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Be a coach not a consultant – just ask questions

I find Accountants do not offer to add value to their clients because they are afraid that the client may ask them something that they cannot answer. So consequently discussions around the history of financial performance and the future of financial performance are rarely discussed. It’s such a valuable conversation you can have centered around 3 areas:

 

  1. Where are you now?
  2. Where do you want to be?
  3. How do you think is the best way to get there?

 

If you did a 3 year historical review using a tool like our PANalytics product and then asked the following question…

“So that is the background that gets you to where you are today, if you could re-design your business where would you like to take it over the next 5 years”?

A very cool conversation will arise that has an enormous amount of value for your client. Once you have the future painted when you segway into an equally powerful question…

“Hypothetically, what do you think needs to change/fix/alter/be different to make that picture real in say 3 years – rather than 5″?

It’s the difference between coaching and consulting. Consulting is giving them the answer (how can you be an expert in so many industries) and coaching is getting the answer out of them. You get the answer by asking the right questions.

When you realise that you do not need to know the answers to add value then your confidence will increase and maybe, just maybe you’ll start to add an enormous amount of value to your clients.

In February I am discussing this topic (and many more) at my 20 year seminar tour in Australasia. It’s called “Remaining Relevant” and it’s all about future proofing your firm. You can get some more details here. 

 

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