Accountants: Sell or Die?


Too often accountants rely only on referrals instead of actively seeking out prospective clients and turning them into fee-paying clients.

Accountants need to build a culture of selling.

The reason for this, argues Martin Bissett, the founder of the Upward Spiral Partnership, a UK-based consulting firm that specializes in the implementation of professional selling skills and leadership development for partners and senior managers in the accounting profession, is that historically accountants had little reason to sell their business.

In order to bring in new clients, Bisset advises accountants to overcome the fear of selling their business and to let go of the conventional thinking “that selling is beneath professionals, including accountants.”

To be successful in growing a firm, partners and senior managers need to build a culture of selling, and not rely solely on referrals – as they are clients that were going to do business with them anyway.

Bisset’s solution for accountants who fear or hate selling is to attract clients by believing that your services can help them. “Instead of even thinking of it as selling, try reframing the process as the first way you help a business before they even sign on with you.”

In this way “selling” will mature into “attracting” new clients.

To turn prospects into clients, Bisset advises a clear defined value proposition  to avoid the trap of simply selling the same services as every other accountancy firm and to allow the prospect to want what you’ve got by making what you’ve got fit their needs.

For more on Bisset’s tips to sell your business, go here.