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Question
Hi Leo,
I want to start an outsourced accounting/consulting firm leveraging my 20 years of knowledge & experience in the accounting field. However, I need some advice in different areas. Finding qualified people to do the work will be the "easiest" part of this start up. My challenges have more to do with finding the clients that will hire my firm to provide the consultants. And then of course ongoing consistent marketing, on a low budget.

Can you provide some unique ways for me to find clients and to do this continuous marketing? ~Thanks so much!

Answer
MY  ASSUMPTIONS,
YOUR  CURRENT  SITUATIONS.
-your company  is  not  known.
-your  services  are  not  known in the  market.
-you/ your  company  have  no visibility  in the  market.
-market  awareness  of  your profile/ company's profile  is  almost  nil.
YOU NEED  TO  FAST TRACK  YOUR  PROFILE  
IN  THE  MARKET.
============================================
1. IN  THE  FIRST  STAGE,
-define  your product [ services]  you  are  offering
-what is  the  usp [UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION] of  your  services
-what  is  the  uniqueness  of  your  operation.
-what  value  added   services  you  are  offering
-if  you are   different  from  others- WHAT  IS  IT.
YOU  MUST   DEVELOP   YOUR SERVICE PACKAGE- WELL  DEFINED.
========================================================
IT IS  PERSONALISED  APPROACH, THAT  WILL  BRING  BUSINESS.
WHAT  YOU KNOW  IS  IMPORTANT, BUT
WHOM  YOU  KNOW  IS MORE  IMPORTANT.
========================================
2.Develop a  brochure with   INFORMATION and   using the  set of  topics  listed below and more
if  you have.
  WHAT  ARE  YOUR   SERVICES
  HOW CAN  YOU/YOUR SERVICE  IMPROVE A COMPANY'S BUSINESS PERFORMANCE
  HOW WILL  YOU   FIX  ORGANIZATION   ACCOUNTING/FINANCE   PROBLEMS
  WILL  YOUR  ERVICES   FIT THE WAYS  THE COMPANY   DO BUSINESS
  WHAT/WHEN   WILL  THE  COMPANY  GET  BACK  IN  BENEFITS
  WHAT  ROI   WILL THE  COMPANY    GET  BACK  FROM  YOUR   SERVICE
  ---INCLUDE  TANGIBLE   AND  INTANGIBLE
  WHAT  OTHER  VALUE  ADDED  SERVICES  YOU  OFFER.

THIS   BROCHURE  SHOULD  BE  OFFERED
-as  printed  copies
-CD
-available  on   your  website.
=======================================
3.The emphasis  of  the information provided should  be  positive /
business  oriented, and  showing
-business impact
-integrated  information
-networking  with  customers
-integrating  with  the  company's  ACCOUNTING
etc
----------------------------------------------------------------
4.PUT  A  SPIN ON   VALUE  ADDED   SERVICES / BENEFITS
------------------------------------------------------------------
5.EMPHASIS ON   TANGIBLE  SERVICE/VALUES  YOU OFFER
-----------------------------------------------------------------
6.LOAD  IT  WITH  INTANGIBLE  SERVICES/ VALUES
WHICH PEOPLE CANNOT SEE  BUT ARE RECEIVING FROM YOU.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
7.PUT  HEAVY  EMPHASIS  ON  VALUE  ADDED SERVICES  YOU OFFER.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
FIRST  STEP,  
-you  need  to create visibility  in   the  market.
-conduct  a  direct marketing    blitz./ using your brochure.
-follow  up  this  with  ''FACE  TO  FACE ''  PRESENTATION.
-offer  value   added  service ,  which  others   don't  offer.
it  must  be   an  unique  set  of  services.
======================================
SECOND  STEP,
-Pick   a  list  of,  say,  200  companies in   your   area.
-collect  the  ACCT/FIN   managers' names.
-forward  a  covering letter/ brochure    outlining your  services    along  with
a  desktop  calender  or  something  similar  which   will be
in front  of  their  eyes  all  the  time.
===================================
THIRD,
-create  a   website,   which  will have   the  facility  for
Information  servicing

==========================================
YOU MUST  ALWAYS  UNDERSTAND  THE
ACCT/ FINANCE /  ORIENTATION
OF  YOUR  PROSPECTS.
*CONTINUAL  MARKETING / PROSPECTING   IS VERY  IMPORTANT.
*STAYING CLOSE  WITH  YOUR CLIENTS  IS  A  MUST.
EVERY  MONTH  INVITE  20/25 PROSPECTS  FOR  A  BREAKFAST   SESSION  AND  EXPLAIN   ABOUT   YOUR  SERVICES.  

