What makes you or your firm stand out?

I’m often struck by the difficulty many accountants have when trying to identify what’s special about them or their firm. When asked, almost everyone uses the same adjectives, the same aspirational service levels and the same so-called distinguishing features. What’s really special? What really makes you stand out and memorable?

Not a lot, it would seem.

Do you use variations on any of the following to describe how your firm stands out?

  • We provide a partner-led service
  • We don’t just prepare your accounts and tax returns
  • We aim to be your long-term business partners
  • We avoid surprise fees
  • We specialise in helping SME businesses
  • We keep in touch with you throughout the year

Good, good. But what’s really memorable, special and different  about your firm? Why should a prospective client who is comparing you or your firm with another one choose you? In what ways do you or your firm stand out as different to the other options? By ‘different’, I mean in what ways will a client benefit more from working with you than with any of the other accountants out there?

If you haven’t thought about this you should do – assuming you want to win more clients.  And you can only do this if you know what the competition are claiming make them memorable, special and different. Do you?

This is also a critical issue when networking. How easy do you make it for the people you meet to act as your advocate? Even if they like you and want to help you, what do you expect them to say? “I know this ‘great’ accountant” or “I know this ‘great’ employment lawyer” or whatever. What can they say to evidence what makes you ‘great’? What makes you stand out? What would you want them to say about you? How do they know this?

Few accountants or other professionals have thought about HOW they market themselves, WHAT messages they project and WHY anyone else should recommend them. Too many focus simply on an ‘elevator’ type statement that simply sets out what they do and who they do it for. It’s a start, but’s not enough.

Do share your thoughts below as comments or get in touch direct to let me know what makes you standout from the crowd.

By |2013-05-14T09:46:08+00:00May 14th, 2013|Reputation, STANDING OUT|

About the Author:

Mark Lee FCA is an accountancy focused futurist, influencer, speaker, mentor, author and debunker.


  1. David Winch 6th November 2017 at 12:05 am - Reply

    I entirely agree, Mark.

    So many businesses, and not just Accountants, think they are differentiating themselves when they’re only saying what their clients expect to be able to take for granted!

    A simple test is to ask how many competitors will be promoting the opposite – e.g.
    We offer a completely intern-led service
    We promise never to do anything more than prepare your Accounts and Tax Returns
    We’re your short-term partners
    You’ll love our fee surprises that we never mention – just add them to your invoice
    We ‘specialise’ in 95% of the market
    We’ll only ever contact you in the second half of January each year

    You’ll soon see how daft most of these look.

    • Mark 6th November 2017 at 8:24 am - Reply

      Thanks David. That’s a great way to look at it. Love it.

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