Date posted: 23/01/2019 8 mins. min read

How to sell what you do

Accountants aren’t noted as self-promoters, but it’s crucial to be able to sell your skills. So how do you do it? It might be time to read the book on the subject.

In Brief

  • Accountants aren’t noted as self-promoters, but selling your services and skills is crucial. This book selection can set you on the path to success.
  • “How Clients Buy” offers practical advice on how to better sell what you do, with a questionnaire to sort out what you’re already doing right, and what can be improved.
  • Other titles explore how to overcome both obvious and unconscious obstacles holding you back in your personal career.

By Kamala Bain and Alexandra Johnson

How Clients Buy: A practical guide to business development for consulting and professional services

How Clients Buy

By Tom McMakin and Doug Fletcher (Wiley)

Among accountants, “sell” used to be a four-letter word. It was thought unethical to advertise your services, and accountants had to rely on word of mouth to get new clients through the door.
But being smart at what you do is no longer enough. Whether you’re a sole practitioner or work for a large firm, you have to engage with potential clients and scope new business. But how? Start by putting yourself in your prospective clients’ shoes.

This book offers practical advice for selling what you do. It has a questionnaire and tools to determine what you are doing right and where you might need to improve. With seven ingredients including trust, awareness in what you do and developing rapport, it shows how you can cook up a storm of interest in what you have to offer. Members can access How Clients Buy for free through the CA Library.

How Women Rise: Break the 12 habits holding you back

How Women Rise

By Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith (Random House Business)

Are you sabotaging your career? Many women feel frustrated as they watch their salaries increase by increments and miss out on promotions. If this describes you, you may be focusing too much on your job at the expense of your career. Research shows, for example, that a desire to be loyal leads women to neglect their futures.

So how do you know if you’re stuck? Women’s leadership expert Sally Helgesen and executive coach Marshall Goldsmith identify ways women unwittingly undermine themselves. Their book can help you identify and overcome self-limiting habits to forge a clear vision of what your future might be.

Helgesen and Goldsmith do not deny the very real obstacles women face, but considering whether any of these 12 habits apply to you may help you become aware of what’s getting in your way.

“Being smart at what you do is no longer enough.”
Kamala Bain and Alexandra Johnson

Also recommended this month

Compliance to Commercial: The QUIET approach to finance business partnering

Compliance to commercial

By Andrew Jepson (Vincero Consulting)

Provides a framework to help accountants shift from a transactional finance role to business partnering.

The Motivation Myth: How high achievers really set themselves up to win

The motivation myth

By Jeff Haden (Portfolio/Penguin)

Explores motivation, debunking commonly held myths about willpower. Offers fresh insights and achievable strategies to approach both professional and personal obstacles and goals.

Confident Data Skills: Master the fundamentals of working with data and supercharge your career

Confident data skills

By Kirill Eremenko (Kogan Page)

Offers the essentials to master the fundamentals of data, from data mining to data communications and presenting. Explores data techniques in practice and offers ideas for turning knowledge into innovation.

Kamala Bain is the Business Information Librarian and Alexandra Johnson is the Library Assistant at the CA Library.

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