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Your Guide to Selling for Accountants

So, whenever you’re meeting with these potential clients, and you’re having the appointment and you’re getting to that end piece…and it’s kind of awkward. Because you’re sitting there and, you’re getting to that end. Are you going to get a new client? Are they going to say, no? Are they going to reject you? Are they going to reject you right now? Are they going to say they like it? They want it, they need it or are they going to say, “Oh, I need to check with three other people.” You’re kind of getting closer to that moment. This is selling for accountants. 

Every sort of little emotion that you have inside of you is sort of pulling you to not do the thing that is going to get you the best outcome. It’s pulling you towards, “I’ll just send you an invoice.” 

Or, “I’ll just send you an engagement letter. Well, why don’t you just send me your QuickBooks file and I’ll take a look at that… or why don’t you send me your prior tax returns. I’ll take a look at that. Just send that to me and then we’ll go from there.”

Selling for accountants is interesting because you get to that end point, you put in all that work, all that conversation, and then you sort of sabotage your ability to get the yes. And if you’re watching this video right now, my guess is that if you’ve done that, you’ve probably had people where you send that invoice. You send that engagement letter and in your mind, you even closed the sale. You got the client, but then you’re sitting there checking, refreshing your email.

Hang on. No, let me see if I can refresh it again here. Oh no, no. I could send them an email. I didn’t hear from him tonight and hear from him tomorrow the next day, the next day.” Right. You didn’t finish selling the client. That happens to you so many times, it happened to me, dozens and dozens of times when I first started out in business, it happens to you so many times. And then eventually you say, “I can’t do this anymore.” I’ve got to find a different way to do this. Because you don’t want to put yourself in that position. And so what do you do? 

And I spoke to a client of mine. He was thinking about working with us. He would do a presentation first and sort of a speaking event. And then he would have a 50 minute consultation with them and then another 50 minute consultation with them. And then he would send them an agreement and hope that they sign. So, he would do three hours, one hour in a group setting, two hours one-on-one looking over their materials before he would even send them an agreement  or an invoice. And even then they wouldn’t sign. 

When selling for accountants, what you’ve got to understand is this is crazy. I mean, you giving those meetings are valuable. Those interactions are valuable, especially if you’re running them the right way. Now you might not be, maybe your meetings with clients aren’t as valuable right now as they could be, but you want to make them valuable.

Your time is valuable in and of itself. Getting your insight, getting your analysis might be second nature, but for this client, it could be related to one of the darkest and biggest problem areas of their life, right? And finances, money, taxes, accounting, there could be some serious issues going on. So, you’ve got to value that time. You don’t want to have three of those meetings before you even ask somebody, because then you’ve got this huge sales process. 

So it was interesting because I spoke with this individual and he was thinking about working with me and we had our appointment, and we went through 300 slides with him about what it is to work with us and everything. Then at the end he said he wanted to talk it over with his wife and go through the process.

We have a whole process. We do deal with those kinds of objections, but we determined at the end, it made the most sense for him in his business to have a discussion with his wife, get her on board for them to be able to come on as a team together in the business and in their personal life and all that. And so he said, yeah, I can definitely make a decision by X date. I talked to him yesterday and he said, “Well, I need to kind of work through my process. You got to give me some more time.”  His number one problem is that his sales process is too long. And I told them at the end of that meeting, 

I told him if we were to work together, I mean, working with me, it’s not cheap. It’s not free. It’s a big investment. We put a lot of time, energy and effort working with people, but it is a big investment. I said, “I don’t think I would feel comfortable with us going forward at this point, if you were to come back in a day or two days or three days, because the problem is you want your clients to sign up with you on the first meeting. That’s the reason you’re joining with me is to shorten your sales process from three meetings down to one.. But we had our first meeting, which is where we normally make a decision. You didn’t want to make a decision then. So then we had our second meeting.  If you won’t make a decision after three meetings, but you want your prospects to make a decision after one meeting, I said, I can already tell you right now, even if you come back and you work with me, it will not work. Why won’t it work? And this is a key point for any of you out there that have struggled with the end of this call at the end of these conversations, sending out engagement letters, sending out invoices and doing the hope and the pray method, please, please come back. Right? The reason why is because he wants other people to treat him a certain way, but he won’t treat people that way.

There’s an incongruence inside of him, right? He’s expecting other people to do things for him that he’s not willing to do for other people. So what will end up happening is he’ll get on the calls and he’ll just fall back into the same habits because he’s not at the point where he realizes how bad this problem is.  It’s the golden rule. Treat others how you want to be treated. One of my mentors told me that you want to sell the way you want to buy. So you have to be a great buyer. If you want to be a great seller, I’m a great buyer. I see something of value pop. Sometimes I’ll just send an email and send the money. I don’t even need to talk to the person because I can already tell, I need that. I want that. Boom.

I don’t need to waste your time with the call. Let’s do it. And so when I see something of value, I will let the money rush out of my hands because I want to be able to let it rush into my hands when it’s warranted, when there is value there. But I told him, I said, “You know, man, I just don’t know if it would even work.” I ended up rejecting him at that point and I think it was the right thing to do, and even if he came back today, we would say no, because I don’t think we can help him. When that happens with us, like we bring somebody on, we dedicate all these resources. If we already know we can’t help them, I’m not going to bring a plumber onboard to work with us in the way we structure our business right now.

