Speak to Client Needs
Every CPA I talk with tells me he or she knows his or her clients. As the conversation evolves, however, it becomes clear that they do not know anything about the inner workings of their clients’ businesses or about the specific challenges the businesses are facing. Most CPAs know only a little bit about many of the industries in which their clients do business (or they know something about two or three industries). And because they do not work with their clients based on this knowledge, they have no opportunity to demonstrate their problem-solving abilities.
A touch point is a point of contact or communication between you and your clients and prospects. Every touch point creates a perception of you (or your business) in the mind of the client or prospective client. The perception created in each interaction with the client contributes to the client’s impression of you or your business.
Creating a positive impression with your client requires consistent positive perceptions at every touch point throughout your relationship. Creating meaningful client touch points is a multi-step process:
I hate to admit this, but I have not been to the dentist in two years. For that, shame on me. To make it worse, I have dental insurance – shame on me again. My insurance would have paid for all of the routine things.
For the last two years, my dentist received no revenue from me or from my insurance company. Shame on him!
If your CPA firm offers wealth management services or other premium services and programs and you are doing taxes or annual reports by email, you are missing huge opportunities. When your only communication with a client is by e-mail, you have no opportunity to build a relationship. If this is the case, you are getting work done. But you are not developing a relationship with your client, and the relationship is what will open other opportunities.
If your firm offers wealth management services and you have not created a process for selling those services to a target group of accounting clients during the current busy season, you can still start a process of identifying target clients this year. One common reason given by CPA firms for not selling wealth management services by scheduling appointments during the busy season/ tax season for later in the spring or summer is that they have never had time to segment their client list
We commonly hear that people in accounting and financial services are uncomfortable with the idea of selling new or additional services to their clients. There are people who feel that the personalities of accounting and financial services professionals and sales professionals are so different as to make it impossible for services professionals to be able to sell effectively. There might be people who cannot sell under any circumstances; but they are few. The rest of us can learn to sell; and cross-selling is the easiest technique to learn.