When we start out as MiPs we are full of confidence and excited about the challenges ahead.
After all we have a great qualification; most of us have extensive experience of business after a fair few years working in industry; and we know that all businesses need robust financial information to be successful – so what could possibly go wrong?
Well, as it turns out most of us are very poor at selling and marketing ourselves, which makes finding customers a particular challenge. It is not enough to be the best accountant we can be – we have to find customers who have problems they acknowledge need solving in their businesses and accept that we are the right person to do it.
Not easy when most SME business owners have no clue what a management accountant is or does, or how what they do would benefit them and their company.
For me one of the most important pieces of training I did as a new MiP was to go on Trevor Lever’s sales effectiveness course. It helped me to understand how to acquire customers in a way that made sense to me. Trevor has so much experience and knowledge that I was very happy to follow the sales processes he advocated. Without his help I am sure I would have struggled to find customers in the early months and years.
I found Trevor’s course so useful that, when I found out he was planning to retire without having shared all his great ideas in a book, I proposed that we write a sales and a marketing book together to share his great stuff – initially specifically aimed at MiPs but more recently combined into a single book for anybody who sells consultancy types of services (accountants, lawyers, HR consultants…). My contribution was to ask the ‘silly’ questions we all have about selling and marketing – Trevor’s was to provide the answers!
So if you are a new MiP, or an existing MiP who still struggles with the sales and marketing side of your business, it might be worth taking a look – it might just save your business!