Why does anyone go into business and make the sacrifices they make? In short, it’s so that we can have the life that we want. The reason I went into business is simple….. it’s so that I could take my children to and from school every day. That’s it and that’s what I do.
Then once I achieved that goal, it was so that we could live in the house that we wanted to and then it was for my wife to be able to leave full-time employment.
Now the goal is to not have to work during the school holidays so I can spend more time with my family and then it will be for us to buy our holiday home on the coast.
But in order to have the life that we want, we need to be able to make money AND have the time we need to enjoy it.
One of the key contributing factors in our ability to make money is having a robust finance function installed in our business and we look to accountancy firms to help to implement that that finance function.
Very often, accountancy firms fall short of providing the FULL finance function and leave their clients short by only providing the compliance function.
This is why I’m so committed to working with accountants in helping them to really see the full extent of what their clients need, to discover the full value they’re able to provide and to price profitably when charging for that function.
But even the accountancy firms which ARE doing it, often stop short in understanding WHY their clients need this.
Communicating your value to your clients
Your value in the world is directly proportional to the size of the problems you solve
If you want to be a more valuable accountancy firm in the eyes of your clients, you need to solve bigger problems.
The biggest problem they are looking to have solved is helping them achieve the life that they want.
But before you can do that, you need to know what that life is.
If the conversations you’re having with your clients are not centred around their personal goals, then you have no way of helping them to get there.
Your clients don’t care about Balance Sheets and P&L. They care about whether they’re able to buy that house they want or take those holidays they want to take.
Their business is just the vehicle to get them there.
Very often accountancy firms become distracted with all the noise of the industry, whether that AI, MTD or GDPR.
The focus needs to be on how we can positively impact the lives of the people we serve.
As I keep saying, we’re not in the accounting business, we’re in the people business.
So we need to start having real conversations with people first, then talk to them as your client second.
6 questions to deliver more value
Here are 6 questions you should be asking your clients if you are going to maximize the value you’re able to provide and receive in return.
1. What is important to you in your life?
2. What would make this year a great year personally?
3. What would you need to achieve in your business to achieve those goals?
4. How can we help you to get there faster?
5. What information do you need from us to know you’re on track in reaching those goals?
6. How can we best help you to stay on track?
If you want to be the most valuable accountancy firm you can be, now and in the future, these are the types of conversations you should be having with your clients.
People first. Clients second.