Have you been trying to move toward that highly exalted ideal of ‘Trusted Advisor' and come up with advisory service packages to attract more clients?
If you've felt stuck and not sure exactly how to do this, you're not alone. Embracing change amid the disruptive changes in our profession is not easy.
In fact, this is the question that was asked in one of our All Access Pass member meetings recently. Here's a 3-minute video clip where you can listen in. It may spark some ideas on where to begin when you want to create truly effective advisory service packages that will distinguish your practice from the competition.
Advisory Service Packages Notes:
Member Question: What Would You Include in an Advisory Service Package?
Advisory service is about supporting your clients based on their specific needs. It's not a cookie-cutter service in the same way that compliance work often is. Each business's situation has at least some unique challenges. So for the best win-win approach, you'll customize your advisory service packages to fit your clients' unique scenario.
You can, however, package advisory services in the same way you package compliance services in that they can be categorized into specific areas of financial benefit and outcomes. There are many different types of advisory services, so you can therefore offer a variety of advisory service packages.
Start by asking, ‘What are the services I have the skills to deliver? What do I enjoy doing most for my clients that creates tangible results?'
You may already be offering some advisory help to your clients without even realizing it!
Highlight these in your marketing materials alongside the services that you are already offering. This helps build your confidence as well. Let your expertise shine in a way that your clients can easily see the results you can help them achieve to grow their business.
If you aren't sure what skills you have that clients would find valuable, think in terms of ways you can…
1. Increase cash flow
2. Improve profit margins
3. Hit financial goals by means of healthy money management (showing clients how to use the numbers to make decisions, not just report information)
4. Provide forward-thinking, proactive tax planning to minimize tax burden
Advisory Service Guiding Principles
Similar to the expression in value pricing where you ‘price the client, not the service,' with advisory service packages, you serve the client, not the package.
Each client's advisory needs will be different within one or more service areas. You can custom fit the exact advisory package to the client's specific needs, which in itself gives the client a taste of your passion to help them succeed.
As detailed, rule-driven professionals, we tend to look for ‘standard processes' to determine our behavior. That works for compliance services to a degree, but with advisory services, it's more client-centric and principle based. When we focus instead on the benefits and results we can produce for our clients – as seen through the eyes of the business owner – we begin to see the true value we have to offer.
This in turn leads to our own business growth, confidence and prosperity. That opens doors to premium level services that deserve premium level fees. We are freed from the automated, rat race-to-the-bottom pricing of compliance-only services that clients will take for granted and devalue.
In the video, Martin recommended checking into a review by Dermott Hamblin of a book recently put out by Xero called The Pacesetters. The book is biased and surrounds Xero software, but the review, the part on advisory, is useful to formulating your advisory service packages as well.
Did you find this helpful and get ideas flowing? Then please join us!
Your Path to a Superior Level Advisory Practice
Addviser+ provides online programs for accounting professionals who are serious about finally breaking into advisory-level services and truly helping clients succeed. Join us on our next All Access Pass members-only meeting where you will learn how to easily prove to potential clients (and yourself, for that matter) the high value of your services.
With it, you get an almost unfair advantage in growing your own business nearly immediately.