Why believing in a market price could mean you’re missing out
As the Amazon number-one best-selling author of “Effective Pricing for Accountants”, I want to share with you why there's no such thing as a market price.
Often, if I tell an accountant they’re charging too little for something, that they should increase the price of doing a tax return, for example, they’ll say, "But Mark, you don't understand my client base. I’m charging the market price – I can’t charge any more."
But I’m going to tell you exactly what I tell them: that they’re wrong. That’s there's no such thing as a market price. And I can prove it.
Staggering results from benchmarking survey
In 2014 I was privileged to carry out the single biggest benchmarking survey of the UK accounting profession. In it, I asked 725 accounting firms a whole bunch of questions about how they price as a profession. In particular, I looked at 25 different accounting, tax...
Increase your sales leads – automatically
List building – building up your database of prospective clients, of those people you'd like to work with – is one of the fundamentals of marketing. Yet when I ask most accounting firms and bookkeepers how big their list is, typically it’s less than a hundred.
A list of less than a hundred severely limits your potential growth. Even sole practitioners should be aiming for a couple of thousand. But how do you go about reaching this?
You can watch the video here. And here are the steps you want to take.
Stage 1: Establish a system
The answer is you put a system in place that will nurture and grow your list. It’s what I see as one of the main strategies of social media, including the big three: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
In addition you should have – actually, not should but must have – either a YouTube channel (video’s the most powerful form of marketing there is), or a blog. Or best...
How webinars can increase engagement – and conversion rates
Have you ever run a webinar? If you haven't, then it's time you did because they’re incredibly powerful. And, to help you get started, I’m going to share some key tips.
If you prefer to watch rather than read, you can watch my video here.
Live? Or pre-recorded?
The first big question to think about is whether you should run webinars live or pre-recorded.
Some great software exists that allows you to create webinars as videos and then run them on any schedule you like. Once a week, for example. People log in to watch the webinar, and it feels live. As a concept it has a lot of appeal. However, one problem I’ve found – and other people’s research bears this out – is that even though pre-recorded webinars may feel live, conversion rates are significantly lower.
Tip #1: Run them live
My first tip then is to run them live. That way, you can give whatever offer...
Events can help you win leads – and business
Have you ever spoken in public, or thought about speaking in public? If you haven’t, it’s a great way of establishing yourself as an expert and winning new business. But, incredible as it may seem, although the event lead-winning system has brought me hundreds of thousands of pounds of business over the last 12 months, I don't see any other speakers using it.
If you prefer to watch than read you can watch the video here.
The secret behind winning new clients…
If you've been invited to speak at someone else’s event, for example one organised by your local chamber of commerce or bank, what’s your primary goal?
Of course you want to add value. You want to deliver great content. And you want to be seen as the expert. But your primary goal is always to capture the contact details of everybody in the room.
But, before I teach you how to do just that, let me talk briefly about the three-tier event...
Find your niche to increase turnover and reduce stress
Today I want to share how you find your niche. But first, why is it so important?
Specialists earn more
You’ve probably heard many times that specialists make more money than generalists. And it’s absolutely true. Accounting professionals who specialise make more money. Whereas firms that take on anybody end up running themselves ragged, trying to deal with too many different clients and too many different services.
My tip is to make sure you're clear in your own mind about not only your niche, but the profile of your ideal client. And to help, I’m going to share the three main types of niche. (Just to make it easy, they all begin with S!)
Are there any sectors that you’re particularly interested in or already have clients in? It might be doctors or dentists, the legal profession or the IT industry. Think about the industry you’re most fascinated by and build on it.
Of all the...
I want to share seven powerful ways to become a sought-after expert. To become the person clients are queuing up to work with.
If you prefer to watch the video, you can watch the video here.
#1 Write a book or e-book
I can already hear you thinking “I can't write a book. I'm an accountant. And anyway, where would I find the time?”
The good news is that nowadays technology makes it much easier than you think. One process I teach shows you how to write a book in less than seven hours. And whether you work in tax planning or business growth, your book will ensure you’re seen as an expert and win you business.
#2: Blog – regularly
Regularly is the key word here. Blogging once and then forgetting about it won't establish your credibility. You need to post at least once a month or, even better, once every fortnight or week. One tip is to write posts in batches – if you try to write one a week, things always crop up to stop you. Instead, write a year's...
A glossy brochure doesn’t only grab people’s attention. It also increases what they’re willing to pay.
In this post I want to share three reasons why you need to have a professional-looking brochure for all your accounting, bookkeeping and tax services.
# 1: The Power of Context
The Power of context is part of price psychology. What it means is that the context in which we deliver our solution influences people's expectation of what it will cost.
Back in 1983, one of the world's leading behavioural economists, Richard Thaler, carried out an experiment to prove this. He asked a group of executives to imagine they were lying on a beach on a hot day, and that a friend offered to get them a beer from the only place nearby – a small run-down grocery store. When he asked the most they’d be willing to pay, the average was $1.50. But, when he asked another group, changing the grocery store to the bar of a smart hotel, the average increased to $2.65.
Would you like to increase profits? Then perhaps it’s time to move clients to a new way of pricing…
One of the most common questions I get asked is, "When we move to value pricing I understand how to use the new approach with new clients, but what about existing ones?"
It’s a great question, and it includes two separate issues. The first is simply about transferring clients to a new way of pricing.
What does every customer want?
Research shows there are two things every customer wants:
· certainty – about what they’re getting and, most importantly, its price
· choice – everyone has their own wants, needs, and things they’d like to avoid.
The problem with time-based billing is it doesn’t meet either. First, a price based on time means there's no certainty. Customers won't know the price until the job’s finished.
The 3-step value pricing process
Value pricing for any accounting, tax or bookkeeping service is easy if you follow my structured step-by-step process.
“So, what do I need to do?” I hear you cry.
The 3 step process
Step 1 - Create value
Value pricing doesn’t work if you don’t actually create any value. You want to create the best value for your potential client as you can.
So this is the first step. Look at your solution – whether it’s bookkeeping, annual accounts, payroll or cash flow forecasting. Think about how you can create as much possible value as you can.
Think about the different packages and what you can add in to make a real difference to the lives of your clients.
Step 2 – Communicate that value
Next comes actually sharing that good news. Communicating the value.
The best way of building up your value proposition is through a conversation with the client. Ideally this should be face to face but...
As an industry we don’t want to make mistakes.
Yet time and time again I see two massive mistakes that accountants and bookkeepers keep making. And it has a real impact on their businesses.
So what are those mistakes and how can they be avoided?
Mistake 1 – Using fixed prices on a website
Don’t do this. Seriously. Don’t.
Fixed pricing is not value pricing. You cannot value price until you have found out what actually constitutes value for that particular person. The only way to do that is to have a conversation – either face-to-face or online.
Understand the potential client’s circumstances, what they value, what they want, what they need and what their pain points are.
You need to understand all that before you even begin to price.
As well as implying you don’t understand the client’s needs (beyond price) fixed prices on a website are usually far too low.
It’s no surprise really. We are used to using the internet for price...