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Essential Ingredient for Rain Making

What one ingredient must a “rain maker” have to truly be effective?

Rain MakingOf course, good rain makers have many skills and attributes that enable them to be successful.  These skills include creativity, effective listening skills, tenacity, integrity, product knowledge, persuasion and a good service to sell.

However, the one ingredient that really enables a good rain maker to become great is passion.  That’s right, passion that what they are selling is the best solution for the prospect.  This passion and strength of conviction can not be faked.  To be a top notch performer, the rain maker needs to “drink the Kool-Aid”, lock stock and barrel.

To illustrate my point, think back to the movie “A Few Good Men” featuring Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson.  In the movie, Nicholson played Colonel Jessep and Cruise was a young, wet behind the ears, trial lawyer named Kaffee.  Think back to the passion that Cruise integrated into the following dialogue:

Jack Nicholson (Col Jessup):  You want answers?

Tom Cruise (Kaffee):  I want the truth!

Jack Nicholson (Jessup):  You can’t handle the truth!

Few Good MenThe passion that Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson inserted into this scene made it priceless.  They made it real.  While this is an extreme example of passion (and great acting), my point is that conveying passion and emotion into your delivery is what true rain makers manage to do when the situation calls for it.

The ingredient that separates good rain makers from great rain makers is passion and the ability to connect emotionally.  This passion becomes the fulcrum or tipping point for moving fence sitters through the buying process.  It is passion that allows a rain maker to demonstrate the depth of how much they care and listen to the concerns and fears of prospects.  It is passion that enables rain makers to lead prospects past the decision making process by connecting with emotional intelligence.  The rational mind will justify and validate the purchase later.

Think about it, have you ever had to persuade somebody to “drink the Kool-Aid” when you yourself did not truly believe?  When you were unwilling to drink the Kool-Aid first?

When a rain maker has doubts or lacks passion for what they offer, the prospect senses this clear as day and proceeds with caution and skepticism.  Conversely, when a prospective customer can sense that the rain maker genuinely cares about helping them with the purchase decision (as opposed to selling) and is passionate about doing the right thing, a light bulb goes on.  Passion is contagious and very motivating, if it’s genuine and heartfelt.

Finding Your Passion 

Realistically, when was the last time you felt excited about going to work?  When was the last time you helped a client make a paradigm shift with their business and felt good about it?  Do you enjoy being the trusted advisor for your clients?

Many of us have gotten into ruts and lost our passion for what we do.  The reasons range from lack of empowerment to office burnout to lack of lifestyle balance.  Regardless of the reason, the challenge is to put fun back into what you do.  To find that passion that lies deep within each of us and channel it towards helping small business owners, we must be willing to put our heart on our sleeve and share it with prospective clients.

For many accountants, this sense of gratification and fulfillment is something that exists with current client relationships.  However, the challenge is to share this passion holistically with prospective clients.  While this concept may sound foreign or like an outer body experience, this passion is what true rain makers can bring to the table and share with prospective clients.

If your rain making skills have slipped half a notch, try incorporating some passion into your presentations.  Help the prospect drink your brand of Kool-Aid by alleviating their pain.  After a couple of wins, the weight on your shoulders will start to get lighter and the bounce in your step will soon return.

Sleeter Group Acquired By Diversified Communications

SleeterThe Sleeter Group, Inc. has been acquired by Diversified Communications.  Doug Sleeter and his current staff will continue to operate out of Pleasanton, CA.

Diversified Communications is based in Maine and serves various verticals like business management, technology, healthcare, food and beverage and commercial marine.

Sleeter Group has operated for 21 years and serves small businesses and 1.8 million accountants in the U.S.

Control Over Getting Paid

Image - Checks in MailboxThe days of waiting for a check to arrive in the mailbox are over.  With BizPayO, you can get paid by ACH (eCheck), Credit Cards and Bank Wires from one payment screen.  Recurring and single payments.  Essentially, you get paid thirty days FASTER than traditional billing.

And with BizPayO’s Upcharge Technology, you can recover your credit card processing costs. Longer term, BizPayO will push most of your clients into paying you by eCheck which is a better long term payment solution because it changes less frequently.  That’s right, between fraud department declines and expiration date changes, credit cards eventually become a hassle to maintain recurring payment processing.   

Learn how much you can save each month!  The annual savings will shock you. 

BizPayO is now available in a standalone app.  Get started today! 

Accelerate Cash Flow in Your CPA Accounting Practice

Payment Processing for CPA AccountantsBuild Your Firm’s BizPayO Payment Portal is a breakthrough technology designed to help accountants get paid faster and lower write offs.  Learn how you can integrate BizPayO into your practice to lower Accounts Receivable and have more control over getting paid faster. 

Be an early adopter.  Getting paid faster is a wonderful thing. 

Call Nita Sabo at 888-999-9800 x1 to learn more. 

Invest Time Into Your Reputation

With a bit of inspiration, creative talent, and some luck, you can create some mojo about the reputation of your accounting practice.  That’s right, it starts as a snowball going down a ski slope and slowly builds until there is a ground swell of positive momentum and word of mouth advertising kicks in…

Here are some ideas for enhancing the reputation of your accounting practice to create more “word of mouth” advertising.

1. Be Likeable – While this might sound stupid, smile more in the office, around town, and congratulate people at each opportunity.  Social media makes it easier to find out when someone gets a new job, promotion, and buy a new house.  Other ways to connect with people includes birthday greetings, whether it’s using a service like SendOutCards.com or using the tool within your Build Your Firm website.  As an accountant, you have the birthdays of each client, use them to your fullest advantage.

