Get Consulting Clients for Your Accounting Firm with Zero Marketing

This episode was originally published on May 23, 2018, but it’s a favorite among our Growing Your Firm Podcast community, so we’re bringing it back! Share your thoughts on social to tell us if you’ve been listening to the podcast since the original airing of this episode.

Podcast

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Summary

  • How to go from low-priced bookkeeping to big money consulting
  • Strategies to getting consulting clients
  • How to charge $350/hour for an initial consult (while others do it free)
  • Tips for value pricing

Helpful Resources

Meet Hector Garcia

Hector Garcia is the Founder and Principal Accountant at Quick Bookkeeping in Miami, FL. He’s developed a way for you to get consulting clients for your accounting firm with zero marketing. And he’s only been doing this since 2011, so he didn’t have a 30-year track record to lean on.

In this episode of the Growing Your Firm Podcast by Jetpack Workflow Software, David Cristello and Hector Garcia dive into Hector’s path from just doing bookkeeping to highly profitable consulting gigs, his online strategies to bring in clients, how he charges $350/hour for an initial consult (while others do it free), and his tips to start value pricing.

How to go from low-priced bookkeeping to big money consulting

While working at a bank, Hector’s job was to help small businesses get business loans. He noticed that the majority of these entrepreneurs were having trouble getting their balance sheets and P&Ls together. After four years, he decided to go back to school to get his accounting degree. He opened his first practice in 2009, where he specialized in helping small business owners get their books together so they would be ready for a loan.

His process included logging in to their books remotely to reconcile, get everything together, and then bill them. He soon realized it was a good business model but noticed two problems:

  1. He couldn’t charge a lot for his services.
  2. The work was repetitive.

To combat this, in 2011, he began training clients 1-on-1 to teach them how to DIY their books. He enjoyed this new system because instead of actually doing the work he could charge a little more and show them how to do it. All he had to do was write “training” on his QuickBooks ProAdvisor summary.

His training business grew when a big company found out about his services and asked if he could provide training at a nearby hotel to a large group of people. He agreed and discovered he really enjoyed training in that kind of setting. From there on out he spent his weekends traveling to hotels to provide training.

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Strategies to getting consulting clients

Hector began to grow his business, and at the time this interview was conducted, he had seven employees. One of the requirements to being on Hector’s team is that you must be a ProAdvisor, which means you have extensive credibility and leads to plenty of opportunities.

Next, Hector created a webinar series compiled of common questions and answers he received while consulting his clients. The webinar series is free and runs 24/7. This serves as a passive way to bring in clients. He also shares snippets to YouTube and has over 25,000 subscribers and over 3,000,000 lifetime views. Because this is free advertising, even converting one client puts Him in the positive.

In addition to his webinars and youtube videos, Hector also writes blogs for Intuit, which then pulls people to his other platforms, and eventually converts them into clients who he matches with qualified consultants.

How to charge $350/hour for an initial consult (while others do if free)

Because Hector includes his contact information in all of his webinars, videos, and blogs, he gets a lot of questions flooding into his inbox. Hector has created a general rule of thumb to help him sift through these questions and rack up the consults: “If I can answer a question through email in 2 minutes, I do it free. If it’s longer than that, I push for a consult.”

While this works in many cases, Hector is sure to look into a potential client before pushing for a consult. If they come from a big company or seem like they could be a good client, he pitches a $350/hour consult and offers to answer their question and more. If the client turns it down because the price is high, he knows they are not the right client for him. He says it’s important to only work with high-quality clients who have the type of money you are looking for.

Tips for value pricing

Hector believes that his steep, $350/hour initial consult is the perfect way to weed out bad prospects and sets the tone for value-based pricing. He says value-based pricing is all about mindset. “There is no cheatsheet”.

Hector was heavily influenced by Ron Baker’s book, Implementing Value Pricing, and his podcast, the Soul of Enterprise, and Kirk Bowman’s podcast, Art of Value.

Fun fact: Both Ron Baker and Kirk Bowman have been guests on the Growing Your Firm Podcast!

He believes the key to getting in the right mindset for value pricing is to unlearn that customers care how you track your time. All they care about is results. When you can provide value to your client, they will pay you well for it.

Hector also mentions there will be a trial and error process while working out the kinks of value pricing. You’ll undercharge and make mistakes but in the long run, it will be worth it.

Overall, Hector provided great insight into making the shift from low-paying clients to high-end clients, how to get the kind of clients you’re looking for, charging a steep price for a consult, and getting started with value-based pricing.

His information is helpful for anyone looking to grow their firm, and the good news is he provides even more in the podcast above! Be sure to listen to the full episode to learn all of Hector’s tips and tricks!

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