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Looking to transform your CPA firm, tax business or accounting practice from low-paying, transactional customers to a much more consultative, pro-active retainer based business model? That's exactly what I'm going to cover here. I have over 1.5 Million Youtube Views and I cover this extensively on my Youtoube Channel. The Bottom of this page has some of my most popular Accounting Practice Youtube Videos at the footer of this article.
If you're a CPA, Accountant or bookkeeping company, you should check out what it means to move from the more transactional business model, to what I coined as being an "Outsourced Accountant".
I'm going to share with you how I dominated the local Certified Public Accounting firms in Minneapolis when I grew our little firm to nearly $1 Million in RECURRING revenue, by having about 100 companies paying us retainers at average of $800/month to do perform this outsourced accounting model.
Price wasn’t an issue with our clients.
Nick was the CPA, and I was the consultant and sales rep.
Nick did the taxes, bookkeeping and accounting. I helped prospect, run the meetings, build our value proposition and conveyed the value we would provide.
In the first 2 years I probably connected with 300 business owners, and I learned a ton.
We hit about 150 small business clients in the 3rd year, and I got it to a point where I was able to bring in high paying retainer clients faster than they could onboard them.
Each of these new customers were with another accounting firm or tax person before coming to us, and they were running eagerly into our loving arms, usually to pay 2-3 times more for our services.
Business owners were GENUINELY eager to hand extra money over to us, and leave their other accountant.
It wasn’t fair to the competition for a number of reasons, but in short, we simply outgunned them in 4 critical areas.
I remember in the second year I took a call from a business owner that said they were tired of their tax person because they were paying way too much – which was about $1,500 a year for tax returns. By the time they were done with us, they were paying over $800 a month and are still great clients at the old firm.
This isn’t juicy sales copy, this isn’t an attempt to pressure you into buying my outsourced accountant course; it’s to help you know that there’s a better way.
You can do what I did, and I’m here to help you understand exactly how to do this.
Lets unbox the three things that gave me an advantage over my competitors.
We help accountants, CPA’s, Bookkeepers and Tax Professionals build what we call an “Outsourced Accounting Firm”. I’ve put together a video course that shows exactly how to do this, and we build fast, high-ranking websites for firms including small individuals to larger companies. Also, we love to help CPA's and accountants of any size setup Paid Search ads that dominate the local area and drive sales, as well as helping with Small Business Search Engine Optimization.
Keep reading to learn more about how to grow a tax and accounting firm.
Tax returns & bookkeeping are a commoditized service, and every business owner hates that they have to perform these duties, let alone pay someone to do it.
Taxes are government theft, and the only good thing about bookkeeping, is that we can run our businesses better because of the financial insights we gain from it.
Accountants SUCK at identifying, conveying and understanding value.
They often think in terms of costs, not value.
It’s literally part of their job to account for the costs of things, and they’re often hard-wired against believing the excuse given for the value of and expense in a business.
If you want a successful business, you need to start building a more valuable service. You need to craft messaging and presentations about this value, and then put into practice these valuable services.
What valuable advice, strategy and tactic can you advise and implement for a customer?
What service is the most valuable to their efficiency and operations?
I’m not going to drone on here, this is meant to be VERY helpful and to the point.
Business owners want the following:
I’m only kind of kidding here.
Business owners have a desire to keep more of their hard-earned money and invest it into their own endeavors rather than the next government program, war, or bailout.
They desire mitigated taxes, but we also need to remember that just like icky medicine, sometimes things we don’t like in the moment are actually good for us.
Business owners, after you spend some time discussing things with them, will value the following:
I like these value propositions, and our clients really liked these value propositions.
These are the value propositions that I was able to create for my clients, and it stemmed from my time as a financial planner.
One of the things our Outsourced Accountant courses will reveal is how to uncover stupid amounts of value and portray them well to the client.
Another way that I was able to help our little accounting firm dominate was that I understood the math of a sales pipeline.
I didn’t even do this very well, but it was something that I learned in the financial planning and insurance markets.
Front End Activity is a Precursor to Sales Success.
You have to get lots of front-end activity in order to drive enough meetings and fill your sales funnel, it’s all about front end activity to hit your sales goal.
After you start to realize this, it really becomes a little bit of a numbers game.
In a lot of ways, it just turns into a game of baseball. You’re going to have to swing the bat at 10 different balls, and you’re probably going to hit between one and three of them. If you hit 1 to 3 of them, you’re gonna be able to get on base a handful of times, and after that, you’ll be able to actually make it home a fraction of those times.
