|How do you prove your Accounting & Finance expertise and CPA skills to a prospective client that has no understanding of these subjects? Once you know the system prospects use to evaluate your skill level, it is easy to sell your services...|
Proving CPA Skills to Prospects
Convincing prospects of your professional skills as a CPA
|Presenting your CPA services to prospective clients, there is always a problem how to convince the client about your professional skills. After all, the prospective client is, nine times out of ten, a nonprofessional in Accounting & Finance matters. Here's how you convince him...|
How prospects form their opinion about your professional skills?
It is of utmost importance that you know exactly what are the things that your prospects evaluate you with; in other words, what do they look for to determine how professional you are?
Once you know this, it will be a lot easier to make sure you DO create a favorable impression on your prospects.
But there's a kind of shadow boxing phenomenon about making someone believe something. The more you try to convince someone, them more he will SUSPECT your motives and information.
It's that URGENCY that arises suspicions.
NEVER start convincing a client who doesn't ASK to be convinced. And if he asks - well, the harder to try, the less he will believe your promises and assurances.
The same dilemma exists with creating a favorable impression on prospects. To understand this, let's look at what is happening here.
Evoking the self-created sensation of feeling slow and unintelligent
Being an expert on accounting, you get to see how little most clients understand about accounting in general. And the fact is you don't even know HALF of the bad news since most people do anything to HIDE ignorance.
Instead, they let you go on even if they don't understand. It is so human to AVOID letting on when we don't understand. Not knowing or understanding something has become synonymous with low intelligence. If you don't know or understand you are "stupid."
Of course, this is nonsense. Not knowing that the capital of Sweden is Stockholm doesn't affect your intelligence the slightest. You just don't know that datum.
Nonsense or not, it's a phenomenon you must take into account when dealing with prospects. You need to go by the rules that are in effect out there.
And the rule here is that if you say something your prospect does not understand, he will feel stupid.
If you KNOW this rule, keep a watchful eye and catch it immediately, clearing it up for him descreetly... no problem.
If you don't notice it and just push ahead... not so good.
People often use knowledge as a weapon of sorts. As knowledge seems to be so permanently identified with intelligence, it's easy to "be intelligent." Basically, all you have to do is talk knowingly about something the other person has little or now knowledge about.
But it can also happen inadvertantly to experts. Your own danger zone is of course your area of expertise. With your own knowledge constantly increasing, it is easy to lose sight of where the "mortals" have remained. The GAP increases constantly and one forgets how TRULY low the level of nonprofessionals once was. And it STILL is - they are not moving ahead in knowledge abreast you.
So here's the thing: You can talk to your prospect with the best of intentions, thinking that you're keeping it simple... and he witholds that you've long since passed to the unknown beyond - he doesn't have a CLUE of what you're talking about any more.
He sits there and feels UTTERLY STUPID.
He starts to RESENT that feeling - and looks for a REASON. Well, it doesn't take Einstein to figure out that soon he will blame it on you... see, YOU are making him feel that way!
I won't go deeper into this subject - it's painful enough as it is for EVERY professional regardless of the industry.
But you can see that this is NOT the route to convincing your prospect of your own CPA skills.
I'm sure you fully understand how vital it is to "keep a lid on" your own professional terminology if you want to avoid that prospect resentment.
The prospects' method of evaluating the level of your professional CPA skills
It is safe to assume most business owners don't understand much about accounting.
Then how do they evaluate the level of your techical competence as a CPA or Accountant?
Don't think they won't evaluate it. No way is a prospect going to sign on without formulating some sort of an opinion about your professional skills.
Therefore, we see that there are two things at work here.
First is that prospects do not have any workable way to determine the level of your professional expertise.
And secondly, they are very hesitant to change CPAs for that very reason. Nobody wants to make a mistake in something as important and far-reaching as the selection of a CPA.
It is this HESITATION that you will have to handle in all of your prospects in order to win them over as new clients.
The most difficult of all decisions he has to make concerns your skills as a CPA:
"IS THIS CPA BETTER THAN THE ONE I NOW HAVE?"
ALL THE PROSPECTS YOU LOSE ARE LOST BECAUSE THEY COULD NOT GET AN ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION.
See how important it is to help your prospects to make a decision on this matter?
Obviously, it isn't your competence they'll make their decision on... they'd really have to be CPAs themselves to do that. As you may already have read elsewhere on these pages, it is no use to TELL the prospect how good you are... he just won't believe it. It is also clear that if the prospect CANNOT make that decision, he will just remain with his current CPA.
So what to do?
Make it feel good
Your prospect will make his decision about your professional skills based on how GOOD YOU MAKE HIM FEEL when talking with you. The more intelligent he feels, the more he understands what you say and the more he feels YOU UNDERSTAND HIM - the more he thinks of YOU.
So it is how GOOD it feels to talk to you, how NICE you are, how WELL YOU LISTEN and how INTERESTED you were about their specific requirements... and so on.
We wish we could tell you your prospect will leave your office full of "accounting wisdom"... but alas, that is not the way it goes.
When he has signed on, his train of thought - when he narrates this to his wife in the dinner table - will go something like, "Well, the CPA is a nice fellow.... and I don't know but he seemed to know what he was talking about... and at least he was really keen to know what we need... and he really can listen... I actually understood what he said to me!"
In any prospect there are both INTEREST toward your services (or the benefits and solutions you offer) and UNCERTAINTY brought on by the fear of making a fatally wrong selection.
These are the two things that alternate in his mind. So it isn't that you need to INTEREST him so much as it is that you need to give him CERTAINTY about things.
Yes, it's basically that simple. Certainty about things. Which things? ANYTHING - just concentrate on creating a certainty about whatever it is you discuss. Don't leave him hanging, don't leave him uncertain.
This can only be achieved through a better-than-before understanding reached by the prospect.
As business owners openly admit in our survey, they have NO WAY to know if the CPA they select is better or worse, more skillful or less so than the previous one. They won't admit it to YOU, though.
They will pretend to play hardball and some of them will also pretend to be very knowledgeable.
YOU need to know this is not the case. You need to know what your prospects most want and how he forms his opinion about you. And, while you play along with his hardball-knowledgeable cover, you need to make absolutely sure he really understands what you say and do.
Therefore, the quality of sales involves GIVING CERTAINTIES to the prospect. Since you can rarely give him certainty on your technical know-how then all you have to go on are the non-technical issues dealing with customer service and how pleasant it would be to work with you. Being nice and polite, listening to him, and never disagreeing with him... and so on.
Professional & proven CPA sales system
We researched and tested this out extensively in dozens of Practices. A precise tool was developed through trial and error with over 5,000 prospective clients and a LOT of trouble shooting.
There are about 15 different areas you need to cover to be certain that the vast majority of your prospects WILL feel intelligent talking with you, will understand the unique benefits you offer and will definitely DECIDE you are a better choice.
These 15 factors and the tools that they are incorporated in are included in the Modern Accountancy Marketing & Sales Course. Please click the link to get a briefing on this system.
We invite you to make use of this resource now that it available to any Accounting Professional and affordable to the smallest of practices.
|Which are the effective elements in a CPA service presentation and sales system - which parts are essential if you want RESULTS with certainty?|
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