It  will  take   18/24 months of  sustained  effort
to  create visibility/ CREDIBILITY /   continual  income.
#####################################################
===============================================================
ONCE   IN  FRONT  OF  THE  PROSPECT

All YOUR   references  are  related to  consultancy.

You, as an  employee  or  freelancer, representing  your
t  consultancy  and  selling your  services
to  the  client.


on the topic "how to convince a client"


FIRST,
-explain  all  the  features  of  your  consultancy  services
*what  are the  services  you  are  offering.
*what  types of services  you  have done
for others.
*what  are  the  benefits  the  clients  derive  from
your  services.
*how  do  you provide  the  services.
YOU  MUST  ELABORATE  CONVINCINGLY.
YOU  MUST  BE  FLUENT.
YOU MUST  EXHIBIT  YOUR  EXPERTISE
AND  KNOWLEDGE  OF  THE  PROCESS.

WHAT  IS  YOUR  CONSULTANCY  SERVICES
WHAT  YOU  CAN  DO  FOR  THE  CLIENT
=====================================

on the  topic "how to close a sale"

YOUR  CLOSE  IS  AS  GOOD AS , YOU  MAKE
YOUR SALES  PRESENTATION  OF  YOUR  CONSULTANCY
SERVICES. IF  YOU  FALTER, IT  WILL MAKE  IT
DIFFICULT  TO  CLOSE  YOUR  SALE.

STEP  1--INTRODUCTION
-introduce  yourself / your  background

-introduce  your  consultancy/ its  services.
------------------------------------------------------------

STEP 2-INTEREST
-show interest,by  asking the  client about  his/her  company.
-how  they  are  doing.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
STEP 3-FACT  FIND
-what  is  their  ACCT/FIN  SITUATION
-how  do  they  go  about
-what  kind  of  services  are  required , like
permanent / temporary/contract / part  timers etc
----------------------------------------------------------------
STEP 4-LOCATE  APPLICATION
-what  services  are required  now
-what  positions needed  to  be  filled in
etc
------------------------------------------------------------
STEP 5-INDENTIFY  NEED
-what is  the  urgency of  the  position
-has  the  job  analysis/ job  description/ position
specification   be done
-do  the client  need  help in completing  these

THIS  STEP  WILL TAKE  YOU  CLOSER
THE SALES
-----------------------------------------------------------------
STEP 6-COMMITMENT
-show  commitment, by  proving
what  your  consultancy /you  can  do
to  take over the  responsibility/ complete
the  job  to  the client  satisfaction.

LITERALLY, HERE  YOU  ARE  THE  FOCAL
POINT.
-YOU ARE  THE FACE  OF  YOUR  CONSULTANCY
-YOUR  WORDS  ARE THE  WORDS  OF  CONSULTANCY
-YOUR  COMMITMENTS ARE THE COMMITMENTS
OF  THE  CONSULTANCY.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
STEP 7-PRESENT  BENEFITS
-reinforce  how  the  client  will  benefit
with  your  services.
----------------------------------------------------------------
STEP 8-CLOSE
-as  you  complete  your step  7,
ask  the  client,

*what  is  the  urgency of  the  fill-in
*when this position  need  to  be  filled -in
etc
PROMISE  IT  WILL  BE  DONE.
ASK  FOR THE  WRITTEN  ORDER.
==================================

THESE  STEPS IS  A  SYMBOLIC  REMINDER THAT
IF  YOU  MISS  ONE  STEP, IT  WILL MAKE
THE  ''CLOSE''  THAT  MUCH  DIFFICULT.
======================================
1.CLOSE  1-2-3  TECHNIQUE

