Why can’t I just use “regular” marketing for accountants channels to get clients?
The first reason is that they aren’t effective for reaching the most desirable, premier prospects. Accounting Practice Builder is about adding more “A” and “B” level clients to your practice. These clients are almost always more sophisticated, dynamic and/or larger than “regular” clients. The response rates of these premier prospects to mass marketing is essentially zero. They only select new accountants, lawyers, consultants, etc. based upon referrals or personal assessment.
The second reason is that the personal accounting marketing as taught in the manual is much more productive than the typical passive or reactive impersonal outside services, methods and techniques employed by most accountants. Yes, personal marketing requires you reach out to potentially desirable prospects, but the manual teaches you how to do it in a low key, stress free manner. You aren’t “selling,” instead you are actually helping. You provide the prospect tangible benefits right from the beginning.
Does that mean this method is really more about finding desirable prospects?
No, it’s really a mixture of finding and then converting prospects. Part of the manual is devoted to personal marketing techniques which is the proven was to identify and cultivate these premier prospects. The other part addresses the actual process of converting them from prospects into clients. It is generally not especially difficult to simply talk with someone who would be a great client and implement the personal marketing techniques. However, to convert these individuals into clients – and to do so with regularity – requires a special level of skill. Especially when other accountants are competing for the same business.
Can I get support?
Yes, both Craig Weeks and (if you are a ProfitCents subscriber) the Sageworks Consulting Team are available to help. Craig is available to answer questions specific to the manual and the techniques it teaches, while questions from ProfitCents’ subscribers that are more related to the mechanics of selecting and running the most suitable reports to use when applying the method are best directed to the Sageworks’ team.
How much does the support cost?
For the typical, relatively brief phone call there is no charge. If you desire individual training or other, more extensive support, you have the option of purchasing a year of support. Check out the Services Offered page on the navigation bar above for details.
How Flexible is the model … if I don’t get it just right, is it still effective?
Absolutely! This method is so powerful you can probably leave half of it out and still have a higher success rate when compared to someone who is just “winging it.” If you arrive at a level of competence where you are comfortably including the major steps you will be well down the road to becoming a truly outstanding business developer.
This can be especially true when you combine the model’s techniques with the persuasive power of ProfitCents reports. When introduced at suitable moments in the presentation sequence they are tremendously impactful, not only because they provide evidence of your preparation and professionalism but because they provide differentiation … in other words, it sets you apart because you aren’t like all those other accountants the prospect may know or be considering.
Does the method work for everyone?
Yes. The method is knowledge-based. That is to say, what it does is differentiate you from other accountants by providing the prospect evidence of your exceptional professionalism, insight and knowledge. The method has nothing to do with emotionally pressuring prospects, using sales gimmicks or engaging in any sort of flim-flam.
But, people are people and there is the “first impression” hurdle you have to overcome … that is to say the prospect will need to feel reasonably comfortable with you before they can hear your message. If the first impression is negative, it can be quite a challenge to dig yourself out of that hole. The manual explores in detail the strategies you can employ to manage this phase of the meeting and create a positive first impression.
Do I need to possess the knowledge of a really experienced accountant to effectively use the method?
No. The definition of who is an “A” level client for your practice changes with time. When you are new to the profession and beginning to build your practice your comfort level will be with clients possessing less complicated accounting/tax challenges.
The people who franchise the local Starbuck’s might feel just right as a client, but the owner of a large property development company might have all manner of issues that would be out of your comfort zone until your technical skills have reached that level. The idea is to evolve your client base so it has the maximum number of those clients you consider to be the most desirable at any given time. Adding these premier clients to your practice is exactly what Accounting Practice Builder does for you.
You claim the method works for all interpersonal styles. I’m not exactly outgoing. Are your SURE this isn’t going to require me to act out of my comfort zone?
Yes, I am sure. But, to take full advantage of the method it does require that you be willing to cross the room at a local event (Toastmasters, charity event, Rotary, political gathering, little league game, volunteering at the local Meals on Wheels, etc.), introduce yourself and make small talk to someone. This is the best way to initiate the process of engaging a “cold” prospect, i.e. an individual you do not know at all. The method is explained in detail in the manual.
If this is something you won’t or can’t do, the manual explains an alternate approach to attracting “cold” prospects. It relies upon speaking, writing or otherwise putting yourself in front of desirable prospects. The only real precondition to success is that you truly want to upgrade your business development skills to increase your income and the value of your practice.
In other words, you commit to make the personal investment necessary to make it happen. Part of that is willingness to carve out the time and the other is to learn a new skill set … in other words embracing change.
Your effort is the one ingredient you must provide. The method itself is very effective … we know that from working with hundreds of clients … but it does absolutely, positively require your personal effort to make it happen. As the saying goes, you can’t mail it in.
Even if you absolutely recoil from the thought of initiating contact – directly or even indirectly – with strangers or near-strangers, there is still a way to greatly profit from the method. As noted earlier, the method works especially well with existing clients, and certainly you will have no reluctance to speak with them, especially when you do so (as it explains in the manual) in a manner that is advantageous and beneficial to them.
Will people think I’m being pushy?
No. Not if you follow the model. As the materials point out, what you are doing is helping your clients, not exploiting them. They need help with the complicated Federal, State and Local tax codes and if you don’t provide the expertise they will find it elsewhere – perhaps from someone less competent than you. The model is consultative in nature. You aren’t actually SELLING as the word is popularly defined.
Can I charge “A” and “B” level clients more than my more mainstream clients?
Yes and no. It is never good practice to charge more than the rates commonly charged in your marketing area for similar accounting services. However, with these best clients you will be doing less preparation and instead providing more advice, consulting and project work. For the latter you can charge more because the value provided is greater.
For example, if your client is mulling how and if to acquire a $250,000 piece of earth moving equipment and you do a “what-if” study that explores the options to acquire it and how the equipment may impact subsequent cash flow and the P & L, it may take you five or six hours. If your typical rate is $250/hr., you would charge $1,250 – $1,500. But, considering the value of this study to your client’s decision-making process, it isn’t at all unreasonable for you to charge $2,000.
The decision he makes will have a much larger financial impact upon his business than the $2,000 he paid you. (Note: If you use ProfitCents Counselor to do the same analysis, it will probably take less than an hour and you also get a good looking report you can share with the client, AND you can sit down with the client, fire up your laptop and then in real time explore variables of financing, impact upon cash, etc. Very, very impressive and well worth the $2,000 and possibly much more.)
What’s the process for returning the manual and getting a refund?
The only requirement is that you ask for a refund within 90 days of purchase.
To do so, contact Craig directly. The contact information is easily found at cpaprofitplus.com. Whether you use PayPal or a credit card, we’re using PayPal as the payment clearing house, so your refund will come back to you through their site.
It is contemplated we will make a hard copy version of the manual available in the future. When that occurs, there will be specific instructions in the package when you receive the manual, but the basic process is you send the manual back and you’ll receive a 100% refund of your purchase price.
Again, PayPal is handling all payment processing for sales of the manual, and they will take the necessary actions to ensure you promptly receive the refund.