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Moving The Prospect To Become An Accounting Client

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If you’ve wandered around through the Practice Builder Publishing blog any, you’ve probably seen some mentions of the need for performing a Client Needs Analysis (CNA) and how important the CNA is to closing the sale.


But, as important as the CNA is, it is even more important to ask for the order. Yep, and that is something most accountants really, really, suck at. Asking for the order.

Let’s jump to the conclusion that you’ve read the blog post on performing a CNA, you’ve completed one, and you have an excellent understanding of what the prospects needs are.

Now, because you were brilliant enough to have taken copious notes during your first visit with them, you, and your team, can design a custom service package especially for the prospect, that will meet their needs and give them exactly what they want in a carefully curated bundle of solutions.

Creating several options for the prospect changes the question from ‘Should I work with this firm?’ to ‘Which of these options gives me the most value?’ You might create three tiered options for example, say silver, gold and platinum services.

Since you are designing custom bundles, don’t worry about your prices at this step. Use what you learned in your initial meeting and CNA to build options that are specifically tailored to the prospects needs.

Be sure to include intangibles such as service guarantee, flexible reporting and delivery.

When designing service packages, it’s easiest to start building your top level, say platinum, service package, and then strip out features to create the lower level packages.

Next, you want to price your service packages.

Prices should always be expressed as a flat rate per month, never as an hourly rate. After all, you do want to leverage your efficiency, don’t you?

[bctt tweet=”When designing service packages, it’s easiest to start building your top level, and then strip out features.” via=”no”]

After you have developed a base rate for each component of your premium package as a multiple of your standard labor cost for that component, then you create a multiplier value for each of the intangibles you are offering, such as flexible reporting, or delivery. An example might be to multiply a package by 1.3 for hand delivery.

Next, you prepare your presentation to the client, with offers that look clean, crisp and professional.

Be sure to include separate sections that spell out the definitions of the services you are offering, and the intangibles that are included. And, always include a time limit for the prospect to accept the package offer in order to get the pricing presented.

Then, schedule your closing appointment with the prospect for the earliest possible time after completing the design of your packages.

As you are making your presentation of the packages, walk your prospect through each of the three package options in general terms and then give them a chance to respond. Make sure you answer each of their questions concisely and clearly, making sure you specifically advise the prospect of the deadline (call it a limited time offer). Emphasizing that these service choices were custom created just for them and that no one else will get the exact same offer.

At this point, the prospect will typically attempt to negotiate the terms of the service choices with you. Just remember, it is okay to sometimes make concessions on some of the terms, but never to make concessions on prices.

If the client requests additional services (called scope creep), draft a change order as a separate agreement for this work rather than changing the original agreement.

And, when it comes time to renew the service agreement, don’t be afraid to offer new service choices if your ongoing Client Needs Analyses have disclosed a change in the clients needs or business situation.

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