Effective Networking is an Art

Four people meeting for business lunchListen to learn … about the speaker and yourself.

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals: Thriving in Disruption

There is no one right way to effectively network. You can join boards, attend conferences and sign onto various electronic forums, among other ways. No matter how you decide to get yourself “out there,” the critical factor is the approach you take. “How may I help you?” is the positive, proactive way to establish a relationship.

MORE: Avoid Last-Minute Deal Making | Five Common Negotiating Mistakes | Reaching for Authenticity in Client Service | Deadlines? Ha! Don’t Make Me Laugh | Organizational Change Starts and Ends with People | Busyness Isn’t the Same as Productivity
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You as the networker are seeking to build a relationship. If the other person or group benefits from your effort, think of it as an investment for the future. If you are looking for an immediate quid pro quo, it will become transparent to the other party. When you offer assistance, be authentic and sincere in your words and actions. Follow through on your promises.
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The Six Types of “Impossible” Clients

Not that there aren’t others.

By Ed Mendlowitz
Call Me Before You Do Anything: The Art of Accounting

As a CPA, I deal with many types of clients’ personalities. If I chose only one type, I would not have had much of a practice. And I doubt I would have found that one perfect type too many times. I have been very fortunate to have really nice and very smart people as clients.

MORE: 50 Ways to Make More Money in Busy Season | 14 Simple, Easy Tips for a Better Tax Season | How to Recoup Staff Training Costs | 10 Ways to Stay in Control | Advice to New Accountants | Clients Don’t Lose Sleep for Overpaying Taxes | When Time-Based Pricing Works
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I believe entrepreneurs are the most stimulating people to work with. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t have peculiarities and that this sometimes makes them difficult to deal with – sometimes, but fortunately not most of the time.

Here are six examples of types I had to put up with and had to learn to overlook some of the unfortunate traits.
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Five Common Negotiating Mistakes

Three people speaking by videoconferenceYou’re after success, not a “win.”

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

We enter into negotiations every day without realizing it, whether it is on a professional or personal basis. Irrespective of whether it is a contractual transaction between a company and vendor or if a husband and wife are deciding on which couch to buy, each side is seeking to gain something. Neither side may get everything it wants because an all-or-nothing-at-all approach will be a barrier to making any progress.

MORE: Courtesy Still Matters | Business Is About Relationships | Can a CPA Firm Be Different in a Changing Market? | A Rapidly Changing Business Environment Requires Flexibility | Another Meeting?!?! … Sigh | Organizational Trust: Top-Down and Bottom-Up | How Can Change Management Really Produce Change? | Trust: One Building Block of Success
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Negotiating involves getting and keeping agreements that work for all parties. You can reach an agreement but the issue is whether you can maintain the agreement and the relationship built around it. Both sides need to have a sense of “victory” or at the very least, feel they have not lost, because if this should occur then further conflict will result.
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Courtesy Still Matters

Business people laughing at lunch in a cafe outdoorsWhy aren’t you more successful? Make sure this isn’t the reason.

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

Technology has overtaken the traditional forms of communication that include face-to-face interaction, telephone conversations and of course, the handwritten or typed note slipped into an envelope, affixed with a stamp and dropped in the mailbox.

MORE: Business Is About Relationships | Reaching for Authenticity in Client Service | Deadlines? Ha! Don’t Make Me Laugh | Organizational Change Starts and Ends with People | Busyness Isn’t the Same as Productivity | Staff Orientation: A Little Investment Goes a Long Way
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

But wait. How can professionals succeed if the situation calls for in-person interaction if they have not been given the necessary training in the art of a conversation? Whether you are involved in a job interview or entertaining a potential client over a meal, how you exercise the appropriate behavior will determine whether a relationship is forged or tossed on the pile of failed results.
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