Mike Michalowicz is the author many books, including Surge and Profit First. Recently, I had an opportunity to speak to Mike and his team of groovy podcasters. An unforgettable experience, to say the least, with their candid humour and antics.
The topic of Episode 45 on the Grow My Accounting Practice Podcast was Client Filtering.
Why is client filtering important? Not every prospect will make a good client. Here at Moore Details Bookkeeping, we have two scopes a prospect must successfully pass before we offer any bookkeeping services.
Our reason? Bookkeeping is a commitment—it’s time to stop treating it like a one-night-stand, where you realize the next morning: this isn’t going to work.
Our first scope is the review stage. Each prospect is provided with an electronic questionnaire from our CRM. It’s a doozy. Lots of questions that are fact-finding and may even come across as offensive to some. That’s okay. I’d rather know now that they aren’t willing to share information then try to pry it out of them. Here is a sample of what we ask.
Once the prospect passes the review stage, we proceed to implementation. That is when we update their accounting system to a cloud-based accounting solution. If they already have QuickBooks Online, then we update it for the problems identified in the review stage.
If the prospect has shown the qualities we expect in a DRAGON, then we offer continuity of bookkeeping services.
What the heck is the DRAGON?
D – Delightful to deal with
R – Respectful of you and your team
A – Articulate in explaining their needs, dreams, and goals
G – Growth-minded to push forward and excel
O – Online to work collaboratively
N – Niche client: an ideal client meeting all your vetting requirements
Are we onboarding a crazy number of clients? No! We fully understand that the value of the bookkeeping services we offer is only relevant if we define and accept our ideal client.
That is because we build relationships. It is next to impossible to form a relationship with your clients if you have too many of them and they’re “not your type.” This is the main reason clients tend to change accounting professionals—they don’t feel like they have a relationship. There is value in relationships. Go figure!
So, yes, clients are willing to invest in our higher-valued services. What do they get? They get feedback at regular intervals. Perhaps a text chat, Skype, or join.me call when individuals are all over the continent.
On the other hand, we are often asked to “just do the books” for a prospect. That’s nice. Easy-peasy for some. But that just isn’t our niche. In order to work collaboratively and ensure we are growth-minded, we need to have a better relationship that what just doing the books facilitates.
In such cases, we often review the client’s situation, implement an accounting ecosystem, and hand it over to them to either do the bookkeeping themselves (until they see the value of a bookkeeper relationship by screwing stuff up on their own) or take to another accounting professional who has different requirements.
I’ll leave you with one tip, since you read this entire post. A great source for client prospecting is LinkedIn. Review your profile. Take time to polish it. And for goodness sake start posting content to attract your ideal client. Yes, it really does work. How do I know? It worked for me.
Until next time,