Accountant Meeting Objection Handling
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Advisors and agents often find it difficult to effectively, yet genuinely, navigate the key objections that accountants express when considering working with them. Objections such as, “It’s not a good time / I’m just too busy.” Or “Can you send me something to review like a website or brochure?” Overcoming objections isn’t about a slick comeback line or stronger sales pitch. It’s about understanding first and foremost where the accountant is coming from, and then responding to their objection in a way that helps address the core issue.
What's up, everyone? Anton Anderson here, and today I wanted to discuss objection handling. So you'll see underneath this training video that we have an Accountant Meeting Objection Handling PDF. What I'm going to do in this video is just walk through those objections and the suggested responses we have for you.
I want to point out that even though we say this is the accountant meeting objection handling, the reality is a lot of these objections you're going to hear from clients as well. So feel free to take any of this information and use it in your own meetings with clients.
Starting from the top, you feel like you're having a good meeting, then the accountant says, "You know, I need to see some information, like a brochure or a website." Here's the suggested response. "That's fine, but do you mind if I ask you a question about that? I mean, what information are you hoping to see on a brochure or a website that we haven't covered yet? And I ask because I've found that people will often say they want to see a brochure or website, but it's really just a polite way of saying this isn't a good fit. If that's the case, this is totally fine." And then you use silence at that point. You're going to see a lot of these objection handling. The key to them is a strong statement and then silence.
At this point, they will either agree that it's not a good fit, in which case good, you saved yourself time and energy trying to send them information and second guessing what they're looking for, or what they're going to do is they're going to try to convince you that that isn't actually what they meant.
For example, they're going to say, "No, no, no, I'm not saying it's not a good fit. I just need to see some more information." In which case you're going to say, "Okay, good. Well, we still have a few minutes. What other questions do you have?" And then silence. Okay?
And really the purpose of all of these objection handling responses is to have an honest conversation and get to the heart of the issue. We don't want to just let them off with some wishy-washy response that we really don't understand what they're saying and then we're left ending the meeting, like driving back to the office or to our house wondering, "What does that mean? What do I do next?"
So the next objection, "I need some time to think it over." Here's the response. "Good. I'm glad to hear that as I still have a few questions as well. I want to make sure this is a good fit for both of us. While we still have a few minutes, what haven't we discussed that you still need to think about?" So what we're doing here again is, one, we're leveling the playing field by saying, "I still have a few questions as well," which is a reminder to this accountant, "Hey, by the way, this isn't your decision to make by yourself. We both have to decide that this is a good fit." And then second, you're kind of just pushing that right aside, and you're saying, "While we still have a few minutes, what haven't we discussed that you still need to think about?" And then using silence to force them to answer. Okay?
Next objection. "I need to talk to another accountant in the model before I'll be moving forward." Response, "No problem. In fact, once we both decide this is a good relationship that we want to mutually explore further, I'll provide you to access to a private community of accountants working with the team-based model where you can ask any questions you have. However, I think it's a little premature to invite you into that community at this point, because we really haven't decided whether or not we're a good fit for one another," and then silence. Again, what you see here is leveling the playing field. Mutually explore further, we haven't made the decision. So you're reminding them this isn't a decision you get to make unilaterally. This is a decision that both of us get to make. Then you're letting them know, "We have a private community of accountants that you'll be more than welcome to connect with, ask questions, etc. But again, it's a little premature."
The next one, objection, "It's not a good time." Response, "You know," put in accountant's name, "I hear that often from accountants, and I respect how much demand you have on you, but I also know that there's really never a convenient time to make a change. However, I also know that if we don't make the time to change, then in six to 12 months from now, you'll still be wrestling with the same," and then put in the biggest challenge. Remember at the beginning of meeting number one, you asked him, "What's the single biggest challenge you're currently facing?" So you insert the single biggest challenge there. So again, "You'll still be wrestling with," for example, "your work-life balance and probably not made any significant progress towards," and then you insert their vision that you also asked during the meeting number one. Let's say their vision was increasing the number of A-level clients they have while overall decreasing their clients as a whole. So we would say in that situation, "You know, then in six to 12 months from now, you will still be wrestling with the same work-life balance challenges and honestly probably not made any significant progress towards overall reducing the number of clients while increasing the number of A clients," and then silence.
Next objection, "I need to check with my partner." Response, "Yeah, totally understand. Let me clarify here though. Are you saying you would like to work with the team-based model, and you just need to get a sign-off from your partner and then we're moving forward, or is there something else?" Now if they say, "Yeah, I just need to get a sign-off," then you can say, "Okay, great. When specifically will you be able to talk to them?" Whatever they answer, let's say it's next Tuesday, "Perfect, then let's plan our next meeting Wednesday," and then silence. Now, if they say there's something else besides just getting the sign-off from their partner, you say, "Okay, well we still have a few minutes, what other questions do you have?"
All right, next objection. "I've seen/been involved in programs like this, and it wasn't worth it." Response, "Tell me more about that." Ideally, the accountant will open up, they'll answer a little bit. "You know, well I worked with HD Vest, I worked with some other program." You say, "Interesting. Okay, well that's really helpful to know. Let me ask you this. What specific outcomes would you need to see to make this totally worth your investment of time?" We need to sit on that until they give us an answer. Once we get the answer, we say, "Perfect, then that is exactly what we will focus on." Silence.
All right, next objection, "I need to see some specific examples of the types of strategies you use and the specialists in the model." Response, "Of course, that's the only way this model works. Not only do you get to see all of the strategies our team can help you with, as well as the specialists on the team, you will also get to ask them any questions you have, and we'll always have the final say on what does or does not get discussed with your client. However, it is a little premature to discuss strategies and specialists at this point, because we really haven't even decided whether or not we're a good fit for one another." So that's it.
In addition to these meeting objections, you do want to check out in the training appendix a document called frequently asked questions. That will go into some more questions that we'll hear from accountants come up from time to time. But the objections I just handled are the main ones you're going to see in the meeting.
So in addition to getting really comfortable with the meeting number one script, number two script, the engagement agreement, the meeting number three, go through these objections and role play these, either with a business partner or somebody in the Facebook community. Find somebody to role play your meeting scripts with. Find somebody to role play these objection handling responses with and kind of pepper each other. Take turns being the advisor and the accountant, one person to give the objection, the other person to give the response, and then switch roles.
Also change personalities. Some people when they're giving objections, they're a little bit kind of shy and meek. Like they're just kind of almost like giving an excuse to try to softly get out of this situation. Other accountants are going to be really aggressive like, "I need to see some specific examples." So when you are role playing with one another, change personalities and really get comfortable in a lot of different situations. Because the more prepared you are, it's like batting practice, right? The more knuckleballs, curve balls, fast balls you've seen, the better you're going to perform under the lights in the stadium. You know when it really counts, the game is on. That's when you want to perform well. But you only perform well under pressure by doing a tremendous amount of practice before you're actually at bat.
So I hope these help. Look forward to connecting with you in the next video.