“You don’t know what you don’t know” - Unknown
It’s a common saying. The cliché is used when you’re in a situation you don’t know enough about it and it’s hard to foresee what could go wrong. This is the same for your CPA firm because your clients are the cliché.
They hire your firm to take care of their financial future most of the time due to: Lack of Knowledge.
Your clients, even if they had the time, don’t fully understand taxes, audits, wealth management, etc.
They are gladly willing to part with thousands of dollars a year so they DO NOT have to worry about it.
This same notion occurs when you
“ Why don’t my clients use this X service we offer?” Or “Why doesn’t this client refer more?”
Why do you have these questions? There are many reasons, but the MAIN reason is:
Your client doesn’t know you offer that service!
Think about it and think about your past conversations with clients. Think about the last time you brought up a new idea or a different service offering.
Most of the team (you’re hoping), they nod in agreement and want to go down the path you suggested. They do that because they trust you and also because: “They don’t know what they don’t know.”
It’s your job to educate them. This is the key idea: the more you educate your clients about all of your different service offerings, the more money they will invest in you and your firm. The more they invest, the more likely they are to stay for a long time.
Steps to Educate your Clients
Step 1: Take out a sheet of paper. Write down all the different services you offer, as many as you can think of.
GUARANTEE: Your list will be twice as long as the list your client if asked to do the same thing, would write on their sheet of paper.
Group similar products together into a package that could be attractive to offer.
Step 2: Set up a meeting with your client OR work in other services in the conversation.
The latter sounds somewhat slick, but it doesn’t have to feel awkward.
Part A - Setting up a meeting Simply email your client and say:
“Hi Client, I was reviewing your financials and noticed a couple of opportunities that you might be interested in pursuing.”
You can personalize the last bit based on what package you might recommend (e.g. If you want to pitch them your wealth management services you could say:
“Opportunities to grow your money sitting in your bank over the next 10 years.”
You don’t want to be very detailed, you simply want to make them curious. After this sentence, you ask to set up a meeting or, as a last resort, over the phone.
Part B: Work into the conversation The best time to work this into a conversation is when you have just done your client a major favor or if they are new to the firm: Simply bring it up the same way as an email:
“Mr, Client, we’re always looking for more ways to add some financial value and noticed some areas that could be helpful for you. Can I share these ideas with you quickly?”
You let them walk through the door, don’t push them.
Step 3: In the meeting or conversation, outline what solutions would be a great fit for them to consider.
Again, most clients DO NOT know all your service offerings and they simply need help. The best part is educating your clients on all your service offerings opens up discussions they will have with their family and friends.
A friend told me about one of their clients. The man was well-off and had a beautiful wife and 2 growing, charming children. He had $0 in life insurance saved and his financial accountant and trusted advisor didn’t ask him about it. They expected “If he wants it, he’ll come to get it.” Well, a day later, the man died in a tragic car accident. He had $0 in life insurance. His wife will live off of savings for a little, but after that, she’ll need to pick up some shifts to pay for her growing children.
This is what is key about educating your clients. They are looking out for their family and their extended family. Sell them on how it benefits their life and doesn’t cost an arm or a leg.
Many clients may drag their feet. If they aren’t 100% on board, it usually may take some pushing.
KEY TAKEAWAYS: Think about your service offerings and go down the list of clients you have. Bundle up services and personalize them. Make sure the client is comfortable with where you are going in the conversation as you don’t want to create waves. Be prepared to go in with all the benefits. Walk them through it.