By Hitendra Patil
Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant
When you pitch CAS to your existing clients and new prospects, your communication and messaging changes quite a lot. It is no more packages, hourly rates and standard deliverables mentioned on your website and in your emails, engagement letters and sales brochures/materials.
MORE: 21 Ways to Adjust Your Practice in 2021 | CAS Is, First, a Communication Challenge | Which of Your Existing Clients Are CAS-fit? | The Services That CAS Clients Need | Who’s Afraid of Client Accounting Services? | The Right Mindset for Client Accounting Services
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Communicating CAS to Your Existing Clients
CAS is NOT a sales pitch to your existing clients. It is a value pitch, an upgrade pitch.
You need to show them, measurably, what they are currently spending to get the end-to-end accounting done, including overhead, review and management cost, the opportunity cost of losing core business focus while attending to the accounting processes, etc. Then compare that with the total cost of your CAS offering.
Ensure to explain the distinct CAS advantages that you will deliver when you do their work with professional accounting processes and experience.
Business owners are usually concerned about the perceived sense of loss of control over performing some of their business processes, e.g., issuing invoices, paying bills, etc. Hence, they want to have the accounting software in their control. You will need to communicate and emphasize that they will not experience any change in how they performed specific tasks at their office. Explain to them that collaborative cloud technology helps them retain control at their end even when they hire you for CAS.
Use one of the most useful principles in successful advertising, i.e., the contrast principle, when explaining CAS benefits to your clients. By showing them what they will miss out on if they do not subscribe to your CAS offering, you will make them see the contrast of obtaining basic services versus CAS. Not all of your clients will see the value in CAS, but those who do will get convinced much faster when they see the contrast.
Communicating CAS with Your Prospects
Essentially, one part of communicating CAS is an expectation of a behavior change. Business owners would need to change their thinking pattern to let you take care of entire end-to-end accounting – rather than trying to manage it partly/fully themselves as they used to.
You may be aware of the loss aversion concept in behavioral economics, i.e., “losses loom larger than gains” (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979). It may, therefore, be more effective to demonstrate what prospects will lose if they don’t buy your CAS offering. Do not settle for the same old ways that brought you new accounting clients in the past.
One of the ways to ensure prospects see and understand what they will lose by not opting for CAS is to tell them first about CAS – and only then tell them about some of the lower-value services you offer. If you have done your prospecting reasonably well to attract CAS-fit prospects, more often than not, they will not be interested in lower-value services.
Another behavioral economics concept that is ingrained into this “tell about CAS first” is the concept of “anchoring.” People compare the information with some other information to make decisions. So, by telling first about CAS, the information you share later gets compared with CAS – which becomes the anchor – and invariably, people will see what they stand to lose if they don’t opt for CAS. This is NOT a gimmicky practice. CAS is more beneficial to the clients, and you are doing a great service to them by explaining the difference by telling about CAS first.