“What tools do you recommend to help a sole practitioner stand out?”

By | 2017-08-01T09:18:19+00:00 August 1st, 2017|Accountants, facebook, Linkedin, Reputation, sole practitioners, STANDING OUT, twitter|

This was another question I was asked during a recent interview. This post is drawn from the notes I made before giving my answer on air. Many accountants and bookkeepers reference their best source of new business as being referrals and recommendations. So let's deal with this first. Tools I would recommend here include: Linkedin

3 lessons for accountants from….. personal trainers

By | 2017-07-11T10:56:09+00:00 July 11th, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Career development, Experience and expertise, Reputation, Servicing clients, sole practitioners|

I recently heard John Hardy the Founder of FASTER Health and Fitness introduce his business.  He mentioned he throught there were similarities with accountants. I have taken what he said and adapted it to provide some lessons for accountants from the business side of personal training and fitness. 1  Personality John has noted that a

How do you allow clients to communicate with you?

By | 2017-06-20T09:47:51+00:00 June 20th, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, facebook, Linkedin, Servicing clients, Social Media, twitter|

In the days before email there were only 3 ways that clients could communicate with their accountants. In person, by phone and by letter. Now the list of options is much longer. Do you encourage, tolerate or refuse to accept communications by less conventional methods? How does this impact your client base? Email is perhaps

Be proud and positive about your profession

By | 2017-06-13T12:19:00+00:00 June 13th, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Career development, Conversational impact, STANDING OUT|

This week's blog post is derived from the response I received from a recent attendee at one of my talks. She had been very enthusiastic so I asked her what she had learned specifically. This is her reply: Things I took away from yesterday: That it’s OK to be on the quiet side at networking

“None of my clients want anything more than the basics”

By | 2017-05-09T09:32:30+00:00 May 9th, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Servicing clients, sole practitioners, STANDING OUT|

Unlike some commentators, I entirely accept that many accountants have some clients who want nothing more than a basic compliance service.  And that you get very frustrated to be told by consultants that you should offer your clients advisory services. After all,  you know your clients don't want, cannot afford and will not value such advisory

Connect, know, like, trust, need – what do you do to make this work for you?

By | 2017-05-02T09:39:41+00:00 May 2nd, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Career development, Conversational impact, Dependability and trust, Experience and expertise, Reputation, STANDING OUT|

I frequently hear networking gurus stress a mantra that originated in the book ‘Endless Referrals, written by Bob Burg: “All things being equal, people do business with, and refer business to people they know, like and trust.” I understand this is also the mantra shared at certain networking groups. The focus then is on encouraging you to make an effort

What is the really simple idea at the heart of what you do?

By | 2017-04-26T10:04:10+00:00 April 26th, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Conversational impact, STANDING OUT|

We have all been asked, many times, "What do you do?" Does your reply help ensure that you will be remembered positively for any length of time? Simple straightforward factual replies allow the other person to put us in a 'box'. This is what happens when we simply state our profession (eg: "I'm an accountant"

Could you adapt this unique way of standing out from the crowd?

By | 2017-01-10T09:18:48+00:00 January 10th, 2017|Accountants, Appearance, Business messaging and branding, Conversational impact, Dependability and trust, Experience and expertise, STANDING OUT|

I still remember meeting Christopher Higenbottam at a networking event some years ago. I asked what he did and he told me he is an architect. (Indeed it transpired that he was the MD of Tempietto Architects). We talked for a while about his work.  After a few minutes I think I asked him whether

Don’t make this mistake if you want referrals from your clients

By | 2018-03-14T21:46:36+00:00 January 4th, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Conversational impact, Following up, STANDING OUT|

Regardless of which profession you practice, I wonder if you make an all too common mistake. We all hope that clients will want us to provide a range of services to them. And we hope that clients will recommend and refer us to other prospective clients too. But, as I frequently point out, 'hope' is

Use your ‘inner magic’ to stand out from others who do what you do

By | 2016-11-04T10:13:04+00:00 November 4th, 2016|Business messaging and branding, Experience and expertise, STANDING OUT|

Are you 'just another' accountant, lawyer, surveyor, speaker, trainer or whatever? Really? But you're you. No one else can be you. The real you. Richard Jones on BGT The winner of the 2016 TV series of Britian's Got Talent (BGT) was Richard Jones. A magician. And a soldier. When interviewed* Richard explains that from the

If we don’t trust experts anymore what do you need to do to STAND OUT?

By | 2016-08-23T14:43:50+00:00 August 23rd, 2016|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, STANDING OUT|

During 2016 politicians in both the UK (Michael Gove) and in the US (Donald Trump) repeatedly asserted that people have “had enough” of experts. Voting patterns seemed to confirm this as expert political and economic views were largely ignored. And yet, we also know it's patently not true. If you have a health problem do

How much personality should sole practitioners put into their practice?

By | 2016-07-25T10:12:14+00:00 July 25th, 2016|Accountants, Appearance, Conversational impact, Dependability and trust, Linkedin, sole practitioners, STANDING OUT, twitter|

I was asked two related questions during a recent interview. This post is drawn from the notes I made before giving my answers on air. 1. With so many businesses competing with each other online, has it become more important to put more personality into your practice? The smaller your practice the more important it

Are technical skills enough for sole practitioner accountants?

By | 2018-07-12T07:28:09+00:00 July 13th, 2016|Accountants, Key Business skills, Networking, sole practitioners, Speaking skills|

Most sole practitioners are justly proud of their technical skills. It is also common to find that some sole practitioners undervalue the importance of ensuring that they have all the business skills they require to be profitable in the short-term and successful in the longer-term. At best only lip-service is paid to the development of non-technical

The Sole Practitioners’ formula for identifying your premium fee paying prospects

By | 2016-06-28T14:02:51+00:00 June 28th, 2016|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Experience and expertise|

This is a guest blog provided by Patrick McLoughlin. In it he explains how sole practitioner accountants can become really clear as to who is a premium fee playing client. And, having done that, how you can then clarify your future marketing and business generation activities. As Patrick's approach is much the same as mine I

10 commandments of client service for sole practitioners

By | 2016-06-13T15:48:32+00:00 June 13th, 2016|Accountants, Dependability and trust, Experience and expertise, Productivity, Servicing clients|

Ok, maybe not real 'commandments' and maybe they are relevant to a wider audience than sole practitioners. Either way I hope you'll nod as you look through the list. I suggest you aim to pick out one or two where you know you could do better. And then focus on what you could do to