|Learn how to add value to your BASIC accountancy service at its entry level because that's where it will do most good for your accounting firm. This article explains what business owners want from their accounting services and how you can...|
HDK Consultants Ltd, East Grinstead, West Sussex, United Kingdom, telephone 01342-328 116
If there was a way to ensure that clients understand and use the information that's available from the very BASIC accounting service...
...you would have a queue of business owners behind your door, all virtually BEGGING to be accepted as your clients.
Yet they don't see it.
And chances are you've given up trying make them see after being thoroughly convinced they're NOT interested.
But that's essentially the key point to taking ownership of YOUR area and its potential for your accounting firm in terms of new clients and income.
There's no two ways about it:
The biggest problem in obtaining new clients is caused by the all-too-common LACK of understanding among business owners on the very basics of accounting and finance.
I'm talking about the owners of small-to-medium sized businesses, that sector that forms the bread and butter of accounting firms.
Most business owners simply don't understand the information they receive from their accountant. In fact, most of them don't even LOOK at the spreadsheets you deliver on their monthly accounts!
Needless to say that, when they neither look nor understand the information, they're not going to USE it either, let alone DO something about those problems (and potential opportunities) that are visible in their accounts to the accounting professional.
The accountant starts off as an idealist, eager to use his or her expertise to help businesses... but, faced with the wall of disinterest and rejection, soon cannot avoid becoming somewhat cynical about clients' willingness to utilise his knowhow.
One then settles down to delivering the ACTIONS required in performing compliance services.
But that's the wrong lesson to learn my friend.
The right one is to realise WHY clients have this problem of receiving and/or understanding financial information... and then fix THAT problem so you can sell your knowhow.
Clients WANT it but cannot take responsibility for refusing it...
Do yourself a favour and accept this fact: The overwhelming majority of business owners DO WANT to understand their finances better, do want to gain better control over financial planning... and they DO see the accounting professional as the party from whom they EXPECT HELP in this matter.
It's not a question of whether they want it. They do.
It's a question of not being able to ASK for it... and also, to a degree, HOW the information is received.
Here, it's the old adage of "ignorance is bliss" or "what you don't know won't hurt you." They HOPE everything is fine but FEAR that's not the case... and this fear stops them from ASKING.
This hope and fear also make it a dicey undertaking to DELIVER bad news to the client. Obviously no-one likes to deliver bad news as the messenger is customarily punished for bringing bad tidings...
So, they WANT it but won't ask for it... and they often react badly to you giving those news.
But from their viewpoint, when interviewed by an impartial third party, business owners consider that it is the responsibility of their accountant to keep them informed about these things in a timely manner.
The second problem we face in communicating with clients involves understanding. Do they understand what you tell them, truly? Do they have the vocabulary, the experience and expertise required to fully comprehend the importance of what you tell them?
Or do they fall prey to the human fear of "being considered unintelligent" and simply nod their head WITHOUT fully understanding what you tell them?
Well, there's a lot of that about, you know... but this problem can also be solved if you know how.
In any case, this information they want to know remains "undelivered" as far as they're concerned... and I'm sure you've heard many a client vehemently claiming "you've never told me this!" when push comes to shove.
You know that 20/20 hind vision...
Don't get me wrong. I know YOU have tried and tried to get through to them.
All too often, the client's attitude is far less receptive than what would be in his interests: "I don't know and I don't care..."
You and I know how hard it is to evoke the INTEREST of clients so they'd bother learning even the very basics of accounting.
And it's impossible to deliver understanding if they DON'T ASK even when they don't understand something.
How many times have you tried to explain some grave problem to a client only to see that closed look on his face, combined with a refusal to listen and/or BELIEVE the reality?
Oh, you've tried hard all right.
But how do THEY view this? How do business owners see this same problem from THEIR viewpoint?
"My accountant doesn't tell me anything..."
Yes, you guessed it; business owners are (almost unanimously) of the opinion that the problem is caused by their accountant!
