11th March, 2016
You’re a financial adviser, not a salesperson. And yet businesses bombard your phone, door or inbox wanting you to sell their stuff to your clients.
And, yes, MYOB is one of those businesses.
The thing is, some of those companies – like MYOB – have stuff that can actually add value to your client relationships.
Take online accounting software. You already know there are remarkable efficiencies to be had from working on a single common ledger (yay, no more USB sticks, am I right?). But it’s not natural for you to hit up your clients and tell them to buy this product. That’s not your thing. It feels pushy and, well, salesy.
This is where that marketing stuff from companies comes in handy. You can use those glossy checklists and fact sheets and how-tos to do the selling for you.
Your business clients trust you. They won’t make a major financial move without your say-so. So the conversion part of the sale is pretty easy. You say “You need this”. They say “Make it so”.
So really, all you need to do is flag what the this is.
Here’s my cheat sheet for getting that marketing stuff to do the selling for you, so that you and your clients can enjoy even more efficiencies and time savings than ever before.
You’re the trusted adviser. What you say goes. So it goes without saying that you must be comfortable with that thing you’re recommending. In the case of online accounting software, you must talk to your preferred supplier’s partner manager. I really think that’s essential. You must know that you’ve got their support – both technical and relational – when you or your client needs it.
You should set aside time to get an overview of the products or services they sell. Listen to their pitches, take what you need, add it to a SWOT analysis of competitor products – do what it takes to get a clear picture that what you’re about to recommend is something you’re prepared to tie your reputation to.
It’s not enough to hand over a bunch of glossy pages and expect your client to connect the necessary dots. You need an explanation to accompany the marketing stuff.
Take a product fact sheet, for example. You might say:
“Have a read of this, dear client, and I’ll call you next week about it. This product will save you 20 percent of your data processing time.”
And that’s it. You’ve provided a high level benefit and given them a time frame to both read it and when to expect a follow up from you. Do make sure you follow up, won’t you?
Do remember to add your brand and contact details to marketing collateral if you can. It’s a small thing but seems to have fallen out of vogue. The brand association is worth it. It says you’re putting your name and reputation to this product or service.
You might even get techy and add your logo and details to PDFs using Adobe Acrobat or similar.
I mentioned getting your partner manager on board in an earlier point. But by the time I got to here, I figured this needed its own entry. Let me be clear – you are not alone. Your preferred supplier’s partner manager should be willing to help with marketing collateral, client seminars, training and more.
Seriously, you should not be expected to do all this yourself. That marketing stuff is your silent salesperson.
And whether you like or not, you are a channel for products and services. Your clients do look to you for guidance. And many companies, including MYOB, have programs that allow you to pass on savings to your clients. Or claim rebates on the products you use.
If you know of a way to help your clients’ revenue/time-savings/processes, don’t hesitate – get out there, dust off your flyer stand, and let the silent selling commence!