Stop talking about your USP – it’s the same as other accountants

I’m often struck by the difficulty many accountants have when trying to identify what’s special about their firm or practice.

Many assume that they do nothing different to any other accountant. Others have been persuaded they need to claim to have a USP.  But, when asked, most accountants make the same claims about their practice, about the same aspirational service levels and the same so-called distinguishing features.

What’s special or ‘Unique’ about your practice?

Not a lot, it would seem.

Do any of the following describe your firm?

    • We provide a partner-led service
    • We don’t just prepare your accounts and tax returns
    • We aim to be your long-term business partner
    • We avoid surprise fees
    • We’re much more than just accountants; we’re not just good with numbers
    • We keep in touch with you throughout the year
    • We have a special affinity with entrepreneurs who lead their own businesses
    • We understand local issues, because they affect us too
    • We deliver the highest levels of service
    • We tailor our services to your exact requirements and budget
    • We offer competitive rates and unrivalled customer care

Good, good. The list could go on. But what’s special about your firm? Why should a prospective client who is comparing you and your firm with another accountant choose you?

If you haven’t thought about this you should do – assuming you want to win more clients. Your ‘Unique Selling Proposition’ (USP) is clearly NOT UNIQUE if it’s the same as the USP pronounced by other accountants. Indeed the more prospective clients hear the same claims by different accountants the more boring and samey they think you all are.

Incidentally, I recommend that you focus on finding a UPB rather than a USP. UPB stands for Unique Perceived Benefit. It requires you to identify a key benefit that your clients recognise and are aware (perceive) they get from you. It focuses your attention on your clients more than thinking about what you’re trying to sell to them.

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Mark Lee

Mark is a speaker, mentor, facilitator, author, blogger and debunker. Mark Lee helps professionals who want to STAND OUT and be remembered, referred and recommended using his 7 fundamental principles to create a more powerful professional impact, online and face to face.
2 replies
  1. Tina Calvert
    Tina Calvert says:

    An interesting article and something I have toiled with for a number of years. I would be interested in some examples of firms with an identifiable and sound UPB.

  2. Tony Margaritelli
    Tony Margaritelli says:

    You are so right Mark. Just take a simple look at any number of accountants websites and you will see virtually all of the supposed USPs listed somewhere on the site. It simply cannot be unique if every other accountant says the same can it? Now your UPB is another matter altogether.


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