Accountants Can Change the World

Networks of firms will be the future.

By Rob Nixon

I am very excited about the accounting profession. It’s a noble industry that has a general perception of being a bit boring, staid and dull.

MORE ON STRATEGY: Design Your Business Model – It’s Yours! | 9 Steps to Implementing Anything | 5 Steps to Building a High-Performing Team | How to Turn Prospects Into Clients | Get Rid of All Your Rates | Your Clients on Your Terms | Why ‘Steady as She Goes’ Isn’t Enough | The Final Critical Traits: How Do Your Tires Look?
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I disagree. I think if the business is run correctly it can be a fabulous business that provides an awesome lifestyle for everyone in it.
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Design Your Business Model – It’s Yours!

Young black woman sitting in front of laptop looking thoughtful

By Rob Nixon

Remember this: Your accounting firm is a business that you have bought into, inherited or started.

MORE ON STRATEGY: 9 Steps to Implementing Anything | Getting Buy-In | ‘Great Questions’ of a Sales Meeting | Are Your Prices Too Low? | Never Charge by a Time Unit | Put Your Own Oxygen Mask On First | Define Client Wants Vs. Needs | Mindset Is Everything | The Entrepreneurial Accountant: An Oxymoron? | Growth Is All About the Clients
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It is not a job where you are told what to do. It is a business where you can call the shots. It is not your clients' business or your employees' business – it’s your business!
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9 Steps to Implementing Anything

Two men at whiteboardWhy spend time developing plans otherwise?

By Rob Nixon

What’s the point of coming up with an idea unless it is implemented? If the idea is worthy of the research, thinking, brainstorming and effort needed to crystallize it then don’t you think it deserves to be implemented? Yet many good ideas are not implemented.

MORE ON STRATEGY: Getting Buy-In | Is Your Business Culture Growing or Dying? | 12 Steps of a Successful Sales Meeting | The 10 Keys to Selling Accounting Services | 6 Steps of Moving to Value Pricing | How to Build Enduring Relationships
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Implementation is relatively easy if you know how to implement anything. I learned how to implement projects through necessity.
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Getting Buy-In

Businesspeople joining their hands in the sign of unity8 questions to consider.

By Rob Nixon

One of the most common questions in relation to team members is getting them to buy in to your new ideas. Having your team right behind you as you conquer the world!

MORE ON STRATEGY: Is Your Business Culture Growing or Dying? | 5 Steps to Building a High-Performing Team | How to Be a Guru in Sales | Are Your Prices Too Low? | Never Charge by a Time Unit | Put Your Own Oxygen Mask On First | Define Client Wants Vs. Needs | Mindset Is Everything | The Entrepreneurial Accountant: An Oxymoron?
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Team buy-in is all about change management. The more aligned you are as a business, the faster and easier you will be able reach your goals.
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Is Your Business Culture Growing or Dying?

Smiling businesswoman offering a handshakeCase study: 14 core performance standards and six core values.

By Rob Nixon

What is a culture?

Think back to your high school science days. A culture is a growth. It’s a living organism.

MORE ON STRATEGY: 5 Steps to Building a High-Performing Team | ‘Great Questions’ of a Sales Meeting | How to Be a Guru in Sales | Are Your Prices Too Low? | Never Charge by a Time Unit | Put Your Own Oxygen Mask On First | Wants Vs. Needs
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Just like a business culture. If your culture is not a growing-based culture then it is a dying culture.
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5 Steps to Building a High-Performing Team

Two partners celebrating business success outside9 things successful teams in sports and business have in common.

By Rob Nixon

When it comes to sporting success what is better, a team of champions or a championship team?

MORE ON STRATEGY: ‘Great Questions’ of a Sales Meeting | 12 Steps of a Successful Sales Meeting | 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
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You know the answer. A championship team will beat a team of champions every single time. The sporting arena is littered with successes in which a team that works well together outperforms the team that has the superstars and big names.
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‘Great Questions’ of a Sales Meeting

IllustrationPlus tips on objections and presenting.

By Rob Nixon

Being a sales success is not about telling. It’s about asking open-ended questions and listening. Really listening.

MORE ON STRATEGY: 12 Steps of a Successful Sales Meeting | How to Turn Prospects Into Clients | 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
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My model of "great questions" shown here is about asking questions in a sequence. After years of testing, the sequence must be followed to the letter. You will see it follows my 12-step approach to the successful meeting.
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12 Steps of a Successful Sales Meeting

Here's a role-playing exercise that can reap real results.

By Rob Nixon

If you went to a sales training course a few decades ago you would have been educated that "selling is telling." That might have been the case when product quality was the key differentiator and to sell your product.

MORE ON STRATEGY: How to Turn Prospects Into Clients | How to Be a Guru in Sales | Are Your Prices Too Low? | Never Charge by a Time Unit | Put Your Own Oxygen Mask On First | Define Client Wants Vs. Needs | Mindset Is Everything | The Entrepreneurial Accountant: An Oxymoron? | Growth Is All About the Clients | Change Is On the Horizon
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You would follow the old formula of F.A.B. – features, advantages and benefits. You were taught to talk about the features of your product, talk about the advantages of the product and then finally (after more talking) you would tell the client the benefits of the product.
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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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