There’s something far worse than Artificial Intelligence that threatens your Accountancy Practice right now.
It’s the assumption that business owners have that the software you have access to already perform most functions you charge for with just 1 click.
Added to this, they see year-end accounts as a legal necessity much like having the MOT assessment on a car. It’s an annoying distraction and they seek out the cheapest supplier.
In this article I’ll share with you proven ways to…
- Get clients excited about working with you
- Better demonstrate your worth
- Make the price no longer the deciding factor
… meaning you can price your services appropriately rather than competitively.
Communicating value can be achieved in many ways including…
- Improving the overall perception of value upfront so that you’re perceived as different from your competitors from the start.
- Understanding the aspirations of your clients through deep in-depth questioning and listening and then demonstrating how you can bring them closer to those aspirations.
- Package your products and services in to unique solutions.
Improving the overall perception of valueThis is best done by truly mapping out your entire customer journey from how prospective clients might encounter your Practice for the first time through to their ongoing experience with you as a client. For every interaction adding more value. For this article, lets focus on just one thing. Your website is likely to be one of the first places a prospective client will use to check you out. What does it say?
I see countless Accountant’s websites and most of them describe themselves and their services in almost the same way; which means they’re not differentiating themselves.
I help Accountants focus on 3 key elements that make for a great website. Pathos (credibility), Logos (outcomes) and Ethos (emotions).
Often the weakest elements for accountants’ websites are Ethos followed by Logos.
People are motivated by emotions and personality, people buy people and why they do what they do. Make the home page of your website more about your aspirations, what difference you want to make to the people you work with and why this is. Every Accountant can provide Accounts, BookKeeping and Payroll but few will describe the difference they love to make and who they love to make a difference to. Start with your why and don’t hide it in an ‘about us’ section.
Understanding the aspirations
When meeting a prospective client who asks for a price for compliance work, don’t answer that question. Instead, explain that you’d like to better understand their business first.
Encourage them to describe their business, its function, size etc, their role within it, shift gradually in to how running and growing the business is impacting on their home life. How many hours are they working, is it by choice or necessity. Could they take a relaxing holiday or will they be on the end of the phone regularly or answering texts and emails. Are they spending the time they want to with their family and friends and on their health? How is all of this making them feel emotionally? Ask them how happy they are right now on a scale from 1 to 10 if 10 were living the dream and 1 was ready to quit. Ask the questions and then listen intently.
Then, ask them why they started the business, what was the dream? If anything were possible, what would that business really look like, what would their role be, the hours they work in it, the income they would be taking. How would this affect their life at home, how would this make them feel? How happy would they be?
When people are buying something to keep them legal and don’t particularly value what they need to have done they look for the cheapest option in order to tick the box.
Our biggest driving force is emotion. By asking these questions you’ve tapped in to their emotions, you’ve highlighted the pain they’re in now and you’ve got them excited about their aspirations again.
Can you help them get there?
If so, connect what you do to how it will help them move closer to their goals.
Don’t talk about lots of services as this is daunting and frankly, boring.
Package your products and services in to unique solutions.
Describe the outcomes of them putting their faith in you to ease the burden in the areas you do by perhaps dealing with bookkeeping, payroll, debt collection etc. Describe how by making yourself part of their business and having regular meetings with them you can interpret the numbers that matter to them that will guide them in their business, you can share your unique insights because of your vast experiences working with so many other businesses. By providing them with quality information that’s going to help them make better decisions and help them stay on track towards their goals. Describe the benefits and the outcomes.
Describe the big picture of working together rather than the pieces of the jigsaw.
Bring them back to the emotions, use the words they used.
Here are 3 recommendations I’ll leave you with.
- Start with yourself, if you could wave a magic wand, how would you be making a profound difference to your clients and why. That’s your story. Put this on the top of your website home page so it’s the first thing people see. Live and breath it. Be consistent.
- Create a maximum of 3 packaged solutions made up of products and services you do and could deliver that will fit with the way you’d really like to help clients, focus more on the outcomes those solutions would bring than the features that make them up.
- Get to know and understand your clients’ aspirations better. Where appropriate demonstrate how your packaged solutions will help them achieve it. If it can’t maybe what they want doesn’t float your boat. Don’t try to accommodate everyone as this will prevent you from making the difference you really want to.