Part of my business is to facilitate services to other businesses which they may provide to their end-client. I am good at selling services to my own clients ( though I say it myself) because I know the value of what my business provides, and I can help my clients and prospects to see that value and buy into it. That will be because they receive great comfort and very likely substantial financial benefit from “buying me”.
Many of my potential clients are small firms of accountants who do not have the tax expertise that businesses like mine can provide. Of course we never steal other people’s clients, but just the same there is a reluctance as well as a lack of ability for the intermediary accountants to sell our services, and that means that their clients do not get the service and expertise they really need.
The blocking factors are:
- Many accountants do not charge their clients enough for what they do.
- Their clients expect to be only a low fixed fee whatever services they require each year.
- Accountants are quite often hopeless at selling, and especially at selling value.
- They join the race to the bottom in terms of fees for selling generic services such as accounts and tax returns and have no room for manoeuvre on fees.
How do we get round this, and sell more through those other businesses who themselves should be “making a turn” on the fees we charge them?
- Firstly, we need to convince the intermediary business of the value of what we offer.
- We should ask to draft any proposal they send to their client, emphasising the value if we honestly think we can deliver the value for that client, or
- We should ask to speak to the client direct, reassuring the intermediary that we will not steal their business.
Of course this is not just a problem in my profession, but in so many where we need our services to be sold through others.
Do you get frustrated when someone else ends up selling you short to their customer?