Your browser (Internet Explorer 6) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.
X

Selling Value Added Services on the back of cloud

With cloud accounting implemented with your clients you now have access to more ‘real time’ financial data than ever before. With the data being so up to date there is an amazing opportunity for you to add value with new services.

You can even take it up a notch and get daily and automatic ‘KPI feeds’ direct to your device (laptop, smartphone or tablet) that will tell you the story as to what is going on – good and bad.

Now that you have all this data what are you going to do with it? I think you have a duty of care and obligation to advise the clients how to improve the data. If you are living by the mantra of “all clients are buying all services that help them achieve their goals” then it’s not selling new services. It’s servicing your clients properly.

Here is a list of 15 new services that you could offer:

  1. Cash flow analysis – where does the money go
  2. Forecasting
  3. Profit improvement program
  4. Monitoring & accountability program
  5. Debt re-structuring
  6. Capital raising
  7. Interest reduction service
  8. Waste audit
  9. Revenue improvement strategies
  10. Creditor analysis & negotiation
  11. Product profitability analysis
  12. Debtor management service
  13. Tax planning & minimisation
  14. Business Planning
  15. Inventory management system

All are valuable services that will make a significant impact to your client’s financial future. By ‘staying close to the numbers’ you have a better chance of the client buying the service. With good systemisation of the services you can have Accountants of all levels deliver the service – not just the partners.

You will need to learn some sales skills on how to have your clients buy them. You may also need some new tools so you can systemise the services.

To show you how to sell the services and which tools to use I am running a full day seminar called ‘Capitalising on the Cloud’. I am presenting it in 13 cities starting tomorrow (March 19). For more information and registration details visit www.cloudseminar.com.au for more details.

Servicing clients properly

I have this little test I do with Accountants to see if they are servicing their clients properly. Here it is.

Grab any clients’ income statement for 3 years, their balance sheet for 3 years and then explain the ‘story’ of the client to 2 other Accountants in your office. So tell them what the client does, how they do business, what their structure is etc. The other 2 Accountants are then to brainstorm (and you can be part of it as well) the answers to these 8 questions:

  1. What ideas do you have to help this client grow revenue or wealth?
  2. What ideas do you have to help this client increase their profit?
  3. What ideas do you have to help this client understand and improve their cashflow?
  4. What ideas do you have to help this client protect their assets?
  5. What ides do you have to help this client with succession planning or selling their business?
  6. What ideas do you have to minimise tax for this client in the future?
  7. What ideas do you have to help this client to financially retire?
  8. What other opportunities are there to provide extra services to this client that they are not already using?

Don’t spend more than 30 minutes  per client brainstorming. When you do I can guarantee that you have ideas (services) that you can take to your clients that will help them in some of these 8 areas.

These are all needs (services they should be buying) that are currently unmet. They do not know that you know the answers. The client certainly does not know what you know – otherwise they would have done it.

When you do this with all of your clients you will find that 100% of clients have unmet needs. Does it mean they will buy them from you? Not necessarily – but at least you should give them a shot at buying the service(s). Not offering additional services to your clients (especially when you know they need them) is doing your clients a complete dis-service.

You must service your clients properly. If you do not then there are plenty of ‘hungry’ accounting firms that will.

Real Estate seminar – special offer

I was chatting with my buddy Michael Sheargold (super coach to the super star Real Estate Agents) 2 days ago and he told me about a real estate seminar he is running around the country as well as Auckland.

It’s called SuperCharge Your Results and designed for real estate agents and principals.

I floated the idea of being able to secure some complimentary tickets (they are $197 per person) for my blog reading Accountants to “gift” to your real estate clients.

Of course given the great relationship Michael and I have, he said sure thing! So you have up to 4 complimentary tickets to give to your real estate clients – very cool!

Now my recommendation here is that you become the hero (in your clients’ eyes) and give them a quick call and let them know what you’ve been able to organise for them.

You’ll also see a pdf of the brochure for you plus for more info about the event you can pop onto…

I’ve organised a special code so all your clients need to do is book in on the site and then pop the coupon code of ACC7 to take advantage of the relationship you have with Michael.

Or Michael has just popped an extra video up on Youtube at…

Service standards

On average I do over 100 flights per year all over the world. I have been doing this for 17 years or so – so probably 1700 flights and who knows how many different airport security checks.

This morning was different. I was at Newcastle (NSW, Australia) domestic airport at 5:40am ready for my flight back to Brisbane. I grabbed a coffee and then went to security fully expecting to toss it out before passing. I was still a bit sleepy I think!

I was pleasently surprised – as you can see – to be presented with a coffee holder to hold the coffee as it passed through the scanner thing. The security staff where cheerful (another simple concept so many airports forget) and even the explosive check guy was friendly as he swabbed my case and person. Never in my years of travelling have I experienced a level of service like this from an airport security team.

It was an overall pleasant and delightful experience for a weary traveller. If an airport can get it right for service – how about you?

Coffee-holder-newcastle-airport-

Missed opportunities – no asking

Today Nat and I went to the Home Show in Brisbane. We are building quite a large house on 5 acres (on the top of a mountain) at the moment and we needed to see what ‘new stuff’ was out there. I was particularly taken with the home automation companies where you can run your entire house from your portable device – anywhere in the world. There was everything you could imagine to design, build, gadget and furnish a home at this show today.

We are spending a lot of money on our home and we are serious buyers. So you would think that everyone we spoke to would be interested in who we are and what we are building. Not the case.

Between us we visited 30 exhibitors collecting brochures and chatting with the reps. How many of them got our details to follow up……just 1.

We would have given our details to every one of them if they had asked. Instead only 1 asked. I gladly gave him my details. There were hundreds of companies represented spending tens of thousands to attract people to their exhibit. And only 1 in 30 bothered to ask so they could follow up.

And we wonder why businesses fail. No one asks. It’s not hard this game of business. Have a good product / service, do some marketing and ask for the business. Far out. Why do people not do this?

There was even one company (home automation company) where we had a good chat, I collected a brochure and even shook the hand of one of the 2 fellows. I asked them if they were the owners of the company. Yes was the reply. They acted like they were there under sufferance like an employee who wants to leave. And they own the damn company. My home automation spend will be somewhere between $150K and $250K on the new house. Big mistake, big … huge. That’s a line from the movie Pretty Woman.

What opportunities are you missing out on? Are you asking everytime? For an Accountant (my primary market) I think there are 7 questions you need to ask yourself every time you do a client project. The answers you take to your client as a new idea.

1.What ideas do you have to help this client grow revenue or wealth?

2.What ideas do you have to help this client increase their profit?

3.What ideas do you have to help this client understand and improve their cashflow?

4.What ideas do you have to help this client protect their assets?

5.What ides do you have to help this client with succession planning or selling their business?

6.What ideas do you have to minimise tax for this client in the future?

7.What other opportunities are there to provide extra services to this client that they are not already using?

Ask, ask, ask, ask. What’s the worst that can happen – they say no. At least you asked.