The danger of overselling ( 1 of 2)

Lets take a short break from the extracts of the “What do Accounting Clients Really Want?” book for the next few posts.

I had a call from a CFO friend of mine who wanted my advice on a person we both knew. Lets call this person we both knew Don as is Don Draper from the popular television series Madmen.

Don is a senior partner in a top 10 Australian accounting firm. He has 25+ years experience working in professional services as is recognised by his firm as a rainmaker, that is, someone who is able to effectively sell additional services to existing clients and win new clients. He is often described as proactive, articulate and very “client-centric” – traits that are often in short supply within partnerships in professional service firms – not just accounting, but in law, engineering, management consulting and so on.

My CFO friend called me after a presentation that Don made to him in response to a specific request for accounting services. According to my friend, Don’s presentation was both impressive & informative. However, he went waaaaaaay over the top; so much so that the CFO was simply turned off and in his own words … “it just left a bad taste in my mouth”

Hmmm … this is not a good situation to say the least. How could a senior partner who is highly skilled & experienced in the art of relationships & business development get it so wrong in what one would think is a simple and straightforward pitch? Don would have done hundreds of these presentations over the course of his career – a high proportion of which would have been successful. Whats going on?!

Tune into next post to find out about Don’s dilemma!

All my best,

James E.