct you if it is unclear, etc. What Can I Do After Meeting Someone: Meeting someone for coffee is just the beginning. That’s not where it ends. But, it also doesn’t mean you need to “follow up” with them every week. Remember, the point of networking is to simply make connections which could then turn into new clients; however, it takes time. It’s much easier to sell when a need arises than to pressure it. Social media is the perfect area where you can add those “touchpoints” to stay top of mind. Following Up Steps:
- Send email after meeting asking “Is there anything you need help with or an introduction?”
- Through social, comment on their status, share their post, like their update, etc.
- A few months down the line, offer another 15 minute call to catch-up.
- Repeat under a referral or they become a client
DAVID C's TIP:Meet lots of people so you can become a great connector and referral source. It will come back to you.Closing More Sales: There's a common mindset that sales is something you do "TO" someone. Actually, David says, it is what you do "FOR" someone. Sales is all about solving problems. David uses the example of: If you tell me you are a passionate Star Wars Fan and I have tickets to the new movie I'm trying to sell, I'd do a disservice not to offer them to my friend. All you're trying to do when networking is connecting the dots for your connection. They might not need anything now, but down the line, they might have a problem you can help solve. #1 Reason Firms Won't Close a Sale They don't ask for it...As humans, we are vulnerable and don't like rejection. When you ask for a sale, there is a chance you could hear "no." COMMON FALLBACK: "I'll send you an email" "No Pressure, I'll follow up soon", "What do you think?" WHAT YOU SHOULD ASK: "Do you want to take the next step?" "Are you ready to move forward with this?" See how the second approach is much more direct and vulnerable. Ask for the sale, then SHUT UP. Don't allow yourself to talk the prospect out of the sale. Simply, ask and then wait.
DAVID'S TIP: If someone is on the phone or in person and ready to sign, give them a small benefit, whether it's a free month or a small discount. Pay for a fast answer.Spending a bunch of time following up and having discussions are proven not to add much to the sale. Nor, is it proven to close more deals. You want to get out of the gray area as fast as possible. Many prospects might use the old: "I need to think about this..." That's not the time to lower your guard. Here is when you dig in and answer confidently: "I totally understand and don't want to pressure you.Can I ask what you need to think about?" Then ask to see what's missing from moving forward. You can be OK with the answer because you're more likely to get a straight answer. David's tips will get you away from wasting time with unproductive networking, and get you in front of ideal prospects and closing them. How can you implement these strategies today?