Are You Creating Value for Your Clients?

by Andrew Argue in Sales Comments (0)

During the value extraction process, you will identify the problems the client has and figure out what you need to do in order to get them to their desired state.

This is the distance between the current state/problem (A) and the desired state/solution (C), with (B) being the services and the value that it takes for that distance to close.

Whether you are doing services, training, software, or a combination, we are going to look at how to combine these to reduce the amount of work that you have to do to get the client from A to C.

It does not matter how much time you spend working.

Whether results take 2 hours or 25 hours, all that matters is that you bring value.

And when it comes to pricing…

Here’s the rule: No matter what service you are offering, you need to know the specific monetary value and make your pricing ⅓ of that value.

In other words, you want to charge them something that is going to give them a 3 to 1 return on their investment.

And there are some Key Pricing Principles to remember:

• It does not matter how long it takes you. You should price based on the value that is created from your services, not how much time it takes to do the work. If you charge $5,000 an hour, that’s fine, so long as the client receives a 3 to 1 return on their investment. If they are comfortable paying your fees, then they believe the value is worth the price. The ROI is all that matters.

• Qualification is everything. There will be times when you will not know the exact price to charge. In these circumstances, you want to let the prospect know that if you go over your original pricing, you will charge them hourly. Once you have exhausted 50% of the fixed fee amount, you should tell the client that you have gone through half of the fees and there is still “X” percent of work to be done. If they want you to continue, there will be an hourly fee.

• Fixed is better than hourly, but we still use hourly. Many people in the accounting industry only use fixed pricing; however, it is much better to price on the outcome rather than time. When you price on the outcome, you can increase your margins substantially. The goal is to always be moving toward more efficiency without doing more work. When the value is there and it does not take you a substantial amount of time to complete the work, that is the ideal situation. Generally, you only want to use hourly if you go over your fixed budget or you have absolutely no idea how to price a project. Even then, it’s best to perform a diagnostic for a fixed fee and then move to an hourly charge.

• Know your pricing before the strategy session begins. The only exception to this is pricing for training or software sales. For services, you should never know the fees until you have completed your diagnosis and value extraction process. Only then can you find the value. Once you determine the value in the strategy session, you can then determine the investment to work with you.

• Never put pricing on your website. Even if you have a fixed fee for a training program, you want people to talk to you or email you directly for pricing. There should never be prices on your website because this creates allure and intrigue. It also allows you to be flexible and change your pricing over time.

• Pricing is always wrong, so aim high. Do not worry about getting your prices right. Be conservative with your business and make your prices and your value high. This value should be made clear in your strategy sessions and they will buy if they see that value.

• Hourly rates should never be less than $125. While you want to aim for $250 or more an hour, the absolute minimum should be $125. No matter your experience level, this is the minimum. In theory, charging $125 an hour will give you $250,000 a year. However, that would require you to work full time and therefore deplete your time for marketing, sales and other activities that grow your business. Aiming for $250 or higher grants you more flexibility and money to invest in your growth.

• Always refer to your prices as “an investment.” Accounting services are an investment the moment someone decides to work with you. Avoid words like “fees,” “price” and “cost.” During strategy sessions, always emphasize that your work is an investment.

• You want to do the least amount of work possible. When you learn how to price on value, you’ll then determine how to do the least amount of work to create that value. The more efficient you become by reducing service delivery time, creating supplemental training, and using software, the more profit you will inevitably make.

These are the key principles that you should remember for pricing any services you decide to perform.

Ready to learn how to properly diagnose clients’ needs on sales calls?

CLICK HERE to complete your FREE registration to get our Tax Planning Sales Script today!

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Cheap Accounting Clients? Here’s How To Charge More….

by Andrew Argue in Sales Comments (0)

Have you ever thought…

“What do I do with all of these existing clients in order to create some real value?”

60-70 clients doing payroll…

30-40 clients on sales tax…

What more can you do for these people? 

