Turn Your Strengths Into More Clients, Paying Higher Fees, Faster
A Little Backstory…
I specifically became a CPA in order to never have to sell anything to anyone again.
You see, I hate selling.
When I graduated college, the economy was in a recession. The only job I could find was “outside sales.” This form of selling contrasts from “retail sales”, which I had done in high school and college and was quite good at. The big difference is that in retail sales, the buyer comes to you, and is generally leaning to buying something – or why would they be there?
In outside sales, you have to find the buyer. The emotional highs and lows of success versus failure and rejection, were simply too much and were ruining my life.
What to do? I wasn’t smart enough to go into medicine, I had no interest at all in the law – but I had done okay in accounting classes in college. My dad had a CPA; Phil lived in a beautiful neighborhood, always drove a new car, and never really looked like he was working all that hard. That’s for me!
So, it was back to school at night at DePaul University, while I worked during the day at a large bank. After taking the Becker Review Course (highly recommended), I passed the CPA exam and promptly found a junior position at a boutique CPA firm on the North Shore of Chicago. I even had my own office!
Shortly after hiring me, the managing partner leveled with me: “Allan, in order to be considered for partner in our firm, you will have to bring in clients and sell new work to existing ones.”
I was back in outside sales – the one thing I wanted to escape.
But, I was determined to progress in my career, and proceeded to attend every sales seminar I could find, buy every book, listen to every audio. And none of it worked for me – I was selling an intangible professional service, not computers or real estate. I was never going to be positive, enthusiastic or be comfortable talking. And, with the intangible service, there was nothing to show and tell, the heart of “features and benefits” selling.
A fraternity brother, who was having a fabulous time selling insurance (another intangible), suggested I interview physicians and study how doctors sell: They interview, diagnose extensively and prescribe – if appropriate.
Over a 10-year period of time, I interviewed hundreds of rainmakers in all of the professions. Most could not tell you how they sold successfully. It took my skills as an auditor, doubting-Thomas, and diagnostician to come up with a system I could follow. One that would eliminate wasted time in front of non-buyers, sell for higher fees, have the client do most of the work and close the sale themselves.
The I-Hate-Selling Book describes this process in detail. It eliminates fear of rejection and failure, and will skyrocket your closing ratio as you will be “diagnosing and prescribing” only to qualified prospects. In the last ten years, I can think of only two instances where I should’ve received a yes instead of a no. That’s a closing percentage over 90%.
If you read and study my book, that’s my promise to you. You will quickly find out where you have erred in the past, and turn your strengths into more clients, paying higher fees, faster.
Organizations That I Have Worked With Include:
- American Express
- American Institute of CPAs
- Booz-Allen Hamilton
- Certified General Accountants of Canada
- Chartered Accountants of Ireland
- Chartered Accountants of Scotland
- Chicagoland Bar Association
- Corporate Search Consultants
- Price Waterhouse Coopers
- Farm Credit Services
- Fleischman Hillard, Inc.
- Grant Thornton
- Moore Stephens North America
- Seyfarth Shaw Fairweather & Geraldson
- Wyatt Corp.