(Translation: Ramping up your Business Advisory Sales)

A simple 8 step process

Bill’s customers have been buying cabbage for years.  They don’t really like cabbage but it’s a necessary evil.  The government has invested heavily in cabbage farms and have legislated for cabbage to be a compulsory consumption item.  So there are consequences of not buying cabbage – fines and the like.

Bill’s customers don’t know that he sells broccoli – Bill has never mentioned it.  And they certainly don’t know how broccoli will help them, what it will cost or what the consequences of not buying broccoli might be.

Bill wants his customers to buy broccoli in 3 months’ time when cabbage is out of season and hard to come by.  He is not sure that they will even have the appetite for broccoli and wonders how he might build that appetite so he has a better chance of getting them to buy in 3 months’ time.

Bill is very astute – if he wants to up his conversion rate, he knows that he needs to prepare his customer for the sales conversation.  Over the next 3 months he will educate his customers about broccoli, share the benefits, the value, testimonials, and even recommend other products that, as part of the same menu, will enhance the benefits of broccoli.

Substitute Cabbage with Compliance and Budgets with Broccoli and what do you have?  A very timely opportunity to build your compliance customers appetite for budgets and other advisory services.

  • How will you engage and communicate with your customers over February, March, and April with the intention of selling a budget in May?
  • What media will you use?
  • What value will you share?
  • When will you share it and how often?
  • Who will take responsibility for educating each client?

Cabbage BlogWith the outcome in mind, reverse engineer to create the appetite building process.   Be very clear on the outcome and the process will be way more relevant and more directional.  Will you be offering your client a choice?

  • Option 1 – a budget, or
  • Option 2 – a budget plus quarterly momentum meetings, or
  • Option 3 – a budget, momentum meetings plus a strategy/planning session

If so, and I recommend it, you will need to adjust your message to incorporate the companion products.

Think about:

  • HOW you might mix it up with a face2face conversation (a visit or event), a podcast, webinar, email or a phone call.
  • WHAT your will message be? What value will you add?  Step into your clients shoes – what would they need to know in order to say YES?  Make sure you’re talking to the decision maker – the person(s) who will make the decision to buy and who will approve the payment.
  • WHO will make contact? Who currently has a trusted relationship with the client?  Who will be having the sales conversation?

When you embark on a campaign like this it is important to involve your team in the development process.  Team buy in, understanding and commitment will share the load and ensure that the key touchpoints happen as planned and on time.  You will also be leveraging the intellectual capital in your business.  Some of the best ideas come from those who spend time talking with the clients and includes your receptionist, the accounts team, the junior accountant, and the client services manager.

At Opening Gates, we facilitate team workshops aptly named “Creating an Appetite for Broccoli” which focus on

  • Understanding why the pre-work is critical to the outcome – a sale
  • Knowing what you’re selling and what and why your clients are buying
  • Developing the key messages that will spark an interest and create an appetite
  • Being innovative around the delivery of the messages
  • Recognising the power of building in KPIs
  • Having fun, and heaps more

Preparing your client for a sales conversation may feel like foreign territory, particularly when, traditionally, asking your clients to buy a “budget’ was only raised when the team urgently needed work to fill the gaps left as compliance work ran out.  This way of thinking is a shift from a reactive mindset to a proactive one. It means that the timing and the process is driven by the plan to grow advisory services rather than an immediate need for work.  It requires organization, planning, patience and foresight.  We use the example of budgets and associated products in this article, however, the process relates to any campaign to introduce a new product to a prospective buyer.

Once developed, the process templates can be used time and again – it is well worth the investment.

Here is the 8 Step Process – it’s logical and it works.

  1. Understand what are you selling and what your client is buying
  2. Design your KPIs around the campaign
  3. Select the clients who need the advisory services
  4. Decide who will be responsible for the process for each client
  5. Agree on the number of messages and the timeframes
  6. Resolve how you will deliver the messages
  7. Develop the messages
  8. Get started!

If you need help with this process please email us on connect@openinggates.com or register your interest at https://openinggates.com/contact-us/ – we’d love to hear from you.


May your Broccoli sales go through the roof!


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