#783 It’s all sales all the time

Posted by frank October - 16 - 2017 - Monday

Everybody is selling!

I had breakfast with an accountant named Mark. When I say accountant do you think sales? Probably not. We call them “Bean Counters” don’t we? The archetypical accountant is very Clark Kent. We picture them wearing bifocals, writing with mechanical pencils and doing their grocery lists in Excel don’t we? As my great friend Rick, who is an accountant himself, says; “You know when an accountant has personality because he’s looking at YOUR shoes!”
I figured the guy I was sitting across from at breakfast, was all of that (minus the glasses).
Then, as we spoke about our businesses, he surprised me by talking about business development and the sales techniques he brings to bear in order to increase his business.
He said he works from home a few times a month and when he does, he prospects. Now, he did not use the word prospects, but that’s what I’m calling it.
Here is what Mark said. “When I work from home I decide on a range of calls. Maybe it’s L to P today. I hit the contacts icon on my phone; go to the first contact at letter L and call. I then call every contact in order until I get through the P’s, IF I can get through the P’s! Four or five letters usually takes an entire day. I am not calling them for business. I am calling to catch up and see how they are but invariably these calls result in business. By the next day three or four of those people are calling with a project they need help with, or a person they want me to call who needs my services.”
What Mark is doing is positioning himself for selective attention. Selective attention is all about awareness. If I decide to buy a blue Subaru because while driving around I usually see green Subaru’s and I want to be different, guess what? As soon as I make the decision, there will be a virtual parade of blue Subaru’s presented to me as I go through my day. It’s not that they weren’t out there before, it’s that I wasn’t looking for them. It’s like that in sales and that is precisely what Mark is doing. When Leo Lemoncello, in Mark’s contact list, hears about a tax problem from a business associate Leo may or may not call Mark depending on his level of comfort in offering a recommendation, how many accounting professionals he knows and if Mark even enters his mind at that moment. But if he has recently spoken to Mark, Mark becomes the blue Subaru.
Mark has a very successful accounting practice in Manhattan and I am not surprised. Every successful business, at it’s core, is a sales company. Some other accountant may be able to memorize Pi to 300 digits or do the square root of 3,364 in his head, but unless he goes out and finds people who want to hire him, (SELLS!) his skills won’t mean beans.

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