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What Accountants Are Really Trying to Sell

Having a deep knowledge and understanding of your product or service is essential for improving your sales skills. It is important to ask yourself if you truly understand what you are offering to your clients. By having an in-depth understanding of your product or service, you can greatly enhance your sales performance, regardless of your natural talent in communicating with clients.

Tiers of selling


Your initial assumption could perhaps be that you’re offering superior services, which could indeed be valid. Your workflow processes may indeed surpass those of your rivals.

However, it is essential to remember that clients prioritise results over methods. They may not exhibit great interest in understanding how exceptional returns were yielded or the red flags identified in their financial records nor the novel payroll specialist addition to your workforce. Improved and efficient workflows are intended for your usage to deliver remarkable outcomes with lesser exertion.

Therefore, there exists a likelihood that if you frequently converse about procedural aspects rather than focusing on existing challenges or potential benefits; it might not engage the client’s attention as much. Focus more on communicating value from a client’s perspective versus outlining process improvements made behind-the-scenes within the company for best response rate from existing and potential clients alike.


The reliability of your firm significantly supersedes the importance of your processes. Has your company demonstrated a track record of successfully managing clients who grapple with concerns analogous to theirs? Is there an established rapport that encourages clients to confide in you with their issues, or is there a perception that it becomes burdensome for them? Have all necessary actions been taken on your end to alleviate any uncertainties they might confront when engaging with an accounting firm? Moreover, can you confidently assert that the relationship fostered with these clients is cordial rather than having undertones of antagonism or condescension?


Ultimately, and of utmost importance to your clients, surpassing both rapport and internal operations, are the outcomes delivered by your firm. Viewing the three tiers of sales holistically, what you’re effectively selling to your clients – or rather should be encapsulating in your propositions – is their prospective future.

In pitching to potential clients, it would be beneficial to convey that your firm has the capability and expertise vital for aiding them construct an optimal future. This narrative can be successfully illustrated by emphasising how you’ve previously provided exceptional results for comparable entities and assisted them in realising objectives A,B & C; demonstrating genuine involvement towards client welfare; as well as structuring robust internal processes which prioritise actualization of client aims.

Your sales workflow

Establishing a streamlined workflow process is critical to enhancing your sales capabilities. The introduction of such a system allows you to scrutinise and rectify shortcomings, eventually transforming into an efficient sales operation capable of addressing any inquiries, remarks or issues raised by potential clients.

Consider your existing sales protocol – do you adopt a specified strategy when someone enters your office? Is there automatic provision for refreshments or designated meeting spaces facilitated by either yourself or another member of the team?

Also important is evaluating whether you have an organised method for determining meeting agendas; these may differ categorically depending on if consultations are focused on personal finance advice versus support in initiating small businesses.

Moreover, consider post-meeting procedures: Do you conform to systematic follow-up communication via emails, letters, or phone calls?

It’s equally essential that in unforeseen circumstances – such as being away on business trips or unable to work due to sickness – any member of your team should be equipped well enough with this established process so they can proficiently handle situations independently.

Tips for your sales workflow

  1. Prioritise meeting individuals who possess the authority to provide approval. In instances where multiple key stakeholders are involved, arrange for meetings that include all requisite personnel to secure a decision in your favour. This strategy negates any unnecessary repetition of business proposals and optimally utilises time by preventing repeated attempts at getting approval at a later date.
  2. It is essential to differentiate between a meeting and a sale. As you refine your workflow, you may observe a consistent pattern emerging, possibly similar to:

Step 1 – Initial meet-and-greet with pitch.

Step 2 – Second meeting to get into specifics with potential clients.

Step 3 – You send out a documented project proposal (depending on the type of client).

Step 4 – They respond that they like it or that they want tweaks.

Step 5 – Actual signing and payment.

Breaking down your sales workflow into steps has 4 big benefits.

This strategy will equip you with a robust understanding of your team members’ performance during sales meetings, rather than relying solely on your direct involvement. It facilitates the identification of potential weaknesses if pitches consistently stall at certain stages.

Additionally, it promotes efficiency in maintaining an accurate positioning status for each individual client. This proactive approach supports the recognition of outstanding performers within your team; these high achievers can be delegated to undertake a more significant portion of sales tasks or act as mentors to foster skills development across the team.

Moreover, accrued experience over time should gradually refine your ability and that of your team’s to persuade potential clients using fewer steps. By effectively showcasing why you’re their ideal partner in achieving future goals, this method assures clients they’ve made the best selection possible.

  1. Prepare ahead of time. While inherent sales skills are not a prerequisite, portraying self-assuredness during client meetings is crucial. Your level of confidence immensely influences the potential client’s trust in you and your capabilities.

Creating a comprehensive agenda prior to your meeting can significantly enhance its efficiency. It provides detailed structures, eliminating the tedious task of sorting through notes to pinpoint essential discussion points. Furthermore, it ensures that you maintain command over the proceeding of the meeting.

It is advisable to thoroughly rehearse your presentations. Formulate your agenda in writing and take time to recite it audibly during quiet, personal periods. This may feel unusual, but it is preferable to cultivate this proficiency prior to interfacing with potential clients, rather than using the initial meetings as a testing ground.

