Recently I was meeting the CEO of a well-known architectural firm in Sydney. He is not an architect, but he really knows his business: he’s across everything, from the big picture to the detail, and when he needs advice, he knows how to get the best.
When he brings in external professionals, he accepts them at face value, but also verifies their skill sets, experience and reputation.
He does this through his own business and personal networks, as well as through clients of the adviser he is checking. If the best decisions come from having the best information and counsel, it follows that validating advisers is critical. Yet so many CEOs, CFOs and business owners fail in this. Their first excuse is a lack of time. The second is the faulty assumption that a Big Four firm will give the best answer. You know a Big Four firm is not the best fit for every business, but your prospect may not. You can help yourself and your prospects by making it easy for them to validate your value, before they buy.
Invite your prospect and a current client to meet at a conveniently located cafe. Buy them each a coffee and cake, then leave them to talk. If that’s too hard, at least give your prospect the contact details for one or two referees. If you are a half-decent accountant who does the right thing by your clients, what they say will be more valuable than anything you can dream up. They will almost close the sale for you!
Keep well and see you next post.