Make first impressions count

This article includes a few key tips for selling your accounting and bookkeeping services to business clients.

You’re probably familiar with this common phrase: “You never have a second chance to make a good first impression.” This is particularly true when meeting with prospective accounting clients.

You are judged in the first 15 to 20 seconds of meeting anyone new. People judge you, good or bad, first on your appearance including the way you walk and the body language you use. Then they judge you on how you speak. This includes your intonation, any accent you may have, your diction, the extent of your vocabulary, and any slang terms that you drop into the conversation.

The key to making the best first impression is being prepared for a wide variety of situations and responding appropriately to each. Here are four tips to help you:

  1. Smile. People react strongly and instantaneously to the image you portray. If you look stressed out, that image will reflect off them and back at you. So think helpful thoughts and smile.
  2. Look people in the eye. There’s an old myth that if you won’t look at me, I can’t trust you. Are you aware of the eye contact you make? You might be sending the wrong message.
  3. Work the person’s name into your conversation. Once you are introduced, repeat the person’s name a few times in your mind so that you won’t forget it. Then use the name early in your conversation.
  4. Master the handshake. Grasp the whole hand and give it a brief, but solid squeeze. A firm handshake can say as much about your confidence as your appearance.

Other Articles about starting your business:

Selling:

Selling the benefits of your bookkeeping service

Make your first impression count

Five Tips to Strengthen Your Client Presentations

Outsourcing your bookkeeping

Marketing:

Finding Clients near home

Find leads at networking events

Promote your website

The best marketing strategy: word of mouth

Get a new client every week

Trade shows can be a gold mine!

If You Don’t Like Doing Something, Pay Someone Else

So you think you’re introverted. I bet I’ve got you beat. When I was in high school, a friend of mine and I went to a church party / dance. On the way to the men’s room, I ran into a girl I knew from one of my classes. She had a friend with her I’d never met and I had with me a friend she’d never met. She introduced her friend, and I nervously placed my hand out in the universal "shake-my-hand gesture", but apparently her friend didn’t notice.

I, however, was too nervous to do anything, so I left my hand in that awkward pose for the next several minutes as she talked. Of course, I didn’t introduce my friend because I was so petrified of being in the presence of another human that I forgot the customs of human interaction. I didn’t really have much to say, or at least I couldn’t get my mouth to do anything. Finally after what seemed like hours, the moment had passed and we made it to the men’s room. My face was bright red; my palms were sweating, and I thought I was having a stroke!

The point is that although I’ve overcome much of this shyness, I’m still very introverted by nature. We at Universal Accounting® work with accountants on a daily basis. We know that often the personality type who loves accounting isn’t necessarily the personality type who loves going out and meeting with people and trying to recruit new clients. However, I dare say that most of you reading this are not as shy as I was. I’m not going to attempt to change you from introverts to extroverts. First of all, the world needs people like us. We’re the thinkers and the analyzers. Besides, who would do the books for all the extroverts?

What I will do, however, is give you a “bypass” route for your shyness. You can be a talented bookkeeper, but if you don’t have any clients, what good does it do you. Here’s my motto, “if you don’t like doing something, pay someone else to do it.” How do you think I get my son to take out the trash! Just as your client, the plumber, knows everything about plumbing, but precious little about bookkeeping (that’s why he needs you), you know everything about bookkeeping, but not as much about getting clients or selling. Although one of our major focuses for students is to teach you low-key, effective ways to get clients, why not pay an expert instead?

That’s sounds great, but how do you do it? Here’s the basic idea in three steps.

  1. Find someone who knows how to sell or is naturally in a position to meet a lot of people
  2. Get him/her to tell people about your business
  3. Pay him/her

This is simply networking. Some enjoy frequent intereaction with others, but if you’re not one of them, you’re not alone. Many very successful businesspeople do not excel at marketing. So how do their businesses succeed? They surround themselves with very bright people that fill in what gaps they have personally. You don’t have to know it all; you just have to know how to find those that do.

Let’s take a look at each of the three steps in more detail:

Find someone who knows how to sell or is naturally in a position to meet a lot of people:

So just who are these people? Of course there are sales people who sell for a living. What about someone like your mailman who sees people all the time, or maybe someone you know who drives a delivery truck, your barber or hair stylist? Think of those you know and ask yourself, “Who do I know that just knows lots of people?”

