Put Your Own Oxygen Mask On First

Woman resting feet up on globe with hot air balloon in distanceEveryone has a Ferrari.

By Rob Nixon

No doubt you have been on an airplane and endured the mandatory safety briefing. Every safety briefing has the oxygen mask discussion. On every flight I have ever been on they say (or infer) the same thing: "Make sure you put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others."

MORE ON STRATEGY: How to Build Enduring Relationships | Changing Accountants: 2 True Tales | Your Clients on Your Terms | How Much Should Partners Make? | Be a History Maker | Experience Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does | Why ‘Steady as She Goes’ Isn’t Enough | The Final Critical Traits: How Do Your Tires Look?
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What they are saying is that if you are calm, relaxed and in control you can help others survive. The same applies to the accounting business. If you (as the advisor) are healthy, fit, relaxed, in control, successful and wealthy, then you can help others to be the same.
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How to Build Enduring Relationships

Woman explaining financial brochure to manA 10-point communication schedule and 12 performance standards.

By Rob Nixon

When you get a lead for a new client you are so excited. It’s almost like a potential new love has entered your life.

MORE ON STRATEGY: Changing Accountants: 2 True Tales | Define Client Wants Vs. Needs | Mindset Is Everything | The Entrepreneurial Accountant: An Oxymoron? | Growth Is All About the Clients | Change Is On the Horizon | Order Takers and History Writers
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To seal the deal you really woo the potential client in the dating period and you dance for a few weeks while you make all sorts of promises. Finally they commit to being engaged to you and the client agrees to your promises and charm. You are even more excited.
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Changing Accountants: 2 True Tales

Two men at whiteboardYou have expertise. Use it.

By Rob Nixon

If you ask the right questions in the right order you will find out what your clients really need – not what they want.

MORE ON STRATEGY: Define Client Wants Vs. Needs | They Should All Be ‘A Class’ Clients | Accountants Are the Last Trusted Advisors | Do Your Clients Want More? | Sales Is about Trust | How Offshoring Is Shaking Up Accounting
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Not doing so is doing your clients a complete disservice.
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Define Client Wants Vs. Needs

Woman and man shaking hands across a deskBuild looking for opportunity into every job.

By Rob Nixon

Why do clients come to you from another firm? Okay, I know you are good and the best accountant around but really – why?

MORE ON STRATEGY: They Should All Be ‘A Class’ Clients | Your Clients on Your Terms | How Much Should Partners Make? | Be a History Maker | Experience Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does | Why ‘Steady as She Goes’ Isn’t Enough | The Final Critical Traits: How Do Your Tires Look? | How to Calculate a Value Price
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Do you ask every client why they left the other firm and chose you? Probably not. When it all boils down, clients leave one firm for another for just two reasons:
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They Should All Be ‘A Class’ Clients

Red and black letter A with upward arrow swoosh in centerPlus 10 sample criteria.

By Rob Nixon

Every client you have should be an "A" class client.

MORE ON STRATEGY: Your Clients on Your Terms | Mindset Is Everything | The Entrepreneurial Accountant: An Oxymoron? | How to Structure Your Firm for Success | Why Average Project Value Matters | The Bizarre Habits of Accountants
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You have all sorts of clients. Some have great potential, they are open to new ideas, they pay your bills on time, are pleasant to your team and are generally great to deal with – they might be your A’s. Others have no potential, they are closed-minded, they moan and groan about everything and are a general pain in the rear – they might be classed as a "D" class clients.
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Your Clients on Your Terms

Two businesswomen shaking handsWho should dictate how to run things? And are your accountants doing too much admin work?

By Rob Nixon

It’s interesting how accounting practices evolve with their clients. It seems that over the years, the clients have just turned up (via referral mainly) and you have accepted all who walk through your door – almost like your firm is a community service or a charity.

MORE ON STRATEGY: Mindset Is Everything | Accountants Are the Last Trusted Advisors | Why Average Project Value Matters | The Bizarre Habits of Accountants | Sales Is Like Workflow Management | Marketing Objectives Determine Marketing Amount | Turn Your Knowledge Into Products | How to Create 4 New Billable Hours per Day | Is Your Business By Design or Default? | The World Is Flat | The Profession Disrupted: Compliance Commoditized
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As time passes, the clients stay with you and many of them are not that enjoyable to deal with. Many of your current clients do not fit your direction and they supply information in a format and timeframe that suits them. It’s not your clients’ business, it’s your business!
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Mindset Is Everything

Businesswoman with crossed arms smiling, skyline in background5 ways Sir Richard Branson has nailed success.

By Rob Nixon

If you want to run a thriving accounting business you need to need to change the way you think.

MORE ON STRATEGY: Accountants Are the Last Trusted Advisors | How Much Should Partners Make? | Be a History Maker | Experience Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does | Why ‘Steady as She Goes’ Isn’t Enough | Boost Efficiency and Your Bottom Line | Marketing Must Generate Leads | Be an 'Object of Interest'
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How you think and what you think about is crucial to your success. I meet many accountants who have low self-esteem.
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