The GLOSS Method™ is the framework we developed for our accountancy firm, to guide every sales meeting and fee review with our clients.  It switches the focus away from you, your services and your products, and instead, focusses on the client.

It’s a logical, consultative approach that ensures you’re giving the most value you can to your clients, helping them to reach their goals and solving their greatest challenges.

It’s so beneficial your entire team will willingly use it, and it’s so transparent, you can even communicate the process to your clients.

The results we’ve seen in our firm, just over the last 12 months have been outstanding.

We’ve been able to deliver significantly more value to our clients and as a result, have grown our revenue by 40% and half of that growth has come from the conversations we’ve had with existing clients.

So GLOSS stands for…

  • Goals
  • Location
  • Obstacles
  • Speed
  • Solution

GOALS – Where are they trying to get to?

Like any journey, we must first understand where your clients are trying to get to if we are to help them get there. The real magic of this step is to focus on their personal goals first and their business goals second. Ultimately, the only reason they’re in business is to get the life that they want, so personal goals should be the initial focus of this conversation.

  • What are their personal goals?
  • What are their business goals?
  • Think 90 days, 1 year and 3 years  and ultimately

Questions to inspire them in this section are…

  • What would a perfect week look like for you?
  • What are some immediate wins that would help you to get closer towards achieving your personal goals?
  • What would make this a great year for you and your family?
  • What would you ideally like your revenue to be in 12 months time?
  • What would success look like for your business after we’ve been working together for 3 years?
  • What’s the dream?

LOCATION – Where are they now?

Before you can give anyone directions towards a destination, you must first understand exactly where they are now. This information is critical when it comes to costing the solution you’re about to provide and the only way to achieve this effectively is using to use dynamic pricing. Here we are looking for things like revenue, number of staff, number of transactions & debtor days to pinpoint their location and help us arrive at a logical price.

When using dynamic pricing, you’ll need the following parameters …

  • Industry
  • Revenue
  • Quality of record keeping (determined by you)
  • No. of Staff
  • No. of Directors
  • No. of transactions
  • No. of invoices
  • No. of purchase invoices

OBSTACLES – What stands in their way?

Now we know where they are and where they’re trying to get to, we need to understand the obstacles which stand in their way. These obstacles are normally created out of a lack of one or more resources. Discovering the obstacles, will help to inform the services they need and the exact service levels.

What is preventing them from reaching their goals in terms of…

  • Time
  • Money
  • People
  • Knowledge
  • Technology

SPEED – How fast do they want to go?

Before you present your solution to the client, you need to understand how fast they want to go. This speed is dictated by their ambitions and will ensure you’re presenting the correct level of service. It also puts an element of onus onto the client to determine their level of investment. If they want to go faster and do less, that’s fine, but it will cost them more.

There is a great answer to the question: “How much will it cost?” And that is: “It depends how fast you want to go.”

  • If you want to go fast, we can do everything for you and free up you and your team completely.
  • If you want to go slower, we can do most things for you and train you & your team how to do the rest. We can then support you in those activities moving forwards.
  • If you have a lot of time and you want to keep costs down, then you can do most of it yourself, so long as it conforms to our standards.

SOLUTION – What’s the best solution?

After going through this consultative process of knowing where they are, where they want to get to, what’s blocking the way and how fast they want to go, you can now present the solution. This will be a combination of services, products, software and training with the associated investment costs. This best solution should be presented efficiently, clearly and confidently.

  • Don’t give the client too much choice as it’s not fair on them.
  • You’re the trusted adviser. Be confident and be authoritative
  • Make no assumptions and just offer them the best solution that you would want, if you were them, knowing what you know.
  • ”Based on where you are now, where you’re trying to get to, the obstacles in your way and the speed you want to go at, this is the best solution we suggest.”

What You Need To Make It Work

In order for The GLOSS Method™to work as described, there are a few things which you must have in place.

Dynamic Pricing

Firstly, you need to use ‘dynamic pricing’ to price all of your services. This is essentially a fixed pricing model which has the ability flex, dependent on the client’s circumstances and required service levels.

There was nothing on the market which could achieve this so we used to use Excel as it was the only thing that gave us the flexibility of formulas and calculations required. But while accountants love Excel, it’s not a very pretty or professional solution to present fees to your clients.

Client-Facing

Secondly, this whole process had to be client-facing. You can’t complete GLOS in front of the client ands then attempt the final S after they’ve left. This only works if the entire process is completed WITH the client. So you need a clear menu of services so you can agree the fees with the client.

Instant Documentation

Thirdly, as well as agreeing the fees with the client, you also need to be able to produce the required documentation in front of the client too. We advocate creating a Proposal and a Letter of Engagement.

The Proposal should include the fees, the descriptions of the services and what they need to do next to sign up. The Letter of Engagement should include all the legals, the Terms & Conditions and the Service Schedule for those Services.

Again, there was nothing on the market that could do this in the way we wanted to do it, as the software we were using at the time was something designed for our admin team to use to construct these documents after the client had left. It saved us time and automated a process which was great, but didn’t allow us to deliver The GLOSS Method™as it was intended.

How We Solved This

So as you may already know, we had to develop our own software to help us to deliver this process with maximum impact. We built it using Dynamic Pricing, a client-facing menu of services and instant documentation as described above. It’s called GoProposal.

I don’t need to do a sales pitch for it here, other than to say it is now being used by hundreds of accountancy firms around the world, it was voted the #1 proposal software for accountants in an independent study and we even give you all of our firm’s pricing methodology as a starting point, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Sales pitch over. Let me now give you some video guidance and documentation to really help you to dial this process into your firm.

The GLOSS Method™ Explainer Video

If you want to learn more about how to deliver The GLOSS Method™ to your clients, then I have a deep dive video for you to watch here.

The GLOSS Method™ Diagram & Documentation

If you’re a GoProposal member, then we’ve just produced an in-depth, print-ready document with an overview and explainer poster for your team. This highlights the key questions you should be asking with some extra guidance notes.

As the process is so transparent, I’ve also included 3 client-facing posters/documents you can use to communicate the value to them too. The three variations are dependant on what level of information you want to communicate to them about the process.

If you’re not a GoProposal member yet, here’s an overview poster of how the process works for you to download and print out.

The Growth of The GLOSS Method™

What I think’s really exciting about all this, is that I’m now getting feedback from accountancy and bookkeeping businesses in Canada, America, Australia, the UK, Ireland, South Africa and more recently Norway, who have adopted this method with great success.

I can’t say for certain, but The GLOSS Method™ is now probably the most widely adopted sales framework for accountancy firms around the world.

If you use it, I’d love to hear of the results you’re getting.

If not, I’d love for you to give it a whirl and help to spread The GLOSS Method™ even further, so you can maximise the value of your clients to an even higher level.

James Ashford

James Ashford

James is the Founder of GoProposal, Director of MAP., Keynote Speaker & Bestselling Author of "Selling to Serve". He helps accountants and bookkeepers around the world to price more profitably, sell more confidently and to give significantly more value to their clients.