I have long advised audiences and clients that claiming to have a Unique Sales Proposition (USP) is typically a mistake – as the word ‘unique’ means ‘unlike any other’. Rarely do I ever encounter accountants with genuinely ‘unique’ offerings for clients. And it will be counter-productive to assert that something about your approach is unique when this is evidently not the case. I have written about this previously. See: Stop talking about your USP – it’s the same as other accountants.
However, every accountant I have met is different. An individual. We all have different experiences, backgrounds and attitudes. These combine to ensure that clients will get a different service dependent on which accountant they appoint. If this was not the case, clients would never move from one accountant to another for reasons other than fees. And yet clients do move for other reasons.
Additionally, every accountant will deliver their advice differently. We all have our own opinions and style borne of our past experiences. And there are many different ways of providing (and billing) for advice.
By referencing the concept of Key Difference Indicators (KDIs) I want to encourage you to think about what makes YOU (personally) different to other accountants and then to make sure that the people you meet are aware of your KDIs. And, let me stress, I intend KDIs to be identified for individual accountants, not for accountancy firms. Everyone one in your firm will have their own KDIs.
Yes, this is a variation on my recurring theme of STANDING OUT from your competitors and peers. Normally when I reference this point it is in the context of being better remembered, referred and recommended. You will find that my 7 point stand out framework encourages you to consider how you focus on which KDIs will work best or you.
As your KDIs are intended to highlight whatever makes you YOU different to other accountants, they are likely to include elements drawn from:
- Your background
- Your interests, hobbies, activities
- Your experiences
- Your expertise
- Your motivation
- Your colleagues
- Your style
- Your preferences
- Your attitude and beliefs
In choosing the KDIs you talk about you must be authentic, real and honest. Be yourself.
Often you will find that you need to highlight different KDIs dependent on the person you are with. Your KDIs can make you more memorable but ideally you should look to focus on those KDIs that provide some benefit to your clients. There is no point in highlighting simply that you are odd!
You can also use your KDIs to boost your self confidence when meeting new people and prospective clients. Also when advising clients. And when setting your fee rates. After all, there is no single going rate for most of the work you do your way. Your approach and your fees are a function of your KDIs. Have you identified yours?
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