Essentially, you start to realize that front end activity is what will fuel your business.
We had the opportunity to really embrace this idea because I spent all of my time either calling on new people, networking with business owners, or creating online content that served as a virtual meeting.
It’s really hard for anyone to be able to prospect and get enough from an activity to have success at sales, and it’s even harder for somebody who isn’t necessarily excited about prospecting, sales or even being an extrovert. You’re going to have to be careful and not let your propensity for accounting work get in the way of the activity that will actually lead to success.
How to Prospect:
We’ll dive more into how to do digital marketing and expand this, but for now, I’ll just tell you that you need to interact with people, share what you do, find ways to ask for meetings and make phone calls to people to see if they’d be interested.
DO NOT FEAR REJECTION
Know that if you ask 10 people, 1 will be interested. Once you get 10 interested and run those meetings, 2-3 will want to move forward. I hate this attitude, but it’s true, that just getting through the no’s will lead to a yes.
That probably made you sick to your stomach just thinking about it, but let me share something with you. NOBODY DOES THIS, and if you do this, you’ll be able to completely dominate the local markets.
If you prospect and call, outreach and network enough to get 1 new prospecting meeting on the books each day, then 2, you’ll have a successful practice before you know it.
I’m gonna talk a little bit about what it means to be a great sales person, but I want you to know that we were chomping at the bit to get the opportunity to perform analysis for our customers.
I was chomping at the bit to analyze and find S-Corp Opportunities.
The reason why we were so excited to perform this analysis, was because it fueled us every time we were able to find tax savings that hadn’t been realized yet, financial habits that needed to be molded, and business in-efficiencies that could be conquered by our services.
We couldn’t wait to walk in and find people that should be S Corps, that didn't have retirement plans open, that were wasting time and staff doing mediocre accounting stuff. We knew that we would be able to find value and help them out, which would inevitably lead to them handing over their hard earned money for us to make their lives better.
Seriously, you should be ITCHING to get into people’s finances so you can add a ton of value, help them reduce their taxes and help them build more financial momentum.
When you bump into that business owner that’s been a schedule C for decades, and you realize that they’ve been overpaying 7k a year in Self Employment taxes, you’ll quickly realize that these people DESERVE BETTER SERVICE.
Get excited about sales because the competition SUCKS and they’re really ripping off their clients by not helping them with good pro-active advice and life-giving services.
Don’t be passive, get excited and start to prospect.
I almost hate saying that it’s really all about great questions, because great questions are just a tool to create a connection and dialogue that’s fruitful, open, helpful and authentic.
You’ll want to develop the ability to probe, engage and perform a number of things in a meeting.
Skills You Should Develop:
Rather than telling them a problem they SHOULD have, share that “some people struggle with paying in their taxes throughout the year so they end the year without owing anything or getting a refund, have you ever had that happen to you? Would you like to have that kind of benefit?”
Great sales starts with showing genuine curiosity about the person and their world.
Identify what they value outside of work: family, social life, hobbies, dislikes, affinities etc. If they golf, hunt, work out, lift weights, watch a sports team, go to church, or any other activities. Find out what makes this person tick so you can more deeply understand what they value.
You need to work twice as hard as I ever did to build your abilities in sales and you’ll see that your business will flourish if you simply prospect and get really good at identifying what’s valuable to a client and serving as their guide to improve their lives.
The last thing that I was able to provide to Nuance financial is that I help them implement a superior digital marketing strategy.
You should check out our outsourced accounting course where you can learn exactly how to do digital marketing for your CPA firm, but here’s a couple of tidbits to help you today.
You can optimize your website and your online presence to send trust signals and showcase all of the trust that you’ve earned, and you can definitely gain market share with paid search advertising with google ads and Bing ads.
What more CPA's don’t understand, is that if they commit to a monthly budget, and pour some money into buying leads, they can quickly drive results in their local areas.
Get more Reviews than your competitors.
You're gonna want to try and get as many Google and Facebook reviews as possible because almost everything you do in your local area is going to trigger the Google my business and Bing places map. It sounds kind of funny, but Windows machines will use Microsoft Bing right out of the gate, and a less sophisticated user won't even know that they are not using Google because they have worked hard to make sure the Bing looks almost identical to the Google search engine results pages.
Here's how Nuance Financial Stands Out on Google Maps by having the most reviews.