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How do you broach the subject of doing something different with your clients?

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We believe Accountants should be having bold and important conversations with their clients as often as possible. Sometimes, however, it can be difficult to know how to open the batting and get the client’s real issues and opportunities open for discussion.

At Slipstream Coaching, the accounting and multidisciplinary firms we work with are all on a journey to add value and truly look after their clients. We believe accountants have a responsibility to look out for their clients needs both in their business and in their personal lives.

How do you broach the subject of doing something different with your clients? It’s likely to be easier than you might think. You simply need to engage in conversations that interest them. (Of course, it also helps to have a genuine desire to help your clients and confidence in the value that your services provide.)

Here’s a selection of conversation starters, taken with permission from Scott Charlton’s book The Bold Accountant, to be used with prospective and existing clients as appropriate.

  1. Let me tell you how we do things here.
  2. We’ll always recommend additional services where we think they’re warranted.
  3. The first thing we’re going to do is review your insurances.
  4. Before we wrap up (this first meeting), I’d like to take you through a set of commitments (yours and mine) that will be important for you to get the most out of this relationship.
  5. Do you have your diary handy? I’d like to book you up for a session to develop a profit and cash flow plan for your business next year.
  6. You’ve raised some very important matters today. I’d like to suggest we get together for a planning day to work through these issues.
  7. Tax? I want you to pay an absolute truckload of tax….because that means you’ll be making terrific profits.
  8. If all you’re after is a tax return, then you’ll likely find cheaper down the road.
  9. We’ll start by putting you on our 100-day plan.
  10. Our more successful clients tell us that what they like about this particular service is ….
  11. As part of preparing your financial statements, we’ve undertaken an assessment of your profit improvement potential. There are some opportunities we’ve picked up that we’d like to discuss with you.
  12. I’m going to send you a link to our online financial health check.
  13. Let me introduce you to [name], who will be assisting me with this assignment.
  14. The postcards on the wall over there? They’re from clients who send them to us when they’re overseas on holiday.
  15. No reason for the call. Just thought I’d ring to see how you’re going.
  16. I’d be failing in my duty of care not to raise this with you.
  17. OK. I accept that you are advising me that you do not want to discuss your insurance/estate planning arrangements at this time. I’d just like you to sign this declaration for my file to say that you have been offered this service but have chosen to decline.
  18. You will always know in advance what your investment in our services will be.
  19. Why did you go into business? [Post the client’s reply.] How has this worked out for you?
  20. What do you mean you haven’t reviewed your will in the last 10 years?
  21. What do you want to happen if something happens to you?
  22. I can see you are disappointed with the valuation on your business. Tell me, what would you like the number to be?
  23. Three years from today, what would need to have happened – personally, professionally and financially – for you to be delighted with your progress?
  24. How do you know if your marketing is working? Do you track the results you’re getting?
  25. You’re paying a lot in interest. Would you like our finance broker to review your loans to see if there is a better deal available?
  26. We’ve benchmarked how your super investments have performed against our other SMSF clients.

There you have it, 26 conversation starters that you can have with your existing or new prospective clients. The goal is to open up the conversation to learn more about your clients so you can better understand their needs and wants for their business.

Allowing you to demonstrate and talk about the value you can bring to both their business and personal life. We’ve witnessed and coached firms through this process to see them increase their revenue and growth within the firm by more than 300% with plenty of other amazing case studies.

This just a sample of the discussions that are held at Slipstream Coaching. If you’re an accounting firm that is looking to grow and add real value to the clients you work with, please have a look at our other resources


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Published 20 Oct 2017 Last updated 19 Mar 2024