It's the accountant whose lack of communication is at fault here according to business owners' viewpoint!
It took quite a bit of skilful probing to get business owners to come clean about it instinctively they KNOW it's rubbish, see... so they try to hide this view.
And it's a radically DIFFERENT viewpoint from that of the accounting professional, isn't it? Obviously, it's also very different from what we THOUGHT it would be.
But, now that it's there, one has to admit that it makes sense for THEM to THINK this way.
Blaming it all on the Accountant relieves them from having to DO something about it. They can continue the existing disinterest and obliviousness because it's all YOUR fault, see?
And so it is, as seen exclusively from their viewpoint: How could THEY do anything about it when they're simply the "innocent victims"???
To digest this, you need a good sense of humour, a sizeable portion of self-restraint (and probably a couple of Alka-Seltzers).
And let's get one thing straight:
You don't have to ACCEPT their view as the truth.
In fact, you mustn't.
It ISN'T the truth.
It's only THEIR OPINION, based solely on their feelings and definitely NOT on facts.
On the other hand, the fact that they THINK this way IS TRUE. It is a fact found to be in existence. That their opinion is not truthful in itself is irrelevant for the purposes of business.
And, more to the point, you can turn this into your biggest asset ever.
KNOWING how they think, you can actually SOLVE this problem!
Let's look at the situation by combining BOTH viewpoints together:
Although these two facts seem to contradict each other, they still give us the solution to this imponderable problem.
For you can OFFER them a service which includes what they want. In other words, you can include an educational element into your service and ask a good price for it.
But there's still that problem of getting through to them, right?
And here, you need specific methodology.
Methodology: How to convey understanding
Hand to heart: Have you ever felt hopeless at the prospect of having to explain something to a client?
Does it feel like fighting a losing battle?
If yes, then let me put your mind at ease: It's not your fault... and it's not the client's fault either.
The problem lies in not having the methodology to BUILD THE BASIC UNDERSTANDING before attempting to explain more advanced concepts.
Business owners CLAIM to understand the basics... but, in reality, few do. They're not lying, though... they just THINK they understand when, really, they don't.
The forgotten building block of any information delivery is ensuring that the other person understands the basics before we give him more advanced data.
If he hasn't mastered the basic principles and vocabulary of the science then he is going to get utterly LOST within seconds!
So, do you have to start educating your clients for days first so they could understand the information you deliver... and, consequently, see how extremely valuable it is for them?
Yes and no.
Yes in that you have to educate clients so they understand the basics and so they can utilise and use the information that you produce for them.
But NO, you don't have to spend days at it and you certainly don't have to do it for free.
In fact, it's time you STOPPED giving ANY advice for free.
Giving advice for free is the worst thing to do as a continuous activity: It effectively DEVALUATES your service because of the way most business owners think:
Advice that costs nothing is worth nothing.
Reversely, if you SELL your advice when a client brings a problem to you instead of jumping right into SOLVING it for him, you'll not only make a LOT more money but also effectively guarantee that he USES the knowledge!
Make your client PAY for your advice and he will automatically assign it much higher value it costs a lot of money so it must be very valuable advice, right?
The worst-case scenario is brought about by...
Don't do that. If you're doing it already (like most of us) then make a definite decision to stop it.
Here's the better way:
The way you can achieve both AND increase your profits by an average 22% in the process is by adopting a new service model, a service that's the only BASIC added-value accounting service ever created.
It's BASIC because it is sold to every new client as their BASIC service which includes the compliance services they need.
It is the ONLY such service because it is the only concept that contains what business owners WANT on one side and what any accountant can easily DELIVER on the other.
There is only one such service, in other words as anything else will leave out something vital or add something superfluous.
It is what you deliver now BUT added with some ingredients which clients want so you'll be able to sign on new clients easily AND charge extra for it while starting the client on the road to wanting more.
Best of all, this service concept does not rely on HOURLY RATES for its compensation, so you'll be able to get by that glass ceiling.
There's quite a bit more to it than that but let's keep it simple for right now.
