How to Turn Prospects Into Clients

Two businessmen talking at officeDon't be afraid to give them a "taster."

By Rob Nixon

Want more clients? Just doing more meetings is a good start. Once you have people actually meeting prospects and clients, you will go a long way to making sales.

MORE ON STRATEGY: How to Be a Guru in Sales | The 10 Keys to Selling Accounting Services | 6 Steps of Moving to Value Pricing | Feel Good About Yourself | How to Build Enduring Relationships | They Should All Be ‘A Class’ Clients | Accountants Are the Last Trusted Advisors | How to Structure Your Firm for Success
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As you monitor the conversion rate of each person (prospect to sale ratio), the number of meetings it takes to make a sale and the average sale value, then you need to work on improving each area. You are looking for a higher conversion rate and fewer meetings per sale at a higher average transaction value per sale.
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How to Be a Guru in Sales

Cheerful businesman jumping with dollar banknotes around him on backgroundProspects want to know what they'll get, not how you'll do it.

By Rob Nixon

Accountants can be really good at sales – with "gurulike" status.

MORE ON STRATEGY: The 10 Keys to Selling Accounting Services | 11 Ways to Move to Value Pricing | Get Rid of All Your Rates | You Can’t Lavish Time Unless You Have Time to Lavish | Changing Accountants: 2 True Tales | Your Clients on Your Terms | How Much Should Partners Make?
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If you have the inclination, being successful at sales is a skill that you can learn. It involves scripts, dialogues, practice, asking questions and following a sales process.
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The 10 Keys to Selling Accounting Services

Portrait of investment advisor businesswoman sitting at office in front of computer and consulting with young professional man.Four checklists and 40 factors for sales success.

By Rob Nixon

Think of the most successful salespeople you know.

MORE ON STRATEGY: 11 Ways to Move from Time to Value Pricing | Are Your Prices Too Low? | Never Charge by a Time Unit | Put Your Own Oxygen Mask On First
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If you were to list their traits and characteristics then I would imagine that this list would apply.

  1. Ethical
  2. Problem solver
  3. Personable
  4. Trustworthy
  5. Good communicator
  6. Persistent
  7. Passionate
  8. Good product knowledge
  9. Service-focused
  10. Good listener

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11 Ways to Move to Value Pricing

Plus: 13 benefits clients will happily pay for.

By Rob Nixon

As you go through the journey of value belief and client value perception, you have to be conscious of price parity.

MORE ON STRATEGY: Are Your Prices Too Low? | 6 Steps of Moving to Value Pricing | Feel Good About Yourself | How to Build Enduring Relationships | They Should All Be ‘A Class’ Clients | Accountants Are the Last Trusted Advisors | How to Structure Your Firm for Success | Why Average Project Value Matters
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

If a client has been paying $5,000 for your service and even if you feel it is worth twice as much, the client may not pay much more for it – particularly if it looks like the same service. Your client might pay 15 percent or 20 percent more, but double? – give me a break. Unless you completely redesign your product offering so it looks completely different, your current client will have a hard time paying the price.

But when it comes to new services that the client has never bought before – different story. There is no price parity with a new service that has not been purchased before – charge at will!
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Are Your Prices Too Low?

Businessman sleeping with a giant dollar bill for a blanketHow much value do you create for your clients?

By Rob Nixon

The most popular question I get is, "How do you determine the price?"

MORE ON STRATEGY: 6 Steps of Moving to Value Pricing | Get Rid of All Your Rates | You Can’t Lavish Time Unless You Have Time to Lavish | Changing Accountants: 2 True Tales | Your Clients on Your Terms | How Much Should Partners Make? | Be a History Maker
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to that. If you were in the commodity business (selling the same things that others sell) then it would be relatively easy – see what your competitors are selling their comparable product for and price yours higher or lower based on the quality of your product and service.
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6 Steps of Moving to Value Pricing

Chart depicting margin progression as outlined in articleYou'll end up with 4 main KPIs.

By Rob Nixon

The idea of value pricing is that your clients know how much the price will be before the work commences and you get a healthy margin in return for your intellectual capital/property.

MORE ON STRATEGY: Get Rid of All Your Rates | Never Charge by a Time Unit | Put Your Own Oxygen Mask On First | Define Client Wants Vs. Needs | The Entrepreneurial Accountant: An Oxymoron?
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With the implementation of value pricing your average hourly rate (AHR) should increase dramatically. There are two ways to measure AHR.
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Get Rid of All Your Rates

$50 bills in a wastebasketIf you have them in mind at all, you'll try to keep using them.

By Rob Nixon

I think this entire method of pricing by time is not only bad for you, it is bad for your client. It is highly unethical. There is no winner. There has to be a better way.

MORE ON STRATEGY: Never Charge by a Time Unit | Feel Good About Yourself | How to Build Enduring Relationships | They Should All Be ‘A Class’ Clients
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

The good news is, there is a better, more ethical way. It’s called value pricing.
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