One of the accountant’s core strengths clearly seeing the steps a business owner needs to take to increase their profitability, but advising that same client about how to make those changes presents more of a challenge.
Sometimes it seems our clients are deliberately doing the opposite of what we suggest. This is frustrating and many accountants are tempted to stop advising a client who resists every suggestion they make. While we cannot force clients to take our advice, in order to become their favorite (and trusted) advisor we must determine how to stop our clients from resisting us.
It may be hard to believe based on their behavior, most of our clients really do want our advice, but resist because of our approach.
There are three very successful techniques I have used to advise resistant clients, and the accountants and bookkeepers I have shared these with have had tremendous success with them as well.
1. Focus on what the client has done right
In an effort to maximize our meeting time with our clients, we often dive right into what the client needs to change. This immediately puts the client on the defensive.