The goal of this service is bringing the client to a level where he is capable of understanding and planning his finances to SOME degree... and then gradually enhancing this ability.
You sell CONTROL and ABILITY HIS gradually increasing control over his finances, HIS forever-expanding ability to plan his finances instead of actions performed on his accounts.
The important part of it is your interaction with HIM, not data entry or year end accounts or the conducting of other compliance services.
Those services are included in the package but you don't sell THEM at all.
You sell a SOLUTION to the problem business owners HAVE. They want to understand their accounts, they want to control their finances better... and that's what you offer them!
"But," you may ask, "if it's only 15-20 minutes a month, won't it take YEARS and YEARS to train them onto a level where they're professional?"
Yes it will.
But why would you be in a hurry? It's faster than doing nothing and gives you a more fees for what you used to give for free.
"Yes, but... won't they mind the slow pace?"
No, they won't.
That's the pace they're capable of.
If someone wants to go faster, you sell him a bigger monthly package of consulting and go faster. You need to forget YOUR idea of how fast or perfectly things should be done and conduct your service based solely on THEIR ability to do it.
That's the pace they're comfortable with... and that's their level and you must not exceed it or they'll lose interest. The most common mistake of any consultant is to rush TOO MUCH at the client all at once, overwhelming him so he simply cannot take the resulting sense of "being a failure" any longer...
"Well... why would I want to train my clients into professionals who then won't need my services any longer?"
Trust me. That's not going to happen.
You're not going to educate them into accountants EVER.
But you'll train them into being CLIENTS the best clients an accounting professional could EVER HAVE... and certainly the most permanent and more-buying clients your competitors ever thought possible!
You train them to USE your consultation support, to go through their accounts monthly and CORRECT any emerging problems immediately.
The more they learn, the more of your services they'll want to use... and the more permanent they become as clients.
You're giving them independence but they know that your support is the main source of their newfound skills and abilities.
The longer they stay on this service, the more they learn. The more they learn, the more they'll want to keep you on as their financial consultant.
This service model leads to levels of client-satisfaction and client-permanence which most accounting firms can only dream of. And one thing is for certain:
No-one, absolutely no-one would ever have the slightest chance of taking away these clients from you.
You'll never have to worry about that again.
Now this special basic added-value service has been created on the research of what business owners most want from accounting.
Thus, it's hardly surprising that 85% of business owners considered it very desirable... SO desirable, in fact, that the existence of such a service would immediately make them consider changing accountants.
Can you imagine what this service could do for your practice?
If you're interested in finding out more about how you could acquire better accounting clients, why not come to our seminar "Revealing the hidden barriers of accountancy client-acquisition" or see what the Quality-Assured Accountancy Client-Acquisition Service could do to give you control over your local area?
Keep up the good work,
- Monthly Financial Consulting Service: Introducing the proven superior BASIC accounting service that will give you a steady flow of new clients: The MFCS practically sells itself!
IF there was a way to ensure that clients understand and use the information they receive from YOUR basic Accounting service... you would have a mile-long queue of business owners outside your door, all begging for you to accept them as new clients!
CLICK HERE to read how to start delivering a basic Accounting service that 85% of business owners consider so valuable that they would immediately start considering a change of Accountants if they thought it was available...
How to ware your Marketing Hat with a creative, results-producing viewpoint?
As the owner of an Accounting firm, you have many separate tasks and hats. In this article, we examine how easily one can think about marketing "wearing the wrong hat"... and how to avoid the inevitable cost...
Why not offer what businesses want MOST?
51% of small businesses turn to their Accountant for advice...but are we WASTING this natural demand by NOT advising SMEs on the most make-sense and NEEDED areas of enterprising... just because they don't know how to ASK FOR IT?
Packaging Accounting services into highly desirable products
What on earth is PACKAGING? Well, it's the first and most important part of marketing... something without which you will have enormous hardships in getting your services sold effectively because you're not utilizing the PULL that's there. If you read nothing else from our web site, PLEASE read this...
