On Monday afternoon, I was scrolling through Linkedin looking for some new content to share across my social media channels and an interesting post popped up in my news feed…
(Upfront I’ll say that I don’t know the context of this. I don’t know what services this client needs, and I don’t know whether £2500 is a reasonable fee for the service they receive. So, let’s assume the fee is reasonable for the service they’re receiving…)
Now it’s obvious that the accountant in question here is able to justify their fees.
They clearly believe they’re reasonable otherwise they wouldn’t have quoted that amount to the client.
The client however, they aren’t able to justify the fees and they don’t seem to believe that they are reasonable.
And this might be the case for a number of reasons…
But I think the most obvious explanation (and one that most accountants get wrong when it comes to increasing their fees) is that the reasons for the increase and more importantly, the value of the service, haven’t been properly communicated to the client.
And it’s this breakdown in the communication of value that has caused this objection.
From working with accountants for the last 6+ years I’ve come to find that one thing most accountants struggle to understand is that…
“The value of your service lies in your client’s perception, not your own.”
What this means is that neither me or you know the true value of the service you provide. The only person who truly knows what the value is worth is the client.
They are the only ones who know how important the service is to them and their world.
And when we look at how to translate this value into a £ figure, it means the amount a client is prepared to pay is based on 2 things:
– Their perception of how much the service is worth
– Their perception of how much you as their accountant is worth
If their perception is that you are a cheap accountant who submits their tax return and manages their accounts, then guess what, they will perceive you and the value of your service to be much less than it’s worth.
Whereas, if their perception is that you are an expert in helping businesses grow by saving them tax and plan for the future, then chances are they will perceive you and the value of your service to be much higher.
It’s therefore your job to influence the perception of your clients so that they perceive both you and the service you provide to be worth as much as possible.
Keep in mind, the majority of clients aren’t price-sensitive, they’re value-sensitive.
Make sure that they clearly understand the value of the service you provide, and if they don’t, then it’s your job to educate them and communicate it to them in a way that they understand and can relate to.