Mark Lee explores how accountants who adopt the ‘challenger’ model might distinguish themselves in a positive and profitable way.
Who controls the conversation when you meet with a prospective new client? Conventional wisdom suggests that we should listen more than we talk and that we should get people to talk about their problems, challenges and issues.
We then aim to find some connection, affinity and rapport and demonstrate our expertise and relevant experience. All without coming across as boring or unpleasant. But is this really the best way to win more clients and more work from existing clients?
In 2011 ‘Harvard Business Review’ (HBR) published the results of a global survey of thousands of top B2B sales reps. The HBR articles drew on research by the CEB Sales Leadership Council that categorised sales reps into one of the following primary styles: relationship builder; hard worker; lone wolf; reactive problem solver; or challenger.
I’m not suggesting there is any similarity between professional accountants and the average sales rep. But I have seen so many references to the challenger model that I decided it was worth exploring in the context of accountancy practice.
Register for free and log in to see the full article, which covers:
- What sets challengers apart?
- Continuing importance of relationship building
- Stand-out accountants
If this article sparks sufficient interest Mark Lee will return to the topic next month.
Mark Lee is consultant practice editor of AccountingWEB and writes the BookMarkLee blog where he asserts that Boring Is Optional. He is on a mission to help accountants overcome the stereotype and to be more successful in practice, online and in life. He is also chairman of the Tax Advice Network of independent tax experts.