#43 - Do Accountants Need to Sell?

In this episode, Dave and Paul speculate on the role of selling in getting new clients and how important it is to demonstrate the value of your services, Dave takes a trip to Sydney to discover James Solomens’ 2018 predictions for the accounting industry, and they both question the wisdom of writing a pop song to celebrate your employer.

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Show Notes

Snippets/Audio Grabs:

  • Let us know if you think accountants need to sell.
  • Next week’s guest will be Jason Andrew from SmartBooks Online.
  • Paul Murray from AccountKit in Adelaide went on a 7-hour drive and listened to our episodes back to back. (Scary.)

00:47 Best on Ground: Link


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09:36 Worst on Ground: Link


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Would you write a pop song to celebrate your new employer? This man did, and it certainly got attention.

Rob Nixon Email Blast

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17:53 5 in 5 Summary: Link

James Solomens is the CFO of listed company Xref, the Director of Aptus Accounting and Advisory, the Head of Accounting at Xero, and more. Dave spoke to James while they enjoyed the views at Dawes Point on Sydney Harbour and asked for his predictions for 2018. James’ thoughts were:

  • The industry is yet to see real disruptions, but this is about to change.
  • There will be a strong focus on the changing role of accountants.
  • There will be many more strategic partnerships forming. The smartest option for small firms is to partner with people that don’t do what you do.
  • It will still be difficult to balance client expectations with the value and scope of your services. It’s very important to maintain constant communication and help your client resolve their problems as they’ll be more likely to want to continue working with you.

James has several major events he’d like to attend. He is looking forward to the World Congress of Accountants. Xero Con is always a highlight and he will be speaking at the Australian Business Expo.

23:24 In-Depth Topic: Link

Do accountants need to sell?

Paul has never considered anything he’s done as ‘sales’. He doesn’t follow a pure sales process, including chasing leads and processing them through a sales funnel. Accountants do some elements of the process, but the generally have a high conversion rate anyway.

Instead, what accountants do is sit down with their client and articulate their value and what they stand for. “This is what we do, this is how we do it, and this is how we’ll help you save tax.” It’s also important to quote a fixed fee that includes tax advice. That’s not really selling.

Dave agrees this is true for compliance-type work, but advisory services do need a stronger sales approach to get the client over the line. Clients may not be aware of the range and value of advisory services that accountants offer. Therefore, it’s up to the accountant to ‘sell’ these services by sitting down with the client and following some aspects of a sales process to prove how they can service the client’s needs. But, they don’t need to go overboard and act like a used-car salesman.