Your clients are not buying what you do

winning new clients Jun 19, 2017

Clients are only interested in the end result

Today I’d like to share a really important pricing tip I gained from marketing.

One of the most important lessons you can ever learn is that your clients aren’t buying what you do. They're not interested in it. What they are interested in is the end result.

People buy benefits, not features

The problem is, when we talk about what we do we often describe it in terms of its features. What we can learn from marketing, from top marketers, is that people don't buy features. They buy benefits. Which means that in all our written and verbal communications we need to make sure we're constantly talking about those benefits.

To illustrate, I’ll give you a practical example. I’d like you to imagine that you’re discussing annual financial statements with a potential client, and that your brochure or proposal says something like: “As part of your annual accounts, we'll also carry out a tax-planning review.”

Can you spot the weakness in that sentence? The problem is that while you know a tax-planning review is a great way to add value, your client doesn’t. Although you know exactly how much work goes into a review and what it means in terms of benefits – you probably even have examples of businesses you've saved a ton of money – your client doesn't. They probably don't even know what a tax-planning review is, so how can they understand the value of what you’re offering them?

Keep it simple

That’s why you have to explain the benefits. You need to make sure that when you say, "As part of your year-end accounts we'll do a tax-planning review" you go on to explain the benefits in simple, non-technical terms. They might sound obvious to you, but that's only because you’re an accounting professional. I promise you they’ll be news to most of your clients! 

For example, you could simply say, "Our detailed tax-planning review will identify tax savings for you" and stop there. Or – even better – you could add "... to make sure you only pay the absolute minimum that you’re legally obliged to." After all, that's really what clients want from tax planning. That's the result they’re looking for.

So remember, every time you list a feature, whether you explain it verbally or in writing in a brochure or proposal, always make sure you explain its benefits – the outcome – for your client, too.

You can watch a video where I go into more detail here. Or, if you found this post helpful, then do please share it with your friends and colleagues.


Every month I provide free online training helping accounting professionals get results from value pricing. If you want to get access to that free training click here to register your place on the list of people I invite.

Wishing you every success on your pricing journey.

Mark Wickersham
Chartered Accountant, public speaker and #1 best-selling author of
Effective Pricing for Accountants

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