Todd Steinberg, VP of Sales and Marketing at New Clients Inc., has worked with over 5,000 accounting and CPA professionals in providing a go-to script for meeting prospects. He knows how to talk to prospects and close them and that’s why we brought him to the show today. In this episode of Growing Your Firm Podcast, David Cristello and Todd Steinberg discuss:
- The type of businesses that will sign with your accounting firm faster than others
- A word-for-word script for meeting prospects
- 2 things every prospect wants that you must show them if you want them to become a client
- Startups (0 years ) to 5 years old: Good price and valuable service will sell this size business again and again. These owners are young and don’t know what they know. That’s when you can educate them. Also, many companies at this age do not have internal accountants. Starting with small companies is great because you can grow together and see the company get larger and larger.
- # of employees are 1-19: Once you get over this size, the business usually will have a finance department
- Revenue is under $5M: As mentioned, 80% of businesses fall into this. If you can get all 3 of these points, you can get a client next week.
DAVID’S TIP: As mentioned, you aren’t going to pry business owners away from a firm they like just by price. It’s not worth their time to switch firms. Rather, you need to position yourself to prove you bring more value to the table. “I work with HVAC companies to save them on taxes.” Any HVAC owner will want to talk more. Just the curiosity will get that prospect on the phone.That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about your prices. You should be competitively priced, but you must first present yourself as trustworthy. That allows you to charge higher prices than someone trying to undercut you. Word-for-Word Scripts For Meeting Prospects: This all sounds great, but what do you actually say to prospect when you make direct contact with them? The key: Push what they want to hear about. Most businesses need compliance services first, so forget about explaining your financial advisory arm, etc. until they become a client. All you want to do is get them interested:
“Hi Mr. Smith, thanks for taking my call. We are a local firm concentrating on the needs of small to medium sized companies in the HVAC business. I’m calling to see if we can be of assistance to save you tax dollars? All in order to save you time and money. Which is more convenient to chat more about this, morning or evening?”Here, Todd doesn’t do a hard-sell to become a client. Rather, differentiates himself than pushes for a next step in the conversation. Anybody talking about “tax savings” in a day-and-age of wild arguments in the US Congress about tax reform, will get heads turning. You need to figure out what would turn your prospect’s heads?
DAVID’S TIP: In this direct outreach, there will be a lot of rejection. But, what’s worse: Rejection or your firm flat-lining?The wording is very precise and casual. You then want to probe into deeper questions. Here’s some examples depending on their business: For a new business:
- “How much time are you spending doing the books rather than building your company?” --- the time they spend has value as they look to grow faster
- “Do you like handling your taxes?” --- this will always get a “NO’ response, thus you can address this as you push them to become a client
- “Have you thought about implementing any tax savings strategies?” --- here, notice we don’t ask “Why haven’t you…” accusing them (don’t do), but ask them an open question so they don’t feel belittled or unintelligent.
- “If you already have an accountant, why did you want to talk to me?” --- get the prospect talking
- “What needs to change for you to be happy with your current firm?”
- “How are you bettering your services?”
- More time
- More money