Accountants chew over their ‘why’
Understanding and then articulating to your clients why you do what you do is fundamental to winning new clients or business, says Raoul Monks of Flume Training.
Speaking at the Practice Excellence Conference, Monks explained Simon Sinek's 'Golden Circle' theory and encouraged delegates to start thinking about their ‘why’ first, then their ‘how’ and finally ‘what’ they do.
“The principle of the golden circle is very simple but it’s not used by many people,” Monks said.
“Apple communicated in a very different way - their ‘why’ was to challenge the status quo, they messaged from the inside out.”
Turning his attention to the accounting profession, Monks got attendees to think about the purpose of their practices.
He gave the example of a typical client, called Derek, who cares about is his business and growing it.
“People in business like Derek want the best outcome, not just price,” he said. “Your role is to help your clients get better results and they need to know that you care.”
The thought-provoking and practical session allowed delegates to discuss in smaller groups the why/how/what methodology and how it applies to their own firms.
Example: Understanding your ‘why’
· Why: “We believe that our role as an accountant should be focussed primarily on helping you grow your business and increasing your profit.”
· How: “We provide all the standard fundamentals an accountant should, such as year-end accounts and tax saving advice, but we also spend time helping you grow your business”
· What: “We do this by offering regular structured phone calls to develop your strategy for growth, in addition to the standard accounting services we provde.”
In particular the issue that "it’s not just about price" rang true for many of the accountants in attendance. They said trust, vision and rapport were often more important factors when clients selected their accountant, and vice versa, when accountants choose which clients they want to work with.
Monks explained that accountants also needed to teach clients what they're doing wrong, and that will create differentiation.
He added that finding your ‘why’ can help improve client and prospect conversations to bring both clients and you more value.
Paul Dunn, Accountants' Boot Camp founder and a fellow advocate of Sinek’s philosophy, also recently urged practices to find their ‘why’ at a 2020 conference in Birmingham.
Dunn said accountants should be able to reach the clients they want to reach, i.e. those who share your passion and enthusiasm. He added that having a purpose and renewed passion for what you do and why do you it rubs off on staff with everyone feeling switched on due to being part of a bigger purpose.
Realising you have the ability to pick up and work with your ideal clients – the ones who resonate with your firm’s why will lead you down the path of picking them up,” he said.
What is your firm’s 'why’? Can you articulate your mission and why you do what you do?