You can easily start by picking one of your existing clients who needs an additional service…

And message that client…

“Hey, I thought of you today. Are you free to talk tomorrow?”

That’s it. Pretty simple!

I know that you have someone inside of your business right now that you can close before the end of the day tomorrow.

It could be a friend.

Or maybe someone in your professional network.

Squeeze in one meeting tomorrow.

And another one the next day.

And 2 more the day after that.

And close a deal before the end of the week.

I know this sounds painful to some of you.

But you HAVE to do it.

It’s like no matter how many times my personal trainer has to show up in my damn lobby to get me to the gym, he has to do it OVER and OVER again because I’m not going to get my butt to the gym on my own. 

There’s just no way.

But afterward, I ALWAYS feel so much better about myself.

The same feeling you get when you close a sale.

So you’ve got to do the painful things in order to get the reward.

And honestly, anything in life that requires you to push harder in order to reap the reward, is worth the pain.

Ready to learn about how you can upsell more of your existing clients? Go to AccountingTax.com/CheapClients for a FREE training resource!

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Should You Disclose Specific Tax Planning Strategies on a Sales Call?

by Andrew Argue in Sales Comments (0)

For those of you who offer tax planning services…

During the sales call…

I’d like you to remember this rule of thumb…

The client IS NOT buying specific strategies.

Instead, the small business owner on the other end of the call is buying The Process & The Outcome.

Let me walk through an example.

Let’s use the Late S election as the specific tax savings strategy.

Most of the time, this strategy is added to quite a few small business owners.

I call this a “Workhorse Strategy”.

But if you just end the sales call saying, “I’m going to give you a piece of paper explaining the Late S Election Strategy”…

The client won’t want to move forward…

Especially with a hefty estimated price tag of $4,500.

Instead, you must explain the process and the outcome, not the specific strategy.

What they are actually buying is a comprehensive review of:

1. Possible deductions
2. Legal entity structure 
3. Retirement
4. Insurance 
5. Potential loopholes 
6. advanced strategies 
7. TCJA
8. Niche specific strategies

The client is also buying a review of:

1. Previous year returns 
2. Current year returns 
3. And a plan for the next year’s returns

In addition, included in the tax plan will be an estimated savings amount calculated on the same sales consultation.

Bundle that offer into a packaged fee of anywhere between $2,500-$9,500 (depending on the client’s specific situations and estimated savings) and now you have a comprehensive tax plan to offer to the small business market.

Want to dive deeper into the Tax Planning Sales Script and specific wording to close the deal?

Check out the AccountingTax.com 90-page Tax Planning Sales Script at AccountingTax.com/Enroll

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How to turn a $650 Schedule C into a $12,000 tax client (I didn’t believe it either)…

by Andrew Argue in Growing A Firm Comments (0)

But it’s true.

And the problem is your tax prep fees are what we call LOW & LUMPY.

Low price and lots of difference services LUMPED together like these:

-Free Tax Assessment
-Preparation
-Planning
-Implementation of Planning Strategies
-Quarterly Estimates
-All tax support questions for 12 months

And the truth is, most preparers are doing those (and not well) because their prices are so low, that they simply can’t get to it.That stops TODAY.

And here’s how we do it…

1. Make a list
-Business Returns
-Schedule Cs
-Monthly Accounting Clients (not currently on tax prep)
-Sort by revenue / income

2. Reach out to them (via text, email, Facebook message, or a phone call)
-At least the top 25% by income

3. Provide more VALUE (tax planning, new return, accounting side..)
-Mid year check-in
-Update on the business this year and get…2019 & 2020 projections, 2019 estimated savings, 2020 estimated savings + every year going forward
-Make them an offer using a tax planning sales script (if possible)
-Price each of the services separately <– no more lumpy pricing!

That’s how Christina charged $9,000 for tax planning, then $3,000 for tax prep for a client that paid $650 the year before! And that didn’t even include implementation….

