How to build relationships with clients instead of selling

A man in a grey suit pointing to something on a tablet screen, showing a woman in a light pink top some business insights, both sat at a dark wooden table.

To master advisory, you don’t have to focus on selling yourself and your services: it’s about getting to understand the pain points of your clients, building relationships, and helping them to achieve success. Learn about your clients’ businesses to show you can be their trusted advisor.

Start a conversation, not a sales pitch

You’ve already got clients on your books, so start by having a chat with them. Rather than trying to pitch a sale, simply ask how things are going in their business. Letting your clients know that you’re on-hand to help will get them to start seeing you as a source of advice. If you’re currently a compliance-centric firm, you can add a lot of value for existing customers with advisory. Find out what they need and show the power of forecasting and scenario planning. They’ll see they don’t need to make decisions in the dark anymore.

Promote your problem solving

Considering referrals are one of the main ways people get to know about accountants and their firms, once you’re on someone’s radar you can bet their first port of call will be to head to your website. Use keywords on your website (checking they work well with SEO too) and you’ve laid the groundwork. As millennial business owners will be in the majority very soon, you need to be speaking their language. Promote the fact you can solve specific problems in simple language.

Lead with confidence

Our advisory certification course gives you a useful timeline to work by. It splits goals into six months, to reduce pressure and stress for the team. In your first month, ensure your staff are all on the same page. Get the first few staff onto certification and by the end of the six months, your firm will be ready to make the next batch of staff advisors. Going through the course will help the team master the Futrli platform, so get everyone through our CPD-accredited, industry-leading course.


Make sure you understand what is keeping your clients from getting to where their business should be. Some might need a bit of advice, while others may need a whole strategy built around their goals. Get the conversation going and work out what’s best for them. With stellar software backing you up every step of the way, you’ll be able to roll out advisory services with ease.

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