If somebody is a plumber, they have zero tax and accounting experience. We’ve totally changed our business now where we work with people that already have experience, already are in the industry, and take them to another level. We used to do more starters, you know, years ago. But in the middle of last year, we really switched our whole company. So if you’re having that problem, the question is, how do you buy? Selling for accountants is about being aware of who you are stringing along right now? If you’re grinding people down, like I had a friend of mine who would go down to the beaches in Mexico and he would just grind these guys down…they’re charging like $6 for beads, We’re talking about beads, right? This guy was doing fine. He’s grinding them down $4, $2. If you’re grinding people down on the beaches of Mexico to save $4, but then you think you can go back to the United States or wherever you live and you can command a high end price for a high end service on the first call? You got another thing coming. 

So, if you’re having a problem with that, I would say, number one, are you actually providing value on those calls? Those calls are valuable in and of themselves. If they are, do not give away more than one. And if you have to do the second one, the second one and a value call, the second is a check in call. I mean, let’s make a decision call. And if they don’t want to make a decision after that, you have to cut it off. If they want to come back, they better be begging because they’ve already treated you in a way that shows they’re not going to be the best client. 

The best clients make a decision quickly. The best clients pay up front. The best clients pay in full. The best clients are grateful. The best clients will refer you out to other people. The best clients sing your praises, the best clients are amazing contributors to every team member in your company. They treat your team members and your employees with respect. They treat you with respect. They do what they’re supposed to do early and upfront. Those are what the best clients do. But when somebody is already showing you these signs, then you know, they’re already showing you who they’re going to be. It’s a difficult thing, because you have to be honest with yourself right now, based on this video, you’re watching this right now. Is the problem you, or is it that person? If the problem is you, you might not be giving value on those calls. If you’re not even asking for the sale on the call, then it’s not your fault because people aren’t taking advantage of you.

You just didn’t even ask. It’s like I have a client with an average tax prep fee on a business return, $500 bucks. I was like, well, did you even ask for $1500 now? Well obviously you didn’t get it because nobody says, “Your price is $500. Hmm, nah, let’s do $1500.” So if you’re not even asking and you’re telling them the process is to send them an invoice and review their QuickBooks file and send them an engagement letter and wait five days. That process, that’s your fault. So you’ve got to change, but either way, you’ve got to change. You’ve got to change by showing more value on the call. You got to change by asking for the decision.. Then you’ve got to change by setting boundaries and letting them know this is the way that it goes and holding them to it.

Honestly, when you do that, it’s actually a really fun part of the process. And it can give you a sense of being in control of your business, getting clients to work on your terms, building a business where you can actually start to grow it. Because when clients start to work on your terms and your process, you can have some consistency and some stability and process, which allows you to hire people and get everything going the right way. Rather than every client you sign up. It’s just like some custom bear hug. Like, “Oh, we’ll do whatever we can for you.” You don’t want that. And so I hope this video was helpful. These are the problems that sometimes I get just from people that watch these videos and I say, “Andrew, people are dealing with that.” Like, that’s a problem I can tell you right now, if you’re a person watching this, that’s saying, Oh, that’s obvious.

Like I obviously asked for the first payment, first call, like I go through, I don’t send that. I don’t let people string me around. You know? So there are many of you guys that aren’t thinking that, you’re thinking that is my problem. That is what I’ve struggled with. I haven’t been able to show the value, assert that value, command, that decision, get the client to go there and get them to work on my terms. And I can tell you so many people think, “Oh, if I just had another tool, if I just had another thing, I just had another little workflow tool that could just increase productivity by that little one point five percent, then I would just get my business where I want it to go just right there.” At one point, most of the time, the problems are much bigger than that. And they start in the very first interaction with the client is where the expectations are set.

That’s where the price is set. That’s where the scope is said. That’s where the packaging is said. That’s where all of their view of the value is set. And if that is broken, then it just puts this massive weight down on the entire relationship. It’s very hard to bring it back around. That’s why selling for accountants needs to happen on that first call. So I spent years working on this, we’ve worked with over eight thousand people who have been our paying customers. We’ve had about 3,200 higher end customers. And so if you’re interested in working on some of these problems, showing the value, setting expectations, getting people to make a decision quicker, getting the prices up, setting the engagement off on the right foot,  then going through and working on kickoff calls and onboarding, nurture, upsell and retention and all that. But if you want to work on this with us, I put an application below this video.

Once you fill that out, you’ll come on a call with us. You’ll see how our process works. You know what I like about our processes, where we’re often helping people with showing the value. So why don’t you come in and watch how we show you the value, right? Wouldn’t that be interesting, but you just sign up below and see if it’s worth it. See if it’s worth it. And I can tell you right now, particularly if you have a tax and accounting firm in the U S doing something, bookkeeping, accounting, tax preparation, tax planning, CFO controller services, and you already have a business, 50 or 100k, 500k, a million, 2 million in sales. It’s gonna be worth your time, even if we don’t decide to go forward. 

So, go ahead and below this video, fill out a time. You’ll get on the phone with me or somebody from my team and we’ll walk you through everything we do. You’ll see how we show the value. And if it aligns with you and what you want to do, then we’ll go on and do some amazing things together. Put the application below and I will see you on the other side.

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