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You're An Accountant: What's Your Role With Your Clients?

The Difference Between a Trusted ADVISOR and a Trusted SERVANT

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Get Rid of Servanthood Once and For All

It's a rhetorical question but one that Doug Sleeter asked the audience in his 10th annual Sleeter Accounting Conference keynote speech, “What do you want your role to be with your clients?”

Of course that opened the door for us to have some fun with the “Are you a Trusted Advisor or a Trusted Servant” debacle but we recognize that it's a real challenge that accountants face daily.

Here are a five nuggets straight from Doug Sleeter's keynote that are each Trusted Advisor–esque (grab your laptop and jot down ideas on how to relate these back to your practice):

  • Earn that good old fashioned trust. “Develop trust, so that you'll be treated like a partner, not a servant.”
  • Proactively recommend products. “...Do a deep dive—know what you're recommending, because you're lending your credibility to the vendor.”
  • Don't force–fit solutions to clients. “Each client is unique and each solution is unique — think about seeking to match which solutions will work for which clients.”
  • Give unsolicited advice. “68% of small business owners would like to receive technology advice from a trusted advisor — but only 38% actually get it.”
  • Try a new way of doing an everyday task. And “think big!”

So this question isn't rhetorical and one you should ask and answer yourself: “What can I do today, this week, this month, or this year to improve my business model and my relationship with my clients?“

The answers very well could be your key to opening up the Trusted Advisor treasure chest.

What are your takeaways from Sleeter's keynote speech?

What is #WHASSSAS (other than a word that, let's admit, is pretty fun to say)?

#WHASSSAS (What Happens At Sleeter Shouldn't Stay At Sleeter) is a 13–week crusade encouraging accountants to take the profusion of wisdom shared at The Sleeter Group's #Solutions13 conference and put it into action. We hope every #WHASSSAS post reminds and emboldens you to take meaningful action to improve your business and the lives of your clients. Don't be surprised if we bring a smile to your face while we're at it!

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