Technique
Summarize in sets of three items. We will give you this, that and the other.
This may be features of the service , benefits or add-on sweetener items.
There are two ways to do this: they may either be closely related (to reinforce a single point) or may be quite separate (to gain greater coverage).
Most customers want service  that are free, perfect and available now. This is the classic business measurement trilogy of cost, quality and time.
Examples
I can help  you  with  your  job  analysis etc.
How it works
The 1-2-3 Close works through the principle of triples, a curious pattern where three things given together act as a coherent set of three hammer-blows that give a compelling message.
=============================================
2.ADJOURNMENT  TECHNIQUE
Technique
Do not go for the sale now. Give them time to think. Tell them that they probably need time to consider the offer you have made.
Use this when:
  You can see that they are not going to decide now.
  You have set up enough TENSION  that you are reasonably convinced that they will indeed seriously consider the deal and are likely to come back.
  Given some more time, it is likely that they will buy more (for example if they are at the edge of a budgetary period and their current funds are low).
  The relationship is important to you, and them making a wrong decision now would affect the chances of making sales in the future.
  You do not need to make the sale today (for example you have made your quota and this sale would be just fine for next month).
Combine this with setting up the next meeting, when perhaps you will be able to solidly close the deal.
Examples
This is an important decision for you and I think you need time to consider how important it is. Shall we discuss the details further next time I see you?
I can see you're thinking very carefully about this. Shall I come back next week to see how you are progressing then?
How it works
In many sales situations the RELATIONSHIP  is very important as the sales person will be going back to the customer with more sales to make. It is thus a bad idea to push them into a decision when they are not ready and may later be unhappy about this.
Offering an adjournment can be a nice surprise for the customer, who may be expecting a harder style of selling. This sets up an EXCHANGE tension, encouraging them to pay back your offer of time with later agreeing to the deal.
The Adjournment Close is particularly easy to manage when the sales person visits the customer, as opposed to having to hope that they will call back.
====================================================
3.AFFORDABLE  TECHNIQUE
Technique
Close out any objections they have about price by making sure they can afford it.
Find how much they can afford. Then show that you have a finance plan that fits their capability to pay.
Bring in other factors to  REFRAME the real price, such as lifetime costs.
Show the price of not buying the service now.
Strip down what is being sold to the bare minimum. Remove all the options (and maybe sell them as separate items).
Sell them something else they can afford.
Last option: bring your price down to what they are prepared to pay.
Examples
How much per month can you afford...yes, we can make a deal for that...
The initial costs seems high, but by the end of the year you will have recouped the cos
If we can bring the price down to what you say, will you buy today?
How it works
The Affordable Close works by structuring the finance of the deal to fit into the other person's ability to pay.
'I can't afford it' is often more of an excuse than a real objection. If they really do not want to buy, you will find that they will immediately jump onto another objection.
==============================================
4.ASSUMPTIVE   CLOSE

Technique
Act as if the other person has made the decision already.
Turn the focus of the conversation towards the next level of questions, such as how many they want, when they want it delivered, what size they need, and so on.
Examples
When shall we deliver it to you?
How it works
The Assumptive Close works by the ASSUMPTIONS  PRINCIPLE, where acting confidently as if something is true makes it difficult for the other person to deny this. For them to say you are wrong would be to cast themselves as an antisocial naysayer.
Note: This is one of the most common closes used.
===========================================================
5.BALANCE  SHEET CLOSE  TECHNIQUE

Technique
List both the benefits of the purchase (the pros) and also the costs (the cons). Of course, the pros (the reasons to buy) will win.
You can even write it down like a balance sheet. Make sure the 'pros' column is longer and more impressive, of course.
Cons include things they wanted but are not getting.
Start with the cons and keep them short. But do make it sound credible, as if you are giving them fair consideration.
Then cover the pros. Perhaps sound pleasantly surprised as you describe them.
Sound reasonable, as if you are on their side.
Sound almost as if you are talking to yourself.
Examples
Well, although it costs this much and is a bit big, it will sound really good and fit well into your RECRUITMENT PLAN
Let's weigh things up. You're not getting ..., but you are well within your budget and will have ..., ... and .... Hmm. That's good!
How it works
The Balance-sheet Close works by building  TRUST  through appearing to taking a balanced and fair approach. It guides the other person's thinking and hopefully saves them the trouble of weighing up the pros and the cons.