2. Thank You’s – Pick up some thank you cards and get in the habit of ole fashioned thank you notes via snail mail.  In today’s electronic world, an ole fashioned thank you note that is hand written goes a long way.

3. Pay It Forward – Make a deposit into the bank before asking for reciprocation.  Take some time to write some positive reviews in Google My Business and Yelp for business clients who you genuinely support and advocate.  Gradually, expand your inner circle of businesses that you support over time.  Then, ask them to return the favor with an online review.  Point them directly to the “request a review” tool on your Build Your Firm website so it’s easy for them.

4. Make The Right Introduction – Introduce some of your clients to people that you know can genuinely help them with their business.  This might be a lawyer, computer consultant or another professional.  As your practice gets larger, your network becomes a hidden asset.  Don’t keep gems hidden in your war chest.

5. Look The Part – Like it or not, first impressions do count.  People make judgements before you open your mouth.  Dress appropriately for the environment you’re in.  Error on the side of being too dressy.

6. Body Language – Body language and facial impressions are more important than you think. Branding Image - Reputation Be mindful of the signals you send.

7. Get Engaged – Being engaged in your community helps you meet new people and sends signals about your values.  Even people who sit on the sidelines notice the work volunteers do.

Reputations in a local community stick for decades.  Positive or negative, reputations precede you.  If you invest energy into creating a positive reputation, it will open doors that you never knew existed.

 

Want More Leads? Use a Diversified Approach..

Cartoon - Need Leads - SiriIn today’s marketplace, marketers have to use a more diverse approach to reach prospects.  Yes, it takes more work but once it’s in place, each piece builds upon each other and synergy eventually kicks into gear.

The days of using one method for marketing are over.  This applies to all businesses.  For example, major car brands used to develop TV commercials and only had to worry about three network channels to broadcast their message.  Today, there are hundreds to TV channels plus Netflix, internet shows and even YouTube.  The same concept applies to marketing for your accounting practice.  You need to use a variety of approaches to break through the clutter to generate enough quality leads.

Get started today so your pipeline of leads from September to December is full.

Responsive Website Design – Multi-Partner CPA Firm

Responsive web design (RWD) is a website design approach which adapts to the users viewing environment.  In other words, a person using a tablet has a different screen size than a desktop and smart phone.  Responsive design takes the screen size of the user into account and adapts the presentation to fit their needs.

To meet the requests for responsive design websites in the accounting industry, Build Your Firm will be offering this for progressive accounting firms that want to be on the leading edge of website design.  Build Your Firm has been at the forefront of being the first in our industry to provide search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, remarketing, and now, responsive website design.

McKinnon Patten CPA’s is a multi-partner CPA firm in Dallas wanted to capitalize on the evolving needs to tech savvy clients, while at the same time, present themselves as a premier CPA firm in the Dallas metroplex area.  McKinnon Patten has been operating for over 40 years.

Responsive Web Design - McKinnon Patten

If you like what you see, give Build Your Firm a call at 888-999-9800 x1.

Protect Yourself from Data Breach Risk

Data Risk - CPA Practice AdvisorHere’s another solid article on steps to minimize your risk of data breach from the CPA Practice Advisor.

As a non-expert on this subject matter, here are the things I strongly recommend you do as well:

Password Strength – I remain shocked at how many accounting firms use passwords which are so easy to crack.  Given the business risks, you need to strengthen your passwords (e.g., upper case and lower case letters + numbers) for your local computer system, email, and client applications.

Encryption Strength – You should adopt a standard of 256 bit encryption at all times with your file exchange program.

Small Documents – All small electronic documents going out of your office should use a PDF program with 256 bit encryption, not lower standards like 40 or 128.  If your tax software program uses a lower standard, Adobe Acrobat provides 256 level encryption for exchanging small documents like tax returns, spreadsheets, and client correspondence.

Devices – Allowing employees to use their own devices is a slippery slope.  If the laptop gets stolen, you are sunk.  Similar risks exist with many smart devices.

Here’s some excellent advice beyond my observations.

http://www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/article/11143532/how-accountants-and-tax-pros-can-manage-business-risk

 

Great Article on Breach of Client Data: Risks to Accountants

Data Breach RiskDo you worry about the risks associated with a breach of client data?

Recently, I went through the process of trying to obtain insurance coverage specifically for data breach.  The process was eye opening and the application was thirteen pages long.  Enough to keep you up all night long….

The Journal of Accountancy has an interesting article on how easy this can happen to any of us.  The article is about an employee that put payroll data onto a Flash drive and her purse was stolen at “happy hour.”  The firm exposure is huge.

http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Issues/2013/Aug/20138003.htm

Yes, Golf Season Has Arrived….

If you managed to watch last week’s U.S. Open, then you got an update of which golf pro is working with which coach for instruction.  According to my notes, Butch Harmon managed to have a great week between Rickey Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, he managed to get plenty of free air time.

Anyway, it’s clear that the world’s best golfers are not afraid to hire a coach to help them.  If that is the case, who is your coach to help you improve your accounting practice??

Here’s an article that just appeared in AccountingWEB on the same topic, called “Whether It’s Golf or Business, You Need a Coach“.

Now that the US Open is behind us, the PGA Tour is coming to Connecticut.  Yeah!!  Unfortunately, this is Member Guest weekend at my club so I’ll be out hitting the links with my long standing golf buddy seeking to climb that mountain again.  And yes, I should get a coach to improve my game.  I am thinking David Pelz would do wonders for my short game and Butch Harmon could work on my golf swing.

Whether you enjoy golf, zumba, yoga, crossfit or another sport, a coach can make a huge difference in your performance.  As Nike used to say, Just Do It!!