The optimist sees opportunity in every danger; the pessimist sees danger in every opportunity.
– Winston Churchill
I’m sitting in one of my favorite airports (Charlotte–I LOVE the rocking chairs), on my way to Kansas City to check out houses with my wife. It’s just the second time we’ve left the kids by themselves overnight, and I couldn’t sleep very well last night.
Well, I thought of something as I laid there next to my wife–and I think it’s a big reason why so many of our clients are successful in this environment…and many others aren’t. (Don’t ask me why I think of these things at 2:47AM…I just do.)
And, it’s something I get comments about all the time, actually, for MY business, and it makes a difference for you. Since I don’t have the normal time to devote to it this week, this WILL be short…but (hopefully) sweet.
+++ Client Story of the Week +++
“Thanks to using your Social Media and email services the last many months, I’ve received an average of at least 2-3 responses to my emails every week. Most taxpayers don’t even remember who in the hell prepared their taxes last year, but I’ve got people calling and emailing, and actually reading my notes on a weekly basis–and responding! That gives us the chance to sell them on our other services of course, which is great.”
Silver Spring, MD
Get started with the service Jim uses…
Why Some Firms Slowly Die … And Others Grow
Information is a commodity. Face it–because with the complete infiltration and integration of the internet into our lives (and it’s proceeding ever more rapidly), you better understand that there is ALWAYS someone out there who knows more than you do, and can provide your service better.
That’s just the facts on the ground, and it’s what I realized lying awake in bed. I had heard earlier that day about the struggles of a prominent “information marketer” that I knew (an industry coach), and why his business had begun to suffer a steady (but very observable) decline.
Really, the answer was simple–this particular business owner took for granted that his voice and his information was valuable enough that people would always be willing to pay for it. Turns out that’s not the case.
Many tax professionals have been blindsided by the rise of the online tax prep options, and many accountants similarly blindsided by multi-national competitors who compete on price, and can do the work by outsourcing it to India or the Philippines.
And look–if the quality of your work can’t compete with THAT, then yes…you will die a faster death.
However, if you understand that the only thing which ISN’T a commodity is you, then this should dictate how you communicate with your clients and prospects. It’s time that they saw you as a real person. It’s time that you include pictures of your firm’s staff (even in casual settings) in your correspondence. It’s time, simply put, that your clients got to know you better. There ain’t no competitors to YOUR voice.
So don’t allow yourself to be seen as “just another accountant” or “just another tax professional”. When you make this switch, THAT’S the recipe for true business independence.