Practice Development Success

Gina Deveney
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Accounting clients do not necessarily buy into one accounting firm or another because of the services involved. Sometimes, accountants earn the respect of clients due to the personalities of the people that turn into professional success.

High-profile accounting clients buy into the relationship they have with a specific individual or a particular firm. When a potential client tries to measure your professional success, the client asks several questions before signing on the dotted line. Do I like the person in front of me? Can I get along with my accountant? Can I trust this person to advise my business? Do I believe this new accountant can advance my business further than my current accountant currently achieves? If a potential client answers yes to all of these questions, then the new contract is a winning proposition.

You can ascertain whether or not new clients may like you. Gauge your professional success by examining how you present yourself in your personal life. How you treat those closest to you often spills over into your business acumen.

Look at how you treat your family. Discover if you are kind, honest and gentle with your spouse and children. Does your family know where you stand? Your closest family members should know that they can count on you no matter what. Potential clients want the same type of treatment from you in a professional setting. How you treat your closest employees also reflects how you come across to clients. Do you yell at your co-workers or treat them with respect?

See if you achieved any personal goals in the past year. Striving to reach a weight loss benchmark, financial goal or health attribute means you never stop improving. Professional success can be measured in the same way, and clients respect that you constantly try to make them better at earning profits.

Take a look at how you present yourself visually and verbally. Wear a shirt and tie to dress for professional success. Contrarily, a polo shirt and khakis mean you are more comfortable and relaxed. Get rid of that stubble and shave every day, and maybe even shave on your lunch break for afternoon meetings. Speak clearly and enunciate every word so you are readily understood. A sharp visual and verbal presentation shows the type of accountant you are to your clients.

Your office should perform quality work and everyone should be prepared for business presentations. At the end of the day, you should take pride in what you do, how you treat your co-workers and how you look to other people.

Be attentive to a prospective client and ask the right questions. Ascertain the goals of a prospective client and see if the goals meet your expectations. What kind of revenue does this client have? How about expenses? What profit margin does the client expect to have this year, next year and five years from now? Curiosity about your client's business lends to relevant dialogue about where your accounting firm can take a potential client.

How you perceive yourself goes a long way when it comes to your professional success with clients. The bottom line revolves around whether or not you would do business with yourself. If you decide that you are a good deal, then your clients probably feel the same way.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at



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