Martin Bissett

18 Feb 2019

How To Impress Your Potential Clients Part 1

How accountancy firms frame what they offer is an extremely important question. Few outcomes that an accountant can create match their ability to improve cashflow within a client’s organisation. 

Let’s look at framing in part 1 and then let’s look at cashflow in part 2.

The issue of ‘framing' is a critical one. It is an area that I wish more practices understood. Many don't even realise the need to ‘frame' in the first place.

Framing the conversation is a tremendously useful way of focusing the potential clients on what the conversation is about.

When you first meet, the prospect will:
1. Know little about accountants as a whole.
2. Know what their current accountant does and as such they will be measuring you with the same stick.

If you can do a lot more for them than their current accountant, it will take a longer time to educate them with this new information.

Which Aspects Can You Talk About to ‘Frame’ the Conversation?

If you can frame the conversation in terms of outcomes, then you will focus a business owner’s mind. If the prospect is commercially minded, they will understand the value or improvement that you could bring to their business straightaway.

You can speak with your prospect client and tell them that you can do tax, audit, forensic accounting, management accounting, cash flow focus and many other things if you want to.

If you ‘frame the opportunity’, you can say something along the lines of….

“I’m very grateful that you’ve taken the time to meet with me today. I don’t wish to take up a huge amount of your time. What I really want to do today is find out more about you and your business. I want to know how we might be able to support you on a greater level than you’re currently receiving.

Obviously, before that, you will want to know a little bit about me and my firm. I think that the very best way is to cut through the cliché that all accountants are the same or all accountants are boring. Instead, I am going to focus on the outcomes we generate for our clients.”

Tell Client Stories

Tell prospective clients stories about your clients, which will resonate with them.

Demonstrate…how you were able to take a client through a flotation.

Talk…about how you were able to carry out R&D work, which might have reclaimed a significant amount of money. Explain what the client did with the money saved.

For instance, how it allowed the client to buy some new machinery. As a result, this enabled that client to get ahead of their competition in production capacity.

Show…the prospect how you were able to fund holidays for a business owner. The business owner had not had a holiday in six years.

I know you have stories like these.

In my 22 years of working with accounting firms, I know that if we dig deep enough, every firm has these stories. There are very few firms that ever leverage their success stories to give a real sense of who they are and how they can be of value to their potential clients.

From there, we now need to look at ‘how’ we frame these conversations and how improving the client’s cashflow makes the greatest impact.

More about that in part 2 but in the meantime, you can get started in helping your clients by booking a FREE demo of Satago’s award winning platform.