Art of Accounting: Tooting your horn
One thing I am good at is leveraging something I did. Leverage in this case means benefiting additionally from what you’ve done. There are also many ways to use leverage. Here are some things I’ve done.
• If I have completed a particularly complicated project, I make other clients aware of what I’ve done. This lets them know of expertise beyond what I might be doing for them. Of course I never mention specifics or who the client was
• I make staff aware of everything we do that is beyond the ordinary. This expands their knowledge sphere and further creates an occasion for them to learn. I also provide awareness points so they can spot a nascent opportunity for clients.
• I sometimes mention celebrity clients I have. This widens my domain of influence and in some manner (at least in my own mind) makes me feel like a “player.”
• If I’ve presented a speech, I find ways to let clients know and who the audiences were. If I will be presenting and the speech can apply to a particular client, I invite them as my guest. For a blatant sample of this, see the last paragraph of my blog at https://partners-network.com/2018/06/07/no-more-christmas-windows-at-lord-taylor/. Read it and you can come as my guest.
• I make a lot of calls to clients. These start out with “Hi, just checking in.” These give me a chance to get updated on what is going on with clients. It also lets me mention some things that I’ve done for other clients that might apply to them.
• I frequently send copies of articles I’ve read to clients. By attribution, they think I am an expert or certainly knowledgeable in those areas.
• One of the things I do a lot is to send copies of articles or blogs to clients with handwritten notes. You need to let clients know what you are doing and are “expert” in. What I do is get reprints of the article or printed copies of the blog. I mail a copy with a personal note to whoever I want to share it with. I provide a personal touch by handwriting a note on note paper something like the following:
I would like to share with you a copy of my latest article on [describe topic]. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to call me.
I know what you are thinking — this looks like a lot of work. It is to some extent and so what? You are making a contact with individuals you want to impress. Three minutes a person is not too onerous.
FYI, I once sent a reprint of a blog to 50 people and I got four consultations directly from it, totaling $14,500. Another time I sent a blog to six reporters and ended up being quoted in The Wall Street Journal and another publication almost immediately, on different issues, by two of the six. I would say that my efforts were a success.
• If you posted something, ask people you know to tweet it or post it to Facebook and LinkedIn. And you RT or share what they did.
The above are just a few illustrations of what I have done and what you can also do. If you have questions or need help, contact me at email@example.com and make sure you include your phone number.
To summarize: Leverage works!
Edward Mendlowitz, CPA, is partner at WithumSmith+Brown, PC, CPAs. He is on the Accounting Today Top 100 Influential People List. He is the author of 24 books, including “How to Review Tax Returns,” co-written with Andrew D. Mendlowitz, and “Managing Your Tax Season, Third Edition.” Ed also writes a twice-a-week blog addressing issues that clients have at www.partners-network.com along with the Pay-Less-Tax Man blog for Bottom Line. Ed is an adjunct professor in the MBA program at Fairleigh Dickinson University teaching end user applications of financial statements. Art of Accounting is a continuing series where Ed shares autobiographical experiences with tips that he hopes can be adopted by his colleagues. Ed welcomes practice management questions and can be reached at (732) 964-9329 or firstname.lastname@example.org.