4. If no offer, let them know requests lists and updates will come out in January

5. Send those that didn’t take planning a price increase letter
-If it’s a <$700 business… Double the fees
-If it’s a <$400 individual… Double the fees

6. Selling the stand alone 1040 returns (NOT Schedule C) before tax season
(if it’s over $50k revenue)

And if you do that, you’ll be like Melanie:

“This year we double fees on tax prep because I finally got it, thanks to Andrew. We lost 30% of our clients, but we increased our revenue by 40%. Thanks for giving me the courage to finally see my value.”

If you want the EXACT email script + tax planning script to upsell prep clients into $50,000-$30,000 engagements…

Go to AccountingTax.com/enroll and download the scripts instantly!

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7 Strategies Top Accountants Use To Crush Their Sales Calls

by Andrew Argue in Sales Comments (0)

How do you master the art of closing sales? 

You try your very best to sell your products and services, but for some reason it just feels scammy or scary to do.

But once you get the hang of it, it’s simple to get more of your clients to buy more from you, more often.

Here are 7 ways you can start making that happen now:

#1- Be in control of your calls

Sales is a mind game. You have to be the person who’s more aware.

I like to think of it like this.

When you’re on a sales call, you’ve got two people sitting across from each other.

But who’s in control and more aware?

On the left side, this guy who’s thinking, “I’m not going to buy, but I’m being polite.”

Or is the guy on the right side more aware because he’s thinking, “This guy doesn’t think he’s going to buy… but wait until he sees how I run this call.”

Who is in control of this call and running the conversation?

What if controlling the call was as simple as “scripting out the call” so you can know how it’s going to end?

Just like a movie that follows a script… you already know how it’s going to play out.

If you view your sales calls that way… you’re putting yourself in a position to WIN.

#2 –  Get your clients to sell themselves on working with you (so you don’t have to)

What if you didn’t have to upsell your clients because they’re SO happy with your services…

…that they WANT to give you more of their money?

The best part?

They sell THEMSELVES on signing up for your other service offerings, not the other way around.

There’s a simple way to make your clients do that. 

Here’s what it is:

Say something like, “Hey, how did we do on tax prep and tax planning? Did we save you a ton of money?”

They’ll say, “Yeah! It was great!!!”

You can say something like, “Well, I noticed you need this CFO service. If we provide this service for you, we can save you even MORE money!”

They’ll immediately sign up.

Because as soon as you asked them, “How did we do?”…

… And they think about how much money they saved working with you… they’re already sold.

#3 – Be ok with being uncomfortable

Imagine you’re 16 years old and all you want is a boyfriend or a girlfriend. It’s all you can think about.

You tell your friend, “All I want to do is go out on a date with somebody.”

Your friend says, “Hey, there’s someone you can ask standing right there at the mall. Go ask him/her out!”

You freeze up.

And you start freaking out.

You think, “I can’t do that. I’ve got to get a nice car. I’ve got to go to the gym. Lose weight first.”

You’ve got this laundry list of things you need to do first in your head.

But in reality…

The best thing you can do is just walk to the mall, ask 17 people on a date, and know that in a moment of weakness…

One of them is going to say yes!!!

Well, it’s the same thing in business…

You think, “Oh, well I’ve got to get a website. I’ve got to get a business card.”

You think you’ve got to do ALL these things before you can finally jump on the sales call.

But the reality is, you just need to pick up the phone and make the calls.

Sooner or later, in a moment of desperation, somebody will say yes to you!

Sales isn’t SUPPOSED to be comfortable.

If it’s uncomfortable, you know you’re doing it right.

Push through the fear.

It’s the only way you’ll reach your end goal.

#4- Make calls even when you don’t feel like it

I don’t know anybody who honestly enjoys sales and doesn’t feel a little fear in the pit of their stomach on a sales call.

That’s why people avoid doing it.

Because they don’t have the courage to do it.

