Fine Tuning or Expanding Your Practice Offerings

A myriad of articles and books have been written about sales techniques and product development, but the process is straightforward. Your firm should have a mix of services that clients want to buy.

Most firms have built their practices based on providing compliance services that clients have to buy, like tax and audit. And of course, if you have been in the profession for long, you will remember that accepting commissions and marketing were not acceptable behaviors in the past.

But much of the professional accounting world has moved beyond compliance with Client Accounting Services (CAS), advisory services, wealth management and more. Bloomberg suggests that there may be as many as 30 services provided by accounting firms. It is easier to manage growth beyond compliance if you specialize in an industry or specific offering. To develop an innovative offering, consider the following steps:

  • Discuss client needs with peers
  • Proactively schedule client discovery meetings to ask about their needs
  • Determine how many other clients have similar needs
  • Create a menu of services and a fee schedule
  • Approach some of the clients with the new offering
  • Refine the offering after completing 3-5 engagements
  • Market the offering inside your client base and then externally

To manage these steps, you need a methodology for tracking success. A business development system helps organize your actions and ensure the next steps are completed on a timely basis.

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