Instead of paying thousands, how about GETTING PAID for marketing your Accounting services?
In your wildest dreams, have you ever imagined that marketing your services could DIRECTLY BRING INCOME instead of costing an arm and leg?
No, you didn't misunderstand and there's no mistake here... and it's not a wild scheme but something a growing number of firms are employing today...
Looking for inexpensive marketing ideas for a small or startup Accounting practice?
A small Accounting firm has some very speficic requisites for any marketing system. Otherwise, you're playing with the very survival of your practice.
There are certain simple basics on how to EVALUATE Accountancy marketing systems on whether these really have what it takes for you to get new clients.
Making use of normal people in selling Accounting services... or are you planning to do it yourself forever?
Read this article to find why it's seemingly impossible to get someone to sell your services successfully. Once you KNOW, you can actually DO IT...
EXPANSION-MINDED OR NOT? Why not take this tongue-in-cheek test to measure your readiness for expansion...
Expansion doesn't just happen like a lightning out of blue skies. It requires favourable circumstances... Here's a test for you if you have what it takes to BITE bite into this hot chilli pepper...????
Ready-to-use tools for finding prospective Accounting clients and to present & sell your services successfully:
What's all the fuss about ready-to-use tools for marketing & selling Accounting services? What's the difference if these are NOT software solutions then WHAT are they?
The biggest trap stopping you from obtaining Accounting clients at will...
There's an insidious, invisible TRAP into which we've all fallen. If allowed to remain unnoticed, this trap mechanism will effectively keep any Accounting professional from ever gaining the ability to obtain clients at will.
Knowing the anatomy of this insidious trap (and knowing how to get out of it) is probably the most vital piece of knowledge for unleashing your true potential in acquiring new clients at will.
Why you can't find anywhere NEAR as many prospectice clients as you want:
If only you could FIND MORE PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS...
Why does it appear impossible? Why do you get SO FEW referrals and prospects? What's causing this?
Well, chances are you've totally overlooked the biggest source of prospective clients in your area!
Pricing Accounting services at value... but what's the value to clients?
Pricing your service by hourly rates will always result in lots of upsets and unnecessary explanations.
Why not adopt the principle of charging for availability of advice and at the value your expertise really represents to clients?
How can you CREATE that value in the minds of your current and future clients? Its not all that hard if you know how to do it...
Do you KNOW what what business owners think about, value in, and want from Accounting... or just THINK you do?
Are you LOSING THOUSANDS by assuming business owners think the same way you do about Accounting services? Could it be that their viewpoint is very much different?
One thing is for certain: If you align your marketing message to meet EXACTLY what business owners want from Accounting services, you will start gettin a lot of new clients. Read why most Accounting firms are SO CERTAIN THEY KNOW while they still can't get new clients...
Accounting service marketing: Getting your message across
Why is it so difficult to get ANY response to marketing letters, ads and sales promotions? What can you do to change it?
Why "hiring a marketing expert" won't cut mustard if you want new clients...
One of the most common misconceptions among mid-sized Accounting firms is to think that all they need for marketing is to hire a marketing expert.
But that's really like solving a transportation problem by hiring a chauffeur and forgetting that he needs a VEHICLE to drive before any results can be hoped to be obtained...
So you're looking for a faster, easier solution to finding new Accounting clients?
Many Accounting professionals in public practice don't really want to get involved in marketing and sales that much. Instead, they're looking for a fast and easy solution to finding new clients.
But BUYER BEWARE... does such a system EXIST at all? Well, many CLAIM that it does but if it sounds too good to be true...
-Vital necessity of troubleshooting-- When choosing a marketing system for your Accounting firm...
Learn the insider secret on how you can instantly spot a functional marketing system and reject untried and unproven systems. The secret lies in whether or not the system has TROUBLESHOOTING TOOLS...
Risk Management: Controlling the risks in marketing Accounting services
So you HATE cold calling and don't AT ALL believe in telemarketing?
Then JOIN THE CLUB... you're definitely not alone!
