June 9, 2023
Read time: 2:37 minutes
Today I'm going to explain how to convert conversations to sales calls.
My primary focus for the next 6 months is business development for my CFO firm. In fact, I have a goal of adding $80,000 per month by the end of the year.
How am I going to do it? Mostly through attending conferences and networking events. Meeting lots of people, having lots of conversations, and getting lots of sales calls.
But that means I have to be exceptional in converting conversations into sales calls.
Over the years, I've discovered some very effective ways to do that.
Let's dive in.
Pointer #1: What is a fractional CFO?
As I'm meeting people and shaking hands, the first question people ask is "So, um, what is it that a fractional CFO does?"
You need to have this answer hard coded into your brain and accessible at a moment's notice!
In a recent article, I wrote about the importance of simplifying things for your clients. You can read that HERE.
This idea of simplification must also apply here!
If you embark on a 15 minute journey about what a fractional CFO does, your new BFF will check out and bounce.
But if you can tell a simple, relatable story - you'll have them hooked.
Here's how I explain it:
You've probably worked with a bookkeeper or an accountant before, right?
Those are really important people to have on your team. But their work is focused on what happened IN THE PAST. They report on what happened last month, last quarter, or last year.
But can I assume that you're more concerned about the future? You're probably thinking about your goals for this month, this year, or 5 years from now, right?
My job as a fractional CFO is to help you figure out what you need to do with your company's finances to make those goals become a reality.
This little story is fast, simple, and resonates REALLY well.
It also has the added bonus of being a bit of a hook. "Wow, how do you do that? Tell me more!"
But this isn't the time for telling them more...
Pointer #2: Don't Have a Sales Conversation Right There
Great conversation and energy.
You're going to want to engage in a sales convo on the spot.
Avoid the temptation.
Because you're not on your turf.
You're in the middle of a networking event or a conference. There are lots of distractions and things competing for their time and attention.
This results in you having to hurry though the deeper dive into your services. And that's never good for conversions.
You need to be able to walk through your sales framework and share your screen. Can't do that at the conference lunch buffet.
When a prospect wants to hear more about what I do, I prefer to take this approach:
I'll start by asking them to tell me more about their business. I'm doing this to qualify them. I'll ask questions about their industry, revenue, goals, and challenges. This helps me determine if they're worth investing time on a sales call.
If they check the boxes, I'll say, "Look, there's a ton going on here and it's really noisy. And this is clearly an important conversation. Why don't we schedule a time to talk next week so I can learn a bit more about you, tell you more about my firm, and see if it makes sense to work together?"
Pointer #3: Always Be Out of Business Cards
At this point, the prospect may ask you for your card so you can get something scheduled.
As it turns out, I always seem to be out of business cards!
I'll quickly tap on each of my pockets (ladies, you can look in your purse or clutch) and say "Ah, I'm out of cards!"
Then I'll pull out my phone and say "If you'd like, I can shoot you a quick (text or email) so we can find a time to connect next week."
This is SO much better than giving them your card. Because if you give them your card, THEY own the next steps. YOU want to be in the driver's seat. When you have their email or phone number, you get to drive.
Alternatively, try to schedule something right then and there. Pop out your calendar app and suggest 2 days and times and see if something lands.
✅ Keep things simple
✅ Have sales conversations on your turf
✅ Don't let the prospect finish the conversation in the driver's seat
Do you have any pointers for converting conversations to sales calls? I'm going full throttle on biz dev starting next month - so I'd love to hear from you!
Just hit reply to this email and let me know what you've found to work.
Whenever you are ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:
1. The Inner Circle - every month my team and I go live and share the most impactful lessons we've learned in our journey to start, scale, and optimize our own CFO firm (including live Q&A). Plus you'll get access to our private community of nearly 150 fractional CFOs.
2. The CFO Academy - This is a 7 week deep dive into the exact playbooks that I use to run my firm, KFE Solutions.
3. If you'd like more amazing (and free!) content about starting, scaling, or optimizing your Fractional CFO firm check out:
→ The CFO Report on YouTube (if you love video)
→ The CFO Report on Apple Podcast (if you prefer audio)