In New Zealand, the new tax year has officially kicked off. Like a new year always brings, there’s a freshness to what you can share with and guide your clients towards. As the busy season begins to subside, your clients’ attention is there for the taking. Time to give them an advisory boost, with some of our top tips below.
In Australia, however, tax season is on the horizon. This June, how do you plan to help your clients be successful? And what about your firm? It’s your big opportunity to increase your revenue, as tax meetings are a great place to introduce advisory services.
Once you’ve got your compliance clients in the door, how does the conversation usually go? Regardless of how interesting you try to make it, it’s probably a case of them half listening and starting to glaze over as they don’t really understand what you’re telling them, right? Their mind is probably on getting back to their business to extinguish the most recent fire that’s ignited.
It doesn’t have to be like this. You have your clients in front of you, so it’s time for a spot quiz. One of the core aspects of advisory services is to create a two-way dialogue. You need to ask questions for them to start opening up, so start simple:
- How are things going in your business?
- Are you progressing as quickly as you’d like?
- Do you have a cash flow forecast set up?
When your clients start to open up, you’ll see the excitement in their eyes about the future. This is what you can grab on to.
So now you’re talking, it’s important to assure your clients that they still need your tax services. You’ve already got their tax information digitalised, so you’re in better shape than those in the UK to get clients working in the cloud for their business’ financial management.
Whether you’ve just seen your clients for their tax meeting or are about to see them, this recent touch point can be used as a springboard.
It’s not a huge stretch to get your clients thinking in the right way about their cash flow and forecasts. When you show your screen in your client meeting, have a pre-made, simple forecast ready. You can create this in seconds in Futrli, so it’s not time-consuming either. All you need to do is input last year’s data from their cloud accounting package (Xero or MYOB, for example), and you can project next year’s.
The nature of visual dashboards means you can give an easily-understood breakdown of client progress, and where you expect them to be next.
Next, walk your clients through the data. Showing a visual representation of how their business has been doing, makes it much easier for both parties to see the gaps. These could be missed opportunities, risks that didn’t pay off – a range of things really.
If you’ve already done this, show your value with your skills in interpretation. You can read a wall of data and spot patterns – not many business owners can, or frankly care to. Adding in a visual aid, you can talk your clients through their numbers in a way they’ll really understand.
Forecasting shows what could happen. Use your knowledge of business and specific industries to suggest ways of improving. Perhaps a client had a poor sales month. What have you seen before that’s made up for it? Maybe they need to implement a marketing strategy. Or perhaps they could do with more high-ticketed sales. Whatever is it, you’re the best person to help them succeed.
There’s no need to treat upselling like a sales process. All you need to do is show off a basic dashboard you can create in seconds. Pairing that with business alerts, you’ll be ahead of the game and proactively able to prevent your clients making mistakes. You can get notifications sent to your email or in Xero HQ to tell you if and when clients reach pre-arranged bank account thresholds, bank account limits, and more.
Turning your tax conversations into advisory conversations doesn’t have to be difficult. We suggest booking out just 15 minutes extra to speak to each client, which will come back to earn you so much more revenue. If you’re working to an hourly billing pricing structure, you’ll make back the extra 15 minutes in no time once you’ve swapped to an advisory focus. We have more on pricing structures here, so you know you won’t miss out.