Don’t Wait for Business to Come to You

hand using key to unlock doorIt’s called failure to implement. Ouch.

By Martin Bissett
Practice Growth Checklist

Have you noticed all of those titles in the local bookstore or at the airport offering us the “key” to this and the “key” to that, the “six keys” to one thing, and the “four keys” to another?

MORE: Your First Sale Is to Yourself
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It also seems that every book is a “game-changer” now, to the point where it is difficult to understand what the game is anymore, never mind how to play it.

Are You Marketing for 2022 Yet?

It’s not too early to plan for next season.

By Ed Mendlowitz
Tax Season Opportunity Guide

Marketing takes many forms. Further, many accountants are not trained in marketing. I also know that while most CPAs want more business, they are too busy with what they have to be actively seeking new business. Additionally, marketing can be external, internal or retentive.

MORE: Don’t Fire That Staffer on May 18! | What To Do with a Lousy Client? | But I AM Managing! | How to Run a Practice in 90 Pages | How Improv Can Help Accountants | Four Tips for New Partners | An Alternative to Pro Bono | 14 Better Uses for Timesheet Data
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External is where new clients are solicited. That takes effort, ingenuity, time and maybe even some money.

Your First Sale Is to Yourself

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 8.11.40 AMCan you win over your first client?

By Martin Bissett
The Martin Bissett Practice Growth System

Winning your first client is all about understanding why someone would buy from you before you ever speak to them, before you ever meet them before you ever start the preparation for talking to them.

MORE: Martin Bissett is the author of: Winning Your First Client | Passport to Partnership | Meet Your New Best Client and | Business Development on a Budget

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This discipline too often goes unexplained by most sales training programs offered to the accounting profession, but ultimately we have to be comfortable with who we are and the value that we offer.

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.

5 Ways to Incentivize Growth

number 5 drawn in sandMake it profitable for your employees to bring in business.

By Ty Hendrickson

Flash back a year ago, pre-pandemic, to yet another after-work networking event that you feel like you have to attend to build your practice. You have some good conversations with people you always see at these events. You have some food and drinks, but you don’t come home with any new real leads. The only thing you get is an extra pound on the scale in the morning and another night away from friends and family. Does this sound familiar?

MORE: Five Time Management Tips to Survive Busy Season | Sales Shouldn’t Be Scary | 5 Ways to Rethink the Way You Communicate | Get Goal-Ready for 2021 | Three W’s for Networking the Right Way
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Fast forward. Many of these events no longer exist … not that you were finding them all that effective anyway. How do you find leads in our current environment?

I Started A Consulting Practice the First Week of March

Five Reasons it Succeeded (So Far) Despite the Pandemic

By Bill Penczak

Everyone is no doubt glad the dumpster fire of 2020 has finally ended and that we have a new year to celebrate.   The accounting industry has endured layoffs, pay cuts, further consolidation, and firms continue to seek ways to remain relevant as compliance services become more commoditized and margins continue to diminish.  After contemplating the move for the greater part of 2019, in January 2020 I formed my articles of incorporation;  in February set up my website;  and in the first week of March, left my job running practice development for a firm that had been named the 5th fastest growing firm in the country the previous year to start my own consulting firm.

MORE: Re-Thinking Today’s Firm with Five Global Leaders | 5 Things Your Firm Should Do Differently This Summer | Do You Have the Guts to Beat the Covid Crisis? | How to Inoculate Your Firm against Covid Competition | ‘Found Money’ Delights Clients | The Three R’s for Beating the Corona Crisis
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Two weeks later, everything shut down and I thought I’d made the worst decision in my 40-year career.  It turned out to be the best.

Fast forward to year’s end, and I have four retainer clients, did a few projects for other clients, and have a healthy pipeline of other prospects. My business associates and advisors continually remind me that my role of helping firms create a sustainable process for growth and margin management became even more important during difficult times.  In better economies, companies want to grow more.  In tough economies, they must.

As I reflect on the past year, there are five reasons my consulting practice thrived despite a terrible economy, shutdowns, and the other things that made 2020 a year to forget, but at the same time, to cherish.  And perhaps lessons learned from which your firm may be able to benefit. READ MORE →

Sales Shouldn’t Be Scary

Hands using a calculatorHow a funnel will get you there.

By Ty Hendrickson

No, I haven’t lost my mind, I truly believe that all accountants should love sales.

MORE: Sell Your Services on Value, NOT Price | When Did Our Reaction to “NO” Change? | Build the Practice You Want in 4 Steps | Get Goal-Ready for 2021 | Maybe the Pandemic Isn’t All Bad | The REAL Problems Created in a Remote Workforce

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It is well known that the general sentiment in our industry is that business development is terrifying and not what we were trained to do as accountants. In reality, the fundamentals of sales are actually what accountants do best – number manipulation. Once the framework of sales is broken down to a numbers game, it becomes fun, exciting and dare I say, EASY!

Price-Sell-Deliver Is Broken

What to do instead.

By Matt Solomon

The way you price your services, how you sell them to clients and whether you can deliver at (or beyond) their expectations are key factors that determine the level of your success. If you do those three activities well, it should be easy to grow a profitable business, earn a great income and maintain a clear work/life balance.

MORE: The Path to a Conscious Business | Are You Running Your Practice by Default? | Your Secret Weapon for Exponential Profits
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The problem is that accountants often don’t know how to price, sell and deliver correctly. In fact, the old (traditional) model that accountants use to price, sell and deliver services to their customers often leads to customer dissatisfaction, employee frustration and you working too many hours under too much stress.