You want to make your prospects and clients feel amazing. And you also want to ensure they feel safe and secure with you. Fortunately, it’s not as tricky as you might think.

Years ago, managing clients during the onboarding process or when we got them to purchase the service was all that mattered. But then, there was also the question of how to manage the onboarding process itself. And you’d need to make sure that the clients did what you wanted them to do.

Doesn’t this remind you of when you’re disciplining children? 

Looking back, you may now understand why you weren’t very successful especially if you were a disciplinarian. Because if you tried to persuade and influence them, it might have encouraged them to act in a certain way.

With enough motivation, we get them to act exactly how we want them to. This also enables them to understand the rules in a way that feels like teamwork.

So, the way you want to treat your clients and prospects is the same way you’d treat your children. This is funny indeed because you need to understand how the human brain works. But there are a few other aspects you should be aware of.

You Need to Become a Leader

The human brain hates being constantly told what to do. However, it’s a little bit like leading a horse to water. We can lead that horse to water, but we never manage to get the water to the horse.

 In other words, you can’t make the horses drink or prospects convert, but…

We lead them, we persuade them, we influence them, and we motivate them to do so. 

This is what you need to think about when working with your clients. This goes double when you’re trying to get those high-value clients to onboard with you.

Such thinking is also critical when you want to get the clients to say “Yes!” and start working with you. But how do you do it?

You want to stop being a manager and start being a leader.

The idea is to lead your prospects through the process so that they buy from you. Then, lead them from when they bought all the way through to an amazing onboarding experience. 

This is how you get them to work with you the way you want, just like with your children. You persuade and influence them to act in a certain way. If you manage to do this with your clients, this means you have the practice you’re looking for.

It’s not about manipulating your prospects and your clients. Rather, it’s about showing that you understand their situation. You understand what’s best for them – the same with your children. And this is the reason they need to act in a certain way.

Now, let’s go back to the process when clients are looking for a new accountant. At that point, you need to lead them into the accounting world. 

This is about making sure that you’re not managing them to get into a sales funnel. You want to lead them instead into the sales funnel and the way to do that is through influence.

The Processes

For the prospects to see you as a great leader, you must provide great value to them. The same goes for impact and the motivation you can offer. There are two processes that can secure this and here’s how to conduct them.

The Sales Process

When we take people through the sales process, that’s actually a marketing process. But the saddening thing is that we see so many accounting firm owners start with a sales conversation, not marketing.

They tell the prospect what it is that they have to sell. Then, accounting firm owners ask the prospect where they’d like to go from there or what kind of service they’d like. And there’s usually a mention of the pricing.

The problem with this approach is that you aren’t leading the prospects to become clients. At least, not in a way that best serves your potential clients. In fact, what you’re doing is letting them make a decision.

This is a little bit like asking your children which food they’d like and presenting them with plenty of options. For example, when people face three different options, they’ll likely go with the cheapest one. Or, they may go for the option in the middle.

This is psychology and what your clients actually need is not three options. Instead, you want to present what’s most suitable for them. And you would say to your client something like this:

“Having had this conversation, as someone who has worked with people like you before, we know just what you need. And we’d suggest that this is the best service for you.”

So, you lead the client to get the best service. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the most expensive option at the same time.

The Onboarding Process

Once the prospect agrees to your offer, they should get amazed by it. And then, you need to onboard them. And this also has to do with leading the clients to a favourable outcome.

For instance, there’s one thing we do in our Momentum Program. We have a series of videos that indoctrinate our clients into our world. These videos explain how we get to help, where we get to help, our working hours, etc.

We also tell them which email addresses we need for different contacts. The videos also provide tutorials on how to use our portal and show up for Q&A calls. And this is the onboarding process each of our clients goes through.

There are about six different videos of around only twenty minutes in length. By the end of the last one, the clients have gone through a really nice journey. Plus, we lead them through it.

The biggest perk of this is that the clients won’t have something called buyer’s remorse.

You see, when someone parts with a lot of money or they become your client, buyer’s remorse is the first thing to kick in. They’ll begin questioning if they made the right decision. 

The onboarding process is there to avoid remorse. It makes the clients feel safe and secure, and it determines your future relationship.

What Happens When You Get This Right?

As mentioned, what you have is someone who feels very safe and secure and they’ll see you as a VITAL accountant. But what does this mean?

The point is that the clients see your value. They see the impact you’re making on their business and they trust you. This is the biggest thing.

If you can get the people to trust you, they’ll do as you ask of them. And when they do so, they’ll have great results because you’re asking them to do things for a reason.

So, you lead them through the onboarding process and nurture them as your relationship develops. Do this and your clients will trust you.

There’ll be times when you need to pivot some of the things your clients are doing. You need to be open about the wrong-doings and ask them to be more agile. You’d be asking them to move in a different direction and they’d trust you to do it.

And this is because you’ve positioned yourself as the leader.

To stress again, you don’t want to manage the following:

  1. Prospects
  2. Onboarding process
  3. Client journey

You want to lead, not manage, them through these. Your clients will start to enjoy working with you more as a result. Even better, they will give you more money because everyone is looking to get led.

Lead Your Way to Amazing Accounting Firm

Moving from managing to leading may be a big shift in mindset. This is especially true when you learn it’s actually very similar to leading your children. But it’s one of the best strategies to create a VITAL accounting firm.

To go back to the child-rearing analogy, gone are the days where we sit there with a cane smacking them on the bottom. If clients (and children) don’t do as we ask them, we lead them in the direction we want them to go. And this approach really changes the world.

Now, it’s best to stop for a moment and think about your leadership skills. 

Pay close attention to the areas you’d need to work on to become a better leader. You might already be leading your clients and that’s great. However, most accounting firms either still stick with managing, or do neither of the two. But don’t worry if you’re behind one of those firms.

You now know what it takes to attract and keep high-profile prospects and lead them to become your clients. Then, the trick is in nurturing that relationship and doing your best to provide even greater value.

P.S. When you are ready to have more TIME, increase your PROFITS and catapult your IMPACT here is how you can get help and increase your superpowers:

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