In Sales, Perception Is Reality

You have to believe in yourself.

By Martin Bissett

“No man has the ability to step outside of the shadow of his own character.”
— Robespierre

As far as our potential clients are concerned, how they perceive us is how we really are to them, regardless of the truth of the matter.

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Because of this, it’s important to realize that when we are meeting a new potential client who has not been referred to us, it does not matter what the reality of our value proposition is; it matters how that potential client perceives our value proposition. Therefore, to be effective
in winning work, we must understand how we can positively influence their perception of us at each stage of the relationship-building process.

One of the many myths that we have around business development in the accounting profession is that because we’ve never been trained to sell and because we struggle
to sell, this means that we cannot sell. That’s not true. That’s a myth. Any frailty in mastering a process is a matter of a lack of understanding, not a lack of ability.

At the time of writing, I can’t fly a fighter plane and I can’t perform a tax computation with anything like the degree of ability that my accounting firm clients can. I am sufficiently self-assured, however, that I know I have a reasonable level of intelligence and I can learn to do those seemingly impossible things once I know the framework and the process and I get the process right.

The promising sign is that 87 percent of the firms I have spoken to have said they don’t see selling as something they can’t do. That’s encouraging but leaves me feeling acutely aware that the other 13 percent see "selling" as something they can’t do.

Selling is simply a process that is executed most effectively when we believe in ourselves.

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