================================================
6.CONCESSION   CLOSE TECHNIQUE

Technique
Offer a concession of something they want in return for them buying the SERVICE.
You can be explicit about wanting an order in return for the concession or you can give the concession without asking - the other person will very likely still feel they owe you something for it.
Examples
If I reduce the price by 10%, will you take the SERVICE today?
If you are ready now, I'll make sure it is delivered by the end of the MONTH.
How it works
The Concession Close works by offering the other person something and either requesting or implicitly expecting something in return - usually the sale.
The Concession Close is also called the Trade-off Close.

===========
REGARDING  NEW  EMPLOYEES,  SEEK  AN  HEAD   HUNTER.YOU  NEED  A  COMPETENT  PERSON.
HERE  IS   THE  PROFILE.
A Competency Profile
Both the speed and complexity of change are accelerating. To keep pace, organizations must constantly "re-invent" themselves, in part by capitalizing and expanding on its capabilities. The most progressive and successful companies focus on managing intellectual capital. Lawyers working inside the organization play unique and diverse roles and can leverage their contributions. The competencies most in demand for in-house counsel are identified.
Personal Attributes Attributes are the unique characteristics and qualities which describe the business professional.
  Results-Oriented
  Efficient
  Committed
  Thorough
  Forward Thinker *
  Creative Thinker *
  Communicator *
  Relationship Builder
  Service-Oriented *
  Confident o Adaptable *
  Objective
Leadership and Development Competencies
Obtaining maximum personal and law department leverage requires proficiency in these competencies, and allows a lawyer to assume a position of influence and power in an organization.
  Leadership
  Impact and Influence
  Innovation
  Teamwork
  Developing People
  Commitment to Learning
Business and Client Competencies
This body of knowledge and skills includes an understanding of the organization, its industry, its management practices and their applicability to the organization.
  Customer-Focused
  Achievement-Oriented
  Resourceful
  Critical Thinking
  Strategic Business Sense
Functional and Technical Knowledge / Skills
degree in Accounting/Finance with at least 5 years of relevant working experience required.
Public accounting experience and/or CPA preferred.
Understanding of generally accepted accounting principles required
Experience with large scale ERP accounting systems and related reporting tool required.
Knowledge of monthly general ledger close process and accrual process
Ability to prepare monthly consolidated financial information (income statement, balance sheet, and cash flows) for use by senior management.
Proficiency in Excel required. Working knowledge of Access /database structure preferred.
Prior experience working with internal and/or external auditors, including an understanding of proper documentation, record retention, internal controls / SOX requirements, and financial reporting required
  Ability to work effectively multiple, concurrent projects and meet strict deadlines while working both independently and in a team environment
  Excellent analytical, problem solving, and problem identification skills
  Ability to work in a dynamic environment which requires greater flexibility and adaptability
  
  Working knowledge of Financial planning and budgeting process
  Working knowledge of various costing methodologies (products and material costing)
  Working knowledge of SAP Financial or other ERP product is an advantage
  CPA qualification is an advantage
  Strong financial and business analytical skills
  Ability to construct and write structured, concise professional reports from multiple data sources analysed suitable for client senior and executive management
#######################################################################

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Leo Lingham

Expertise

I can answer questions on marketing, marketing planning, product management, advertising, sales promotions, sales planning, merchandising, direct marketing, and sales management.

Experience

18 YEARS WORKING MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE IN BUSINESS PLANNING,
STRATEGIC PLANNING, MARKETING, SALES MANAGEMENT, AND ORGANIZATION DEVELOPMENT.

PLUS

24 YEARS OF MANAGEMENT CONSULTING IN STRATEGIC PLANNING,
BUSINESS PLANNING, PRODUCT MANAGEMENT, MANAGEMENT TRAINING,
AND BUSINESS COACHING.

MASTERS IN SCIENCE

MASTERS IN BUSINESS ADMINSTRATION.

Organizations
PRINCIPAL--BESTBUSICON PTY LTD

MANAGEMENT CONSULTING SERVICES.

Education/Credentials
MASTERS IN SCIENCE

MASTERS IN BUSINESS ADMINSTRATION

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