Are your belief systems be holding you back as an Advisor?

Are your belief systems holding you back as an Advisor?
By Samantha Dean

So, I’ve started writing an email series for those Accountants wanting to either transition into the Advisory space, or simply increase their effectiveness and results. As I was writing my last email, I thought about how important what I’m about to say is.

Firstly, my question to you is – do you believe in the value of Advisory for your clients?

You see, there are some common beliefs and misconceptions that could be blocking your success as an Advisor as well as repelling clients. These are beliefs I’ve seen many of my clients deal with and what I experienced earlier in my journey.

They are….

  • You don’t believe clients will value it
  • You don’t believe clients will pay for it
  • You don’t believe that you can do it
  • You don’t think you know what to do
  • You don’t think you have the time to do it
  • You don’t believe you have the confidence that you can change your business/self and the people within it

So, to change your belief patterns around Advisory and just how valuable it is to your clients, let’s start with what you are doing now….

You need to believe in the value of what you do now! Before you even think of what additional Advisory work you can be doing, you need to get clear in what you do now and the VALUE of that.

There are two very clear distinctions between what advice and work the client expects from you and what you might be providing in addition to their expectations. Therefore, let me ask you – are you separating these during your conversations and communicating the value of any additional advice to your client? If you don’t express this to them, how will they know?

This is super important, as we have to start separating first in our own minds the value difference between what we do from a compliance standpoint to the additional advisory work. So often, I see these not being separated in conversation, which in turn makes it difficult to believe in the additional value we are giving. Remember, we need to have full confidence and belief in our abilities, in order for our clients to.

Let’s look at an example of what I mean…

You have a very simple quarterly BAS lodgement with a client. You typically have a look and quickly go through in your mind “oh their income is down this quarter – maybe we can change their PAYG Instalment to help with cashflow”. You get this done and then your client probably thinks “Oh our BAS payment was lower, fabulous”. Yet – they receive the same quarterly invoice from you!

Here’s what I see with this scenario…

  • You haven’t valued this process just because it only took you five minutes of thinking and getting it done.
  • Yet your client has valued it as they clearly have received better results, i.e. a lower payment.

So how about having this conversation with them instead…

Hello client – had a quick look at your BAS and just wanted to check…we noticed that your gross revenue was down and out of sequence from normal – is everything ok?

This could lead into something like……

Cashflow is a little tight at the moment”.

Which your response might be….

“Why don’t we get together and discuss what we might be able to do to help manage your cashflow and brainstorm some revenue growing ideas?”

Client – “That sounds like a fantastic idea – how much will it cost?” (even if they don’t ask, you need to set a pricing expectation). Your answer can be something like this:

The meeting will cost $500 and this is based on the expectation that we will note the actions and results down in the meeting. I would expect the meeting to take an hour. We will discuss any follow-up services etc on the day.”

They will either say yes or no here at this point, and you should make the appointment right there and then for the meeting if it’s a yes. Either way end the conversation with:
In the mean time, we can have a look at varying your normal PAYGI to $X to take some of the pressure off.

The real value for the client is in the conversation not necessarily in just the result itself. You’ve now established an “Advisory” conversation that is proactive and didn’t take much time. You’ve also started to split the conversation between compliance (the BAS lodgement) and the Advisory service (the review of the PAYGI and help with cashflow).

Hope this helps you to gain more clarity around not only your belief systems, but also around the value of the ‘conversation’ with your client.

 

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Samantha Dean Author
Director & Consultant
Samantha Dean is a passionate FCA with over 25 years in Public Practice, the last 10 in the business advisory space. She is well known for her passion in advising business owners to achieve their business goals without compromising their personal ones. As a practitioner, Sam knows firsthand what works and what doesn’t when moving a practice from a traditional based compliance business model to a proactive advisory one.
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