How to improve your accounting elevator pitch (Sponsored)

Dec 10, 2019


Pitching your firm to a new client prospect is a key skill. So, how do you do it if you’re not a natural salesperson? Here are some practical tips that anyone can follow.

What is an accounting elevator pitch?

An elevator pitch is a brief summary of your service that you can deliver in as little as 30 seconds. The phrase comes from the world of publishing and entertainment. Aspiring writers would always have a short pitch ready in case they encountered an editor or movie executive in the elevator.

Elevator pitches are not intended to win business on the spot. They’re not going to help you close a deal right there in the elevator. They’re all about making an impression. At the very most, they’ll get you a meeting. They may prompt an exchange of business cards. Mostly, their job is to make sure you’re not forgotten.

Someone who hears your elevator pitch might not need an accountant right now. Or they may not want to talk about accounting at that precise moment. But if you make a good pitch, they’re more likely to remember you when they’re ready.

So how do you polish your accounting elevator pitch to ensure you're in with a good chance?

Be relatable

Frame your pitch in a way that people understand. Bring some feeling into it.

Instead of saying:

“I provide advisory services to help small businesses recognise their growth potential.”

Consider trying:

“I help small businesses who are sick of having the same year over and over again.”

The first description is technical. The second evokes an emotion, which helps make it resonate. We all know what it’s like to be stuck in a rut. The second example also invites a follow-up question. Any naturally curious person is going to ask: how?

Pitch solutions, not services

Put yourself in the shoes of your prospect for a moment. What do they really want? Are they interested in hearing all about your firm? Do they want to hear about every single service you offer? Do they even care about accounting?

The answer to these questions is probably ‘no’, so don't waste their time. What they really want is a solution to their business problems. They want someone to take that problem and make it go away – and they're willing to pay for that to happen.

Everything you say in your pitch should come from this perspective. Talk about solutions to common problems the prospect might have and make that solution sound as painless to implement as you can.

Position yourself as an advisor

Rightly or wrongly, many business owners see accountants as an extension of the tax office. You’re part of the system. An obligation.

That’s not a positive place to come from so try to show you’re on their side. Your firm can do so much more than figure out what they owe the government. Position yourself as an advisor with answers to wider business issues. Tell them how you can help:

  • fix cash flow issues;
  • reduce the costs of doing business;
  • increase the speed of doing business; and
  • give them a strategy for reinvesting.

Don’t forget about the bread-and-butter compliance capabilities. All businesses want to be tax-efficient but be sure to open their eyes to all the other things you can do for them, as well. Even if they don’t immediately use those services, it will help establish you as a collaborator and partner rather than just a vendor.

If you would like to learn more about Xero and the Partner Programme please visit Xero.com.

(This article is sponsored by Xero.)