How to Work with High Quality Clients with Annette Woods

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By Ben Robinson. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Prior to bookkeeping, Annette was a dental hygienist for 35 years. Her life was very structured, and every minute of her time was accounted for. Her journey into bookkeeping was pretty tumultuous. After her husband suddenly died, at the age of 56, she took over his business and realized that the books were a mess. In the process of trying to figure everything out, she saw Ben’s ad for bookkeeping, and it seemed like a way to kill two birds with one stone.

[5:35] Eventually, the chemicals in the office took their toll on Annette, and her doctor basically told her that she couldn’t work anymore. At that point, Annette was working with two bookkeeping clients. She decided to make it her full-time business and to dive right in. She now has 11 clients and serves dentists, exclusively.

[8:00] Don’t compare your daily life to someone’s highlight reel. Everyone on the podcast has their own problems to deal with.

[9:40] When you first start your bookkeeping journey, it’s like going into a foreign country without knowing the language. It takes some time to learn and be able to talk intelligently about what you do, but you can get there.

[11:50] Realize that the power is in your hands, once finances are not the main drive to grow your business. It will come through in your marketing and messaging, when you aren’t driven by fear and scarcity.

[13:20] Annette’s goal is to have 20 to 30 clients and, eventually, to get rid of the more tedious tasks involved in the business. Ben recommends flipping the thought process. She doesn’t want 30 clients. Annette wants what 30 clients will do for her and her business. Get crystal clear about the lifestyle you want, and then figure out what your business has to look like to facilitate that vision.

[17:30] Going through programs is the easiest way to hack the learning process. You can spend a lot of time figuring things out on your own, or you can pay someone a comparatively small amount of money and learn it now.

[21:20] Annette’s main challenge, right now, is a lack of self-confidence. Conveying her value in her marketing is difficult because she feels like she’s still missing something. She spent a good amount of money trying things that you really shouldn’t do.

[24:30] Putting out blog posts on LinkedIn has been one way of generating leads, but the response has been erratic. Also, it really depends on the subject. She’s currently having four to six conversations a month with potential clients.

[27:15] There are two cardinal rules in business. You should never stop marketing, and you should always be looking for good people.

[28:15] Realizing that you don’t need to land a client will really minimize the desperation that can come across when talking with a lead. Starting out with questions about their business and how they do things is a good way to convey what you can do for a client. Lead with the reasons they started their business and what they are trying to achieve because no one has ever asked them these questions. Getting them to talk openly about the business will set you up as the authority.

[33:10] Don’t start with bookkeeping questions because if they don’t know the answer, they will just feel stupid, and that will derail the conversation. Lead them to the discovery of how they can achieve their vision by getting in charge of the finances.

[35:10] Your clients have to be able to make good decisions. How can they make good decisions about their finances, when their financial picture isn’t accurate and they are getting the numbers three months late? You want them to have the realization, on their own, about what they need, instead of you pushing something on them.

[37:20] The consultative close is where you prove what you can do by helping the client in advance. Show them what they need to do to achieve their vision, and then offer to help them, if they want. Don’t be afraid of revealing your “secrets.” They don’t have the time or inclination to do this themselves, and it shows that you can actually help them.

[42:20] Give your clients the plan in a variety of mediums. If the client is worth the effort, demonstrate your value, and leave them in a better place.

[43:35] Bonus tips: Record your consultation (after getting the client’s approval), and then listen to the recording afterwards. Listen to yourself, and assess how confident you were and what you can improve on. Name your plan that you’re providing them, and make it something proprietary. Also, talk about minimums, in terms of price, so you can at least eliminate the people that are doing price comparisons.

[45:45] For action items, Annette is going to rework her presentation and incorporate the ideas talked about in this podcast. She is also going to focus on building her confidence around what she can deliver to clients.

Mentioned in this episode: Bookkeeping Aesthetics

33 episodes