You can also just run an inexpensive classified ad in the paper to find someone like this. That may not be necessary because, if you’re like most people, and most people are, you know someone who is a great salesperson and would love to help you out. They will charge a small fee, of course. But if you decided to run a small ad in the classified section, would it be worth the $50 you’d spend on it to even find one client. Once upon on a time, I used to repair computers for a living, and I ran a $35 ad in the paper that simply said:

 

That’s it. I got more business from that ad than I could handle, so why not run an ad that says something like:

Get Paid to Find Me Clients
Your Name, Your Number

 

I’m by no means an expert at writing newspaper ads, but with a little creativity, you’ll be able to find someone who would be willing to throw you some clients for a small fee.

Step two is easy; “Get him/her to tell people about your business.” Why should someone give you business? Because you’re paying them to do so. That’s as good a reason as any. The real question then becomes, how do you pay them and how much? So let’s look at step three:

Pay Him/Her:
A couple of questions should be considered when it comes to paying a marketer.

  • When do you pay?
  • How much do you pay?

The question of when is more about how often you pay them. In other words, are you going to pay them a one-time fee, or are you going to pay them a residual for each month that you have the client, or both? Remember, as students of our course will tell you, each client pays you about $400 per month, and it only takes you about 6-8 hours per month to service a client.

That being the case, you can choose to pay your marketing person a percentage each month or you can simply pay them an up-front fee. I personally like the up-front fee because it’s less to keep track of. Where do you get the up-front fee? It comes from your first month’s payment from your new client.

However, your marketer may be more interested in residuals than up-front payment. Maybe a combination of both is suitable; a smaller up-front fee, and then a small residual for the length of time you service the client or maybe for the first X number of months.

Secondly, you must answer the question of how much to pay. Of course, everything in this article is negotiable, and ultimately it’s up to you and your marketer. However, here are some guidelines:

Generally speaking, a commissioned sales person makes between 10% and 20% of the price of the sale, depending on the product and the price. Paying your marketing person 15% of the client’s fee for the first 12 months might be a reasonable offer. This would mean that your marketer would earn $45 per month per client from you. If he brought you 20 clients (which would keep you busy full-time) then he would be making $45 X 20 clients which is $900 per month. That’s a nice extra income for someone who is merely doing what (s)he already loves to do.

Don’t forget the most important part. You’re making the remaining $355 per month per client which is $7100 per month, and you didn’t have to find a single client yourself. What’s great about this is that at this point, you can hire someone, like one of your kids, at $10 per hour to do your data entry, and you’ll be able to take on 20 more clients.

  • You’ll end up paying a data entry person $1600 per month (4 weeks x 40 hours x $10).
  • You’re paying out $900 per month ($45 x 20 clients) to your marketer
  • You’re bringing in $8000 per month ($400 x 20 clients)

Put all of that together and your net income is: $8000 (client income) – $1600 (data entry person) – $900 (marketer) = $5500 per month.

You’re making $5500 per month to basically oversee the organization. Bring in 20 more clients and you’re bringing in another $5500 per month.

Try our Client Income Calculator

I’m always dabbling in different business ideas, and I’ve used these basic ideas to make quite a bit of money all on a referral basis. I currently have two service-related side businesses that are a fair portion of my livelihood, and every single client, without exception, has come to me from someone else.

These methods are good, sound principles that will allow you to grow your business as large or as quickly as you want. You are only limited by your imagination. And trust me, as an introvert myself, I know that your imagination is one of your strong suits!

Learn To Market Your Business With Low-Pressure Techniques

The fourth module of the Professional Bookkeeper™ program teaches you to find clients with little effort and even less out-of-pocket expense. You will learn to take advantage of your unique marketing advantages that you didn’t even know you had. With little effort on your part, you will quickly learn to find more paying clients than you can handle!

Learn More About the Step-By-Step Marketing Techniques Taught In the Professional Bookkeeper Course

 

More Marketing Tips

Learn More Ways to Market Your Accounting and Bookkeeping Skills

PB/UPB – Professional Bookkeeper/Universal Practice Builder Programs
PB/UPB - Professional Bookkeeper/Universal Practice Builder Programs

Product Description

Call us today at 877-833-7909 to get started.

We will customize a program for you based on your career goals, experience level, and budget.

Click to verify BBB accreditation and to see a BBB report. Phone Enroll or Ask Questions by Phone 1-877-833-7909
M-F 7:00am to 7:00pm MST. Current MST time is 10:49am. Or Ask Your Questions Online.
Visit with UAC in your Area! Accounting Seminars
Please see our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy for details.

