Last week one of my clients asked me a really good question about sales conversations, and just like I did with another client's question a week or so ago, I turned my answer into a blog and sent it to my email list.
Blogging is great for marketing for lots of reasons - keywords and SEO, repurposing content into social posts, something to email your clients etc.. But if you're new to writing, or if you don't consider yourself much of a wordsmith, then you probably find that you don't really know what to write.
When I had my bookkeeping business, and everyone was going on about blogs, blogs, blogs, yadayadaya… I thought to myself, “I’m a bookkeeper, what on earth could I possibly write about that’s not going to bore my clients and send them straight to the unsubscribe button”.
But turns out, I got sh*t to say.
And I guarantee that you do too.
As I have demonstrated for you, a good...
There is a distinct difference between bookkeeping and accounting and it's important to acknowledge that it's not one vs the other. Bookkeepers and accountants have a very synergistic relationship and, ideally, work well together for the benefit of their mutual client.
Generally speaking, bookkeepers are the ones who are across the business accounts on a more regular basis, as their job is to process the day-to-day transactions. This may include bank reconciliations, payroll, invoicing, GST returns, processing supplier invoices and reconciling supplier statements, and chasing late payers.
In short, bookkeeping organises and documents a company's financial data and creates order and meaning from what could otherwise be chaos and meaningless numbers.
An experienced bookkeeper will be able to verify the balance sheet account balances, produce cashflow reports and forecasts, help create budgets, and clearly explain to the business owner what the financial reports are...
I love networking but I've had to learn how to do it, and I've learned to love it.
I'm probably considered outgoing and approachable by most who meet me, but I can be a little introverted at times, and so networking was something that didn't come easily at first.
Fake it 'til you make it has long been a favourite of mine and it applies well to networking. I don't mean be fake. Quite the opposite in fact, you need to be authentic and genuine.
But if you think about who a person would be if they were great at networking, how they would behave, what they would say etc., and then you act in that way, then you will become a great networker. To become good at anything it's all about practice, right?
First and foremost, networking is about establishing relationships. Having an attitude of "it's not about me" goes a long way. Come at any networking conversation with a mindset of "how can I help this person.
Is there something that you know that could be useful for their...
Whenever I do a business review for my own business, one of the things I want to get a handle on is return on investment for the various networking groups I belong to.
The cost of belonging to these organisations is actually quite a lot, especially when you consider the time and travel investment as well (which you should).
I’ve always been a big proponent of networking. I really enjoy it and BNI was integral to the growth of my last business with a tangible financial return. Some of the people I’ve met through networking groups have become lifelong friends and so the relationships that networking fosters can be invaluable and hard to put a figure on.
With my change of industry category this year, from bookkeeping to business coach, the financial returns have been less than I would have hoped for so far. But given that I’ve had great success in the past from networking I suspect that I’ve not been clear in portraying my value message this year with my...
I thought it would be helpful to create a checklist of things to ask when I was in sales conversations, or a discovery meetings. But what I found was that it was just distracting, so I got rid of it.
Instead, what I do is I approach these conversations from a place of curiosity. I want to find out all about their business, and about how they currently do things.
Conversations are a bit like completing a jigsaw puzzle. As the conversation progresses, pieces of the puzzle are put into place. But it’s clear to me that there are pieces missing, and so I ask questions about those gaps so that I can gain clarity and fill in the pieces.
I like to mind map the conversation, it gives me a good idea of the business. The way my mind works is that questions invariably come up as we talk.
To reiterate, the intention is to get a really clear understanding of what the business does and how it operates.
To help you with this, here...
Part of the reason that structured, consistent networking groups (like BNI, Venus, Pod, TNG etc.) work, is because you develop trusted relationships with the people in your group. You get to know, like and trust them, and vice versa, and you then feel comfortable giving them referrals, and they to you.
The other reason that they work is summed up nicely by BNI’s motto, Givers Gain. Call it the Law of Attraction – I think Ivan Misner, the founder of BNI, calls it the Law of Reciprocity – whatever you call it, when are you are seen as a giver, you will gain in return.
Might not be from the same people that you gave the referral, but if you are handing out referrals on a regular and...
When I owned my bookkeeping business I was once asked if I had a different rate for data entry work. The inference being that that particular task was worth less than the bookkeeping rate which I had quoted.
The thing is though, with bookkeeping it’s never just data entry, right? Every entry effects the system and we need to understand the cause and effect of what we're entering. That’s where a bookkeeper’s specialised knowledge comes into play.
There’s a story that’s circulated around for many, many years now, about a machinist who was called in to repair a machine that was vital to the business’s operations. After some investigation, he tapped the machine with a hammer in a specific spot and the machine started working again.
The owner of the business queried his bill of £10, 10s (I did say the story had been circulating for many years), a large sum of money back in the day. After all, the machinist had only...