It’s like the gym…

Going to the gym isn’t supposed to feel good. It sure doesn’t feel good the way eating a giant bowl of ice cream does.

But that’s not the point. The point of the gym isn’t to feel good in the moment.

You go to the gym so you can look your best and feel your best, even if you have to go through a little pain to get what you REALLY want in the long term.

Sales is the same way!

It’s not supposed to feel good.

But you have to do it if you want to see the kind of growth that you desire in your business, whether you want to provide tax planning services or work as a CFO or a controller or a bookkeeper.

#5- Get your clients naked 

Ok. So I don’t LITERALLY mean get your client naked. 

You might get in major trouble for that.

But in a less literal sense… you want to get your clients “naked” by finding their pain points, and pressing on them until they feel vulnerable.

For example.

Don’t tell your client they need accounting.

Ask your clients questions so they tell YOU that they need accounting.

Questions like, “Are you saving every month? Or is debt piling up on your credit cards?”

“How many credit cards do you have?”

“How much biz debt do you have? Personal debt?”

“Are you setting aside for taxes? How much?”

“How much do you pay yourself each month?”

Just get them “naked.” Get them to show you everything.

Get them uncomfortable, like when you go to the doctors office and they make you wear that flimsy robe.

Nobody feels good in that situation.

It’s just weird and you feel uneasy.

It’s the same way when you dig down deep into financial situations!

When you find the pain points that make your clients uncomfortable… 

You need to surround it and stab it from different angles so you can dig deeper into it!

Don’t start asking questions that have nothing to do with it.

Press on the pain like your dentist does when he presses on the painful spot in your tooth!

We have a script that can help you do that if you don’t feel comfortable asking these things or you don’t know how.

Once you reveal their deepest pains, you’ll be able to provide them the most value and charge rates that you didn’t think were possible.

#6 – Sell based on your clients needs, not your expectations

The easiest way to sell is to think about what your client’s needs are.

“What’s their problem?”

Don’t think about yourself selling.

No.

Just think about finding THEIR problem.

And then giving them a solution.

Selling = problem + solution.

That’s it.

So if you’re going for a roadmap or a tax plan…

… you may find that their problem requires a different solution.

Maybe they need a CFO and they’re ready to pay!

Maybe they tell you that they had someone that they were paying 85k/year but it fell apart, but they have an investor presentation in a few weeks so they need someone new ASAP!

Well… then go ahead and provide them CFO services!

It’ll be REALLY obvious on the call what the best solution is.

And maybe you can still sell them a roadmap, but add CFO services to it instead of a tax plan.

You’ll figure it out. Ask the right questions so you’ll know EXACTLY what solution you can provide them and then charge them accordingly.

#7- Get hung up on

If you get hung up on by someone who gets offended that you’re “trying to sell them,” or for whatever reason, it doesn’t even matter.

There’s a ton of fish in the sea.

So don’t let the fear of getting hung up on hold you back.

I always tell my team, “it’s not a good day until you get hung up on.”

It’s a numbers game. Keep on going!

Even I get hung up on (if you watch the video, you’ll see me get hung up on in front of hundreds of people)!

But that’s okay. 

What’s important is that you get back up and keep calling new leads.

Don’t let the fear of getting hung up on hold you back from making calls!

Now that you know you’ve got to pick up the phone and make phone calls if you want to grow your firm… what should you say on those calls?

You can apply to work with us here, and me or someone from my team will call you with a FREE on hour strategy session.

We can give you some ideas of what to say, how to overcome objections etc. if you already ARE making sales calls but not closing them as much as you’d like.

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Could A Twisted View Of Reality Get You More Sales?

by Andrew Argue in Sales Comments (0)

Let’s talk about virtual reality.

Have you ever played a game and felt like you had more of a chance at succeeding in that…

…than in your business?

Does winning at virtual reality seem easier than winning at life?

I mean, after all… some games even have cheat codes you can use to speed through the different levels so you can level up fast!