Want answers? Let’s explore the perfect training solution and business plan just for you. We can keep you updated on special course offers. Also, you’ll get our free introductory video about the benefits and methods of starting your own practice.

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Listen: What Are Your Clients Really Saying?

When you put your ear to a seashell, you could swear that the rushing sound you hear is the very ocean from which the shell originated. Of course, you know it’s not really the ocean!

Hearing the voice of the client can be equally deceiving. You might think you know what your clients are saying, but how can you be sure? For example, when a client says “I’m disappointed with this tax return,” you might think the client is saying “I don’t think I should pay you!” or “I’ll never do business with you again!” In truth, however, your client just doesn’t like to pay taxes. Most unhappy clients are simply saying

“I want my problem to be heard.”

Solution:  Listen

“I want an apology.”

Solution:  Find out specifically what they don’t feel is right and apologize for any errors.

“I want reassurance that some action will be taken to fix my problem and to prevent it from recurring.”

Solution:  Offer to help them plan better for next year and set up an appointment to meet with them later in the year.

So listen carefully to your clients. Reassure them that you will resolve the problem to their satisfaction. Finally, follow up to make sure that you’ve fulfilled their needs — both voiced and unvoiced.

Why Do You Want to Work For Yourself?

Signumd Freud summed it up many years ago when he stated that there is a reason behind every action that a person does. So if you are considering starting your own business, you must have a reason. There are many benefits, or reasons, why you might want to start your own business. So let’s examine “What’s in it for you?”

MONEY!

One thing that makes starting a business really rewarding is . . .  the rewards! If you are like most people, you have worked most of your life putting money into your boss’ pocket. Chances are that your boss probably drives a nicer car than you do, goes on more expensive vacations than you do, and lives in a nicer house than you do. Is this fair? It could be said that it is fair because it is what we agreed to, but maybe it is time for you to make a better deal for yourself. Starting your own business is an invitation to change your life in a meaningful and rewarding way. Is $30-$60 Per HOUR rewarding enough? If making that kind of income would make a positive impact upon your life, we have a proven system for starting an Accounting and Bookkeeping service that will make that kind of cash for you and your family.

When you start your own business, you own something of value that pays off now and is an investment in your future that you can pass on to your children. It will provide for you in your retirement years because your established business is valuable to investors that may not have the courage that you do to build a business. They would rather purchase an investment that is already generating proven income. Our secret is that our system is so proven by thousands of our graduates, that there is little risk.

One graduate of our training started her small business two years ago and is now selling her practice for $100,000 and moving to Australia. Your Accounting and Bookkeeping service provides up to $80,000 or more per year working full-time, but isn’t it nice to know that if you decide that you would like to follow another path that you can cash in at any time? If you work for someone else, when you quit, your income stops. When you build a business, you build equity in something of redeemable value!

Learn How Much Your Earning Potential Will Grow

Be Your Own Boss

Have you ever taken a day off on a whim, just because you felt that you needed it? Without calling in sick, do you have that kind of flexibility? Does the owner of the business that you work for? When you own your own Accounting and Bookkeeping business, you set your own hours and work the days that you want to. If you just want to take a play day with friends or family, the only one that you have to convince is YOU. Who wouldn’t want that kind of freedom? Many of our graduates work out of their own homes and enjoy the ability to work in formal business attire or in their pajamas. While that may not be your style, isn’t it nice to know that you could?

Stability

You likely don’t equate starting your own business with stability, but let’s put it this way: If you work for someone else and they have financial trouble, who is the last person out of a job? If you said the business owner, you would be correct. The facts are that most home businesses succeed and our graduates are proof. We have received literally thousands of testimonials from our graduates that rave about how the Professional Bookkeeper™ program changed their lives and put control of their financial future in their own hands. We know that our marketing system works because so many of our graduates have proven it through their own successful Accounting and Bookkeeping services.

Prestige

If someone tells you that they are a small business owner, they are saying something about themselves: that they have the courage to create something, to be more. We often respect those that have the fire inside them to really achieve their dreams. It has been said that the real tragedy is that most of us die with our music still in us. We have great ideas and ambition, and with the proven direction of the Professional Bookkeeper™ program, you have a roadmap to success that thousands testify to.

Tax Benefits

Once you own your own business, there are so many things that you are legally entitled to deduct on your taxes. Examples of things that will be completely or partially tax deductible when you start your business are your car, your business attire, a home office, and most business costs that you incur. These are all legal and appropriate deductions that will lower your tax burden and let you keep more of the money that you make.

