Get the Upper Hand on Client Pay Negotiations

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Physicians and CPAs are professionals. Qualifying to practice involves years of study, professional certification, continuing education and oversight.

Few people would tell a surgeon, “We need to get the cost of my heart transplant down.” They will try to negotiate down the fees paid for accounting services. So, how would you address this problem?

When a large corporation buys auditing services, they often put out a Request for Proposals (RFP). Accounting firms compete for the business. It’s pretty straightforward. You are a neighborhood accountant, doing taxes for individuals and local businesses. Their situation is too complex for them to use a mass market tax preparation service or to file online, yet they want that lower level of pricing.

Your client probably doesn’t know everything you do for them. You deliver a service, yet they see it as a transactional arrangement. You want to defend your pricing without antagonizing the client. Here are six strategies to put to your advantage:

  1. Client takes on more compliance paperwork. You are providing auditing services for their business. They shoulder the task of getting the compliance paperwork done before you step into the picture. They are assuming the time expense. The problem can be the quality of their work. Is it done right? They develop a greater appreciation for the value you deliver.
  2. Delegating to a lower cost level. In larger firms, managers bill at a lower level than partners. This can reduce the client’s expense without compromising your pricing schedule. They may feel you bring more expertise to the table. It’s another way of showing your value.

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About Bryce Sanders

Bryce Sanders

Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. in New Hope, Pennsylvania. He provides high-net-worth client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, Captivating the Wealthy Investor, can be found on Amazon.com.

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