Let’s talk about how we can develop a new view of reality. Because reality MIGHT be different than what you think it is…

Is there more to reality than what meets the eye?

We all learned in school that atoms exist, right?

That when you look at a chair, or a wallet, or a desk…

…it’s all made up of atoms.

Take a green Expo® marker, for example…

It just looks like a marker, right?

It’s green. It has the word “Expo®” on it.

If you look at it with your naked eye, it’s going to look different than if you look at it through a cat’s eye.

If you look at it through a microscope, it would definitely look different.

If you looked at it through the eyes of an ant… it’s not going to look the same.

Or through the electromagnetic spectrum.

The marker is really nothing more than just particles and waves.

And the same goes for every single thing you look at. It’s just particles & waves.

So why is it that some accumulation of particles are easier to get and some are harder to get?

Take bacon and money for example.

Bacon is typically easier for most people to get than money, right?

But what if you could switch that?

What if bacon was hard for you to get your hands on…

But getting money was relatively easy?

The thing is, you CAN switch that.

It’s just a matter of “re-programming” the way you see the game.

Once you see things in a new way… money CAN be just as easy to get your hands on as bacon.

How can we reprogram the way we see the game of life? 

Just like you do in a virtual reality game…

…you want to create “cheat codes,” so that you can “win” the “game of life” while other people are stuck playing by the normal rules.

Here’s how most people are seeing the game of life (and it’s causing them to fail):

“I don’t have enough time.”

“I can’t charge my clients that much.”

“I’m too old.”

“I don’t have enough money.”

“I don’t have enough experience.”

“ I don’t have a license.”

Do you notice the ONE common word in ALL of these statements?

The common denominator is “I.”

It’s the ego. The way you’ve defined your character in this game.

All these people have a sort of identity crisis. They think the world is the way they see it.

That it’s hard and they can’t change it.

That it’s “real” and not just a system like a game that can be hacked or beaten.

First step to overcome this: Change how you view reality.  

Don’t let yourself get stuck because of how you see the world.

The reason you feel you can go into virtual reality and succeed, is because it’s like a game. You can go into a game and do anything, right? 

But the truth is… you can do that in real life, too! 

Life is a game. You have the power to do anything.

You just have to be willing to view things differently than you’re used to.

Second step: Realize there’s more that we DON’T know than we DO know.

You may have a LOT of knowledge about many different things.

But our experience of the world leaves us with a lot of unanswered questions.

Even if you’re the smartest person in the world…

At the end of the day, there’s more that we DON’T know than we DO know.

So the same is certainly true about you and your beliefs about what you’re capable of in business!!!

Can you get out of debt? Make $250k/ year? $1M/ year? 100?

You just don’t know.

But we need to expand our way of thinking to believe in crazy things if we’re going to create an “impossible business.”

We need to be willing to look at things through a different lens. Instead of assuming “I can’t,” ask yourself how you “can.”

How can you achieve the goals you’ve set?

It all starts when you become a different person and have a different view of your reality. What you’re capable of achieving.

I don’t tell myself that I can’t get clients.

I don’t tell myself that I can’t increase prices.

I don’t tell myself that I can’t get paid on the first call.

I don’t tell myself that I’m just an accountant and not a good salesperson.

It’s very difficult for you to succeed if you go on thinking life is hard, short and brutal.

If you think you can’t do something… then you won’t be able to. Because you won’t even try.

So start by changing the lens through which you see reality. 

I know for a fact that I was able to reach $10M in sales after just 3 years in business is because I believed I could.

And I know once you believe in the impossible…

You’ll be able to achieve whatever you set your mind to.

And you’ll make your own reality.

Want some help making a BRAND NEW reality for yourself?

One that includes getting leads on autopilot, choosing who you want to work with, and working less hours but earning more?

Click Here to Apply and then we will call you to set up a FREE strategy session.

We’ll make a plan to make your dreams your new reality.

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