Similarly, anticipate inquiries that clients may pose and prepare the appropriate responses. This preparation will greatly boost your certainty in client interactions. Should you encounter a question where the answer is not readily known to you, uphold transparency rather than resorting to pretence. Express gratitude towards the potential client for highlighting an important issue and offer assurance to provide them with an answer later on. This also conveniently allows for valid reasons to reconnect with them through subsequent emails or phone calls.


1) What specific questions might prospective clients ask?

2) How can I best prepare responses prior to client meetings?

3) Is there a reliable method of tracking all questions posed by different clients?

4) What approach should be taken when faced with unknown queries during live conversations?

5) How do I professionally handle follow-up communications after promising to provide answers to unsolved issues?

Should prospective clients present concerns, a prepared list of insightful responses should be employed to address these objections effectively. It’s crucial to comprehend their potential apprehension regarding Subject A. Previous clients, X, Y, and Z had expressed similar reservations initially. However, upon continuing their partnership with us, they have since achieved considerable success – an evidence of our commitment towards addressing client needs deftly and professionally.

  1. Dress for success. The influence of your organisation’s culture on the impression you make cannot be overstated, and this extends significantly to your presentation. The attire you don, along with that of your team members’, the aesthetics of your office, or even the vehicle you drive can shape potential clients’ view about your level of achievement. This perception in turn carries considerable weight on the impact and success rate of your proposals.
  2. Ask the potential client about their goals. Don’t forget, the idea you’re presenting is the firm’s unsurpassed capability to effectively assist them in realising their ambitions. In due course, you’ll discover that various client objectives align with specific niches. The more a prospective client corresponds to a niche, the greater similarities they share with existing clients whose goals your firm has successfully facilitated in the past.

This serves as an opportunity to illustrate how we’ve assisted current clients in overcoming similar challenges that your organisation is currently facing. Furthermore, it allows us to provide insights into future expectations. We’ve carefully curated a suite of services specifically tailored for organisations such as yours, offering bespoke solutions designed with your unique needs in mind.

Understanding a client’s motivations enhances your capability to effectively demonstrate that your firm is the ideal partner for their needs and interests.

  1. If possible, get some “wow” numbers ready. While this strategy may not be applicable for unanticipated walk-in prospects, it can significantly impact those for whom you have the opportunity to prepare. I recommend presenting them with data-driven insights that could reveal perspectives they might not have previously considered.

You may choose to effectively illustrate the potential losses incurred through laxity in pursuing customer payments. Alternatively, you might illuminate the potential for increased annual revenue by proposing a strategic rise in their product prices.

Ensure that your presentations only present current data and figures as they stand now. It is not necessary to illustrate the step-by-step process of how these results were attained, simply focus on showcasing the massive potential available. The tangible transformation from point A (the present) to point B (a prosperous future) is essentially what our services offer.

Effectively showcasing the profound potential of their thriving future, courtesy of your interventions, contextually reframes the cost of your services. These fees may appear considerably smaller when compared to prospective expansion possibilities. This understanding can be further accentuated by conveying that such costs will be financed from the excess profits generated through capitalising on our firm’s professional proficiency and strategic counsel tailored for their business ambitions.

  1. Have case studies ready. As alluded to briefly earlier, case studies deserve special attention. Understanding the specific needs of a prospective client – be it matters pertaining to personal finances or small businesses, for example – is essential. Providing them with a case study that illustrates how you’ve successfully assisted another client with analogous challenges can substantially augment your chances of securing their commitment.
  2. End with a confirmation of the next step. At times, the subsequent stage may necessitate a formal gathering to thoroughly discuss the details of your proposal. Alternatively, there could be instances where it becomes essential for you to visit their company premises. Additionally, it is in this course of action that you might officially join and subsequently collect respective fees.

It is critical to ensure that tangible actions are underway, and there exists a responsibility on the part of potential clients as well. This doesn’t solely rest on your commitment. For instance, an appropriate next step would involve the prospective client attending a subsequent meeting to review your proposal instead of merely receiving it from you.

  1. Ask for them to sign on. We strongly encourage you to seek their signature as a final step of sealing the agreement. Upon demonstrating how your services can assist in realising their desired future, should there be any hesitation from them, the situation could be addressed assertively yet professionally – “Our aim is to facilitate you in achieving these strategic objectives we have deliberated upon today. May I ask if we can proceed with initiating this plan?”

In the event of a refusal, accept it graciously. Not every prospective client will commit to your propagation. If you observe a pattern of rejections occurring at a similar juncture in your meeting schedule workflow, take this as an opportunity to enhance and improve that particular segment.

Should a client request for lower pricing, respond firmly with negation before revisiting your proposition so as to identify any areas where you might have fallen short in effectively communicating the financial value they stand to gain from enlisting our services. A demand for reduced cost is fundamentally indicative of their perception that you’ve not sufficiently demonstrated compelling reasons why they should entrust their finances with us.

Hopefully, the prospective client after exploring other competing firms will come to realise that their sales pitches lack the robust content evident in your presentations. Perfecting your approach to a sales pitch can make it memorable, often persisting in a potential client’s mind even after they initially decline the offer. This enduring impression could render subsequent meetings with alternative firms less impressive by comparison. Hence, an initial refusal may not represent outright rejection; rather it could be regarded as a postponed acceptance.

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