But is telemarketing really a waste of time and money... or is it simply that you need a completely DIFFERENT approach (and system) to get lots pf prospective clients for Accounting services by way of telemarketing?
Prospective Accounting clients through direct mailing?
Many Accounting professionals in public practice have tried their hand in creating sales letters. And most of us have had to give up for it's very expensive to find out that the letter doesn't bring results...
To get results, you need to use exactly the right words and concepts in your letter. And while it's not much of a secret, it makes a huge difference in response...
7 factors governing the success of Accountancy prospecting
You're 98% success... but to get a new client you need a hundred!
- FIGHTING BACK: How certain are you that it is impossible to get new clients for your Accounting firm in today's economic situation?
Midst all the bad news, it's easy to forget that an economic slowdown contains both risks and opportunities, just like any other. Doing nothing is the only certain way to ensure that the situation can do maximum damage.
In fact, during recession you can make a HUGE LEAP FORWARD in terms of increasing your clientele and income... simply because most of your competitors do absolutely nothing. All you really need is to have a marketing strategy that aligns with the economic situation.
How to SELL without having to use superlatives about yourself?
If only it was easier to sell...
Selling your own ability - yourself, in essence - is often not too pleasant. Using superlatives can be very embarrassing... and one can also argue that such salesman antcis don't go well with the image of an Accounting professional.
It's a paradox - if you tell the client how great you are, he might get turned off... but if you don't, he just won't know.
New Generation Accounting Service PRESENTATION techniques
The traditional Accounting service presentation has outlived its usefulness. It still works with referrals and some prospects, but if you are serious about getting a lot MORE clients, you'll want this amazing new technique...
Advertising & Marketing of Accounting services - a complete waste of effort and money?
Well, admittedly it often is. Why is it so difficult to get RESULTS from advertising or marketing campaigns? What's the catch?
Are you practical or not when it comes to selecting a marketing system for your Accounting firm?
How can you find out beforehand whether or not a marketing system is practical and easy to use? Is it possible to estimate how fast and easy it is to start using the system and actually OBTAIN the expected results... new clients?
Comparing Accountancy marketing systems: The ease of getting started and the degree of support
In selecting a practice management system for your Accounting firm, it is essential to ensure those offering the system have actually used it themselves...
THE DIFFERENCE between traditional and modern marketing techiniques for Accounting firms
Traditional Accountancy marketing has a lot of good and perfectly applicable parts and practices. But some parts are ineffective by now. Learn how you can get results by using the MODERN marketing tehniques...
You don't want to increase the NUMBER of Accounting clients but REPLACE a few with BETTER paying & more cooperative ones?
Sometimes the idea of increasing the number of clients isn't appealing for obvious reasons. Not everyone wants to expand through a vast clientele and take on the hassles of employing many people. A sole practitioner who's been in practice for a while usually has TOO many clients already... and too much hassle. The old 80/20 rule (20% of clients cause 80% of the hassle but not of the income) can be beaten but it takes a bit of cunning.
How to sell advanced added-value Accounting services
Many Accounting Professionals have superb additional services to offer to their clients. But why are those added-value Accounting services, special consulting, valuation and other such excellent services so difficult to sell?
There's a very simple and logical reason for it - and once you know what the barrier is, you can effectively open the door to increase the sale of these additional services.
How to sell Accounting services: Getting your hourly rates accepted by prospective clients
Majority of business owners seek for low-cost Accounting services. Justifying reasonable hourly rates is a constant pain and source of disagreements.
There is a simple way to help your prospects and clients accept your fees...
Do you want to get a lot more REFERRALS for accounting services?
Referrals are the cream of all potential clients for an Accounting firm. They're easy to deal with and you can close almost all of them onto your services.
But why are they so hard to find? And how do you INCREASE the flow of referrals?
from contact to sign-on to follow?
to really GET results?
with TOOLS that require no training to use?
& sales activity of practical nature?
and troubleshoot problems?
independence to obtain new Accounting clients wherever you want?
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