Why Do Your Prospects Choose You?
Have you ever wondered why one service provider gets chosen over another? Why did they pick that coach or consultant instead of you? The first thing I’ll tell you, as a business coach, is it’s not always about price.
Intangibles play a much bigger role than you might imagine.
And I want to give you one simple insight that can mean everything for your business, allowing you to attract more clients and make more money!
Let’s talk about how my interview process for a new accountant relates directly to that insight.
I interviewed three folks. I want to talk about what a couple of them did “wrong” and what the person I chose did right that had him stand out from the crowd.
We have three experienced service professionals with about the same level of expertise, so that wasn’t a deciding factor.
Let’s talk about Door #1.
This is the person I know personally and trust already. So, he has a slight edge. He was also the most thorough … asked for the most detail … and clearly did the most work prior to our meeting.
Door #2 is referred by my bookkeeper who knows the CPA and his firm intimately and has had a great relationship with them over a number of years.
Door #3 is the only woman, referred by my acupuncturist.
A good start, it seems.
Let’s talk about Door #3 … the woman.
I liked her immediately on the phone and she talked about the importance of getting to know me, my business, my goals.
I met with her in her home office. She has a small boutique practice and a small number of clients she says she gives a lot of personal attention to. An auspicious start!
After an initial hello, she proceeded to talk NON-STOP about herself, her experience, and God knows what else … after she PROMISED me she wanted to get to know ME and my business.
I couldn’t wait to get out the door! Phew!
Back to Door #1. He listened and asked questions … and then proceeded to tell me everything my past CPA and I had done wrong. I don’t believe he meant to, because he’s a genuinely nice guy, but he used scare techniques.
I believe his positive intention was to keep me out of trouble with the IRS, but I felt totally down and deflated after our interview!
So how did Door #2 fare in comparison?
He was personable. Asked me questions about what I do … why I love coaching and who my clients are … things he didn’t need to know to put little numbers in boxes.
He was interested and curious!
We then proceeded to look at the documents I brought and he thoughtfully answered all the questions I posed … including those around issues the other accountant had raised! Turns out, I hadn’t done anything problematic.
He was confident, curious, knew his stuff. LISTENED to me, and was interested in ME!
Our time together went past the hour we’d scheduled and he was present and engaged the entire time.
So, what was the intangible in my interactions with these three professionals that made all the difference?
The man who is now my accountant asked a lot of questions and listened to me … really listened.
He didn’t talk about himself. He didn’t go all tax code on me to impress me with his knowledge.
Now, you might be thinking … what’s so special about that?
What’s special about it is so few people actually do it!
It’s a documented fact … the number one thing that keeps salespeople from converting is they don’t listen. And it’s no different for service providers.
Salespeople tend to talk too much. They want to represent who they are and what they can do for you before they ever truly know what you want and need … what concerns you have … and what questions you need answered.
So, what’s the secret to putting people at ease, making a good impression, and building rapport, so they’re more likely to choose you?
Ask questions … and then shut up and listen.
Some absurdly simple advice from a business coach, but you know what?
You’ll set yourself apart.
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