PB – Professional Bookkeeper Program
Learn More

Training Included:

Accounting Made Easy – – Course Module 1
Master the tools, procedures, and underlying principles that make up the bookkeeping processes of all businesses. Understand the core building blocks of Accounting and Bookkeeping. — 9 Videos & Manual. See Sample

Practical Small Business Applications — Course Module 2
Apply your understanding of the core accounting principles to specific industries. You will learn to set up books from scratch, do payroll like a seasoned pro, and much more. — 6 Videos & Manual.See Sample

Advancing your “Account-Ability” — Course Module 3
Sure ways to set up complete bookkeeping systems and manage the books for a variety of more sophisticated industries. — 9 Videos & Manual.See Sample

Building a Successful Accounting Service — Course Module 4
Learn the steps to finding paying clients. Start and Grow an accounting practice following a proven program tested and perfected since 1979. — 7 Videos & Manuals.See Sample

Two Additional Months Follow-up Support (Free Promotional Offer)
1 month support is included for each module plus 2 months extra for a total of 6 months follow-up support

Customized Web Site (Free Promotional Offer)
With your purchase we will create a custom Web site for your business and host it for you for free for 6 months. Your Web site will become a valuable part of your marketing; in many cases you may only need to refer prospective clients to your site and it will sell your services for you. See CustomUniversal Accounting® Website

Two Additional Practice Sets (Free Promotional Offer)
Practice makes perfect. The modules already contain practice sets for nine different businesses. With your purchase you’ll receive two more practice sets, giving you eleven in all. This will give you even more confidence and experience in various industries and the opportunity to work with additional types of clients.

Professional Bookkeeper Testing (Free Promotional Offer)
Certificate of completion (final grade greater than 65%)
Certified Professional Bookkeeper (with 90% or better grade)

Course Countries (US, Canada, etc)
Course intended for US, Canada, and anywhere people have accounting needs.

Professional Bookkeeper Guarantee
If, after completing the course, you feel the course didn’t live up to your expectation, simply return the materials to Universal, for a 100% refund of any monies paid.

PB – Professional Bookkeeper Program
PB - Professional Bookkeeper Program

Product Description

Call us today at 877-833-7909 to get started.

We will customize a program for you based on your career goals, experience level, and budget.

Click to verify BBB accreditation and to see a BBB report. Phone Enroll or Ask Questions by Phone 1-877-833-7909
M-F 7:00am to 7:00pm MST. Current MST time is 10:49am. Or Ask Your Questions Online.
Visit with UAC in your Area! Accounting Seminars
Please see our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy for details.

For more infomation about getting started successfully with your own accounting and bookkeeping service, check out our courses.

Want answers? Let’s explore the perfect training solution and business plan just for you. We can keep you updated on special course offers. Also, you’ll get our free introductory video about the benefits and methods of starting your own practice.

Name:
E-mail:
Zip Code:
Phone:

Newsletters:
Accounting & Bookkeeping   QuickBooks Tips   Tax Tips

lock We value your privacy  

Sell the Sizzle, Not the Steak

This article discusses sales strategy for selling the benefits of accounting and booking services for prospective business clients.

To sell successfully, you must know your service and its features thoroughly, but that’s not enough. You must also be able to translate the features in to client benefits.

If you push service features instead of service benefits, you’ll break a basic selling rule: Sell the sizzle, not the steak.

Here’s a case in point: Janet Bell provides bookkeeping services. During a sales call, an office manager expressed her interest in Janet’s services. She also pointed out that Janet’s service was priced 15 percent higher than a competitor’s. “You both provide accounting services,” the office manager said.

“Yes, we do,” Janet responded. “But it’s how we do it that separates our service from theirs. We provide full data-entry services so that you can spend your time working with customers rather than entering information into a computer. That means greater sales for you.”

Before calling on prospects, review the charts below.

Three key features of bookkeeping services.

  1. Tax planning
  2. Cash flow management
  3. Management controls

Three benefits the features offer.

  1. Reduce tax liabilities
  2. Peace of mind
  3. Higher profits

Get Started with the Professional Bookkeeper™ Program

For more information on the basis behind these three features, see our article on 3 good reasons to start an accounting and bookkeeping business.

Other Articles about starting your business:

Selling:

Selling the benefits of your bookkeeping service

Make your first impression count

Five Tips to Strengthen Your Client Presentations

Outsourcing your bookkeeping

Marketing:

Finding Clients near home

Find leads at networking events

Promote your website

The best marketing strategy: word of mouth

Get a new client every week

Trade shows can be a gold mine!

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