Developing relationships with your customers allows you to get to know their needs and identify services they are not currently using that they could benefit from. When selling services you are really selling expertise in an area where you and your team have more experience, training and knowledge.
There are many reasons why clients buy your services. Perhaps you employ better technology, therefore you can do the job more efficiently, or maybe you can save them time which allows them to spend more time working on their business or give them peace of mind to spend more time away from their desk.
Think of your services as a better, more efficient solution for clients. According to research results posted in the 2014 Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey, 24 to 29 percent of small, mid-sized and large firms believe that if they could fix workflow inefficiencies they could drive costs in their firm down.
Pitching your services as a more efficient solution may strike a chord as inefficiency was cited by businesses of all sizes as a common pain point that costs them money.
Selling more services to your existing clients is about client retention and shoring up long-term loyalty as much as it is about deeper penetration into the client base you currently have. It has been said that a quicker sale happens when you are able to sell to your existing client-base, which is another reason why this approach is enticing.
Prime with the Agenda
As you prepare for a client meeting, in addition to reviewing their folder or document consider the services you offer they are not currently taking advantage of. Add bullet points to the agenda to make a point of discussing how they are handling tasks like payroll or other services you may offer.
The agenda sets the stage from which you can ease into conversation about aspects of running their business that they are happy with, and other areas where they might be relieved to know help is available through you.
Actively listen to your client and identify needs and gaps in what they are currently doing versus where they would like to be.
Rather than simply pushing services without much regard as to whether the client has any pain or need, when you can identify areas where the client would like to see improvement you have something to work towards.
Suggest a Topic for the Next Meeting
As practitioners we may like to think of ourselves as detail oriented, but making certain every meeting has an agenda prepared with bullet points added regarding additional services to discuss may not top your list as a pre-meeting task. You might make a standard meeting checklist for all client meetings, on which you list all services for mention and discussion.
In regards to a particular client, you might asterisk or circle a service on your list that you are planning on discussing, which will help you remember to have the discussion as you work your way through an agenda.
If there was not enough time to discuss the additional service(s), mention to your client that you have an agenda item on the top of your list for your next meeting with them, then mention what the agenda item is to help set the tone for your next meeting.