Yesterday was a good day. Not only did I win a amazing new accountancy client, but I also saw as I drove to Oxford to meet them, red kites, buzzards and another unidentified bird of prey.
The Joined Up Networker
I help professionals, mostly accountants and lawyers become the Go-To-Expert. After joining BDO LLP in 2004, I have now almost clocked up ten years working predominantly with accountants helping them achieve their career and business goals. Unusually for someone with an Engineering Degree, I accidentally became a writer and used my knowledge on social media to write the current best-selling and award-winning book on networking, The FT Guide To Business Networking. (over 100 five star reviews on amazon) In 2012, the book I always wanted to write, 'How to make partner and still have a life' was published. In March 2014, my latest book, 'The Go-To-Expert: How to build your reputation, differentiate yourself from the competition and win business' was published. People frequently talk about me as someone who really knows her stuff – which may be the reason I have, over the last decade, worked with over 300 partners, coached and trained over 2000 professionals at every level of the UK’s most ambitious professional practices.
I am honoured to have been asked to judge the British Accountancy Awards in 2011 and 2012. I am a member of the Accountant's Club Global Advisory Panel, and write regularly on practice management issues for CCH.
Myself, and Jon (my co-director) are approved Growth Accelerator Coaches. This means that we can if you are eligible, through the Growth Accelerator scheme, help you get some coaching funded by the scheme. Click here for more details to see whether you are eligible for the scheme.
Read how we have helped one of our accountancy clients access Growth Accelerator funding to grow their turnover by nearly 50% and profits by over 200%
The types of work I am currently helping my small professional practice clients with, includes:
1) Helping a £2m t/o practice grow to £4m by restructuring the firm and helping the management team step up
2) Working with a £1m t/o practice to grow to £2m by generating more leads, and getting more work from existing clients
3) Enabling a £300k t/o practice grow to £1m by helping it sort out it's profitability by adding in efficient systems and processes, and increasing the quality of the lead generation by marketing to a niche
4) Facilitating the growth of a one man band practice into a 3 person practice by helping increase the lead generation and conversion rate of leads, plus keeping the practice owner accountable to his goals.
The Excedia Group was founded by myself and Jon Baker to bring clarity, perspective and knowledge to help our clients achieve their business goals. We specialise in working with highly technical individuals, typically lawyers and accountants, helping them to get out of their comfort zone and build a profitable and sustainable client portfolio whilst handling the challenges of leading a business.
My work splits into about 50% Executive & Business Coaching with Partners & potential partners, with the rest split between training, consultancy and writing.
My articles & quotes regularly appear in the press, e.g. FT, Guardian, Accountancy Age, Accounting Today, Economia, ACCA's publications. I regularly blog at Partnership Potential, venture-Now, Joined up networking and How to make partner.
To book me for a speaking engagement please contact my PR Agency, Meerkat PR, on 020 8563 0182, and ask for David Stoch. For any other work related enquiries, please contact me directly.
My clients have included: Deloitte LLP, KPMG LLP, BDO LLP, Haines Watts, MSI Global Alliance, UK200 group, Macintyre Hudson LLP amongst others.
At the moment it appears that the 'to niche or not niche' is still raging across the accountancy industry - as well as professional service firms generally. Only yesterday I was having a debate with an HR partner in a top 20 firm about whether they should commit to a sectorised approach.
Yesterday I was doing a 'lunch and learn' around the subject of 'why use LinkedIn' with the partners in a medium-sized firm.
One of the partners was fairly vocal and keen to pin me down on 'how much new business could he expect to win if he used LinkedIn?'
Do you ever get tired of other professionals just wanting access to your black book of clients? In fact it can be daunting at times to know who to have a strategic partnership with to help each other generate clients.
A few weeks ago I met up with, as it happens, a lawyer, who had been very helpful to me.
I had no agenda for the meeting, but saw it as an opportunity to have a chat, buy them a cup of coffee to say thank you and see if I could help them.
I was reading first tab's blog on the amount of 'commercial' bloggers coming onto AW in order to drop links. (which made me feel slightly guilty). It also prompted me to think about blog post headlines.
Sussing out how to generate referrals to your target clients from your current clients is probably the holy grail for most accountants in practice. In fact, if you get this right, you may never need to go networking again or use a telemarketer.
In this blog post, I explore why accountants need to do more than just be a diligent networker if they want to win business via their network.
If I met you at a networking event and asked you, 'what's your thing?' - could you answer me in a short simple sentence?
When you run your own practice (or are focusing on building your client portfolio within your part of the practice) and have many calls on your time, getting the time for business development is tough.