why clients didn’t buy more,
that scope creep seemed more certain than anything else…
…and that we seemed busier than ever despite having more staff.
In our transition from a compliance factory to a business advisory firm (value add services) we made 3 key mistakes. Unfortunately these mistakes are currently been made by 1000’s of accounting firms heading towards a less compliance dominated business.
Three Fundamental mistakes made in the shift away from compliance
The operational mindset of the compliance model just doesn’t work – do & charge creates uncertainty in clients minds
Upselling – leave that to the second hand car salesman (apologies to all car salesman for been generic)
Putting more people on to do the same thing leads to insanity!
Over the last 3 days I ran a 3 day workshop Practice Growth Formula to a bunch of accountants that addressed how not to make the same mistakes that I and everyone else are making.
The three pillars of the Practice Growth Formula
These three pillars help my firm transition our mindset and eventually our language that set us apart from other accounting firms and won us the better clients. In other words we transitioned away from the sea of sameness and truly became the leader in the market, but more importantly our clients got the results they wanted.
Pillar 1 – Premium Branding— What I discovered was I was perceived as the same as every other accountant. This was because how I looked at it (mindset), my past ways of working and the language used was no different than any other accountant my clients and prospects had in the past. Thus clients and prospects didn’t khow what we were offering was going to work as it seemed to them to be the same as what we had always done for them in the past.
Premium branding is about:
- Perception – no cost marketing;
- Engagement – conversations that make them feel you know them better than themselves; and
- Value vs Transactional – something they want, not ‘had to have’.
Practice Growth Formula workshop was about designing and knowing how to set up a firm that is focused on value delivery – ie. Value Add Service Delivery Model.
Participants also said they discovered:
“A strategy to implement (that) made me realise why it wasn’t working now”
“Ways to get better engagement from my clients”
- Strategic interaction – ie. conversations about solutions, not operational stuff;
- Organisation Straucture that free partners up to deliver strategic solutions; and
- Clients needs vs Wants – deliver results not a tax return
The workshop was designed to deliver an understanding about why the right structure provides clarity for growth – Strategic Organisational Model.
Participants also discovered:
“(how to) refocus where I need to be and use my team more appropriately”
“(how to make) sure I focus on myself and implement”
- Model – Easy to see what they get
- System – Easy to know what to deliver
- Duplicated Delivery – Process to following every time, one that rolls out to 100’s not 1 or 2
The workshop was designed to create certainty in the minds of clients in knowing what they get, and certainty that the team knows exactly what to deliver – Packages and Products.
Participants of the workshop, also discovered for themselves
“Focus on client needs and produce packages and products that provide solutions”
“Develop scripts that leave clients engaged and committed”
The results of applying the three pillars in our firm
Our firm tripled its clients’ average fee!
Premium Branding changed our conversations and perception in the market but more importantly with our clients who bought more.
Premium Positioning simply freed the partners up to work more closely with clients on strategies that produced results for them.
Premium Offering made it easy for clients to see what they got (Value) and the team to know what to deliver – eliminating scope creep, saving us $250,000 -$500,000 a year.
What we also realised was that it was much easier to have someone on the outside driving us than trying it all ourselves. Getting out of the ‘day to day’ takes effort and focus.