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You Are the Value: Define Your Worth, Differentiate Your CPA Firm, Own Your Market

ISBN: 978-0-87051-874-4
208 pages
May 2017
You Are the Value: Define Your Worth, Differentiate Your CPA Firm, Own Your Market (0870518747) cover image


Learn how to stand out from other CPAs by showing clients that YOU are the value of your CPA firm.

You Are the Value: Define Your Worth, Differentiate Your CPA Firm, Own Your Market provides you with practical strategies to build meaningful and lasting relationships with clients. Written specifically for CPAs, this new book guides you to discover what makes you valuable and different from other CPAs. While exploring the meaning of the word value and how it applies to you and your firm, you will examine the following seven questions about yourself to tap in to your personal value:

  • Who Are You?
  • What Do You Do?
  • Why Do You Do What You Do?
  • How Do You Do What You Do?
  • Who Have You Done It For?
  • What Makes You Different?
  • Why Should I Do Business With You? (Real Value)

Exploring these important questions prepares you to no longer “wing” client meetings, but knowledgably and confidently present yourself to clients in a unique way.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1—No More Winging It 5

Whom Do You Admire? 6

The Key Behaviors 7

Chapter 2—Discovering the Value Ladder™ 11

Spelling It Out 13

The First Step on the Ladder 13

The Next Logical Steps 14

A Complete Message 16

The Virtual File Cabinet™—Custom Answers in a Drawer 17

Chapter 3—Who Are You? 21

First and Lasting Impressions 22

Respond to the Situation 23

How Do You Rate? 24

Getting Off to a Strong Start 25

Professional Considerations 25

Personal Considerations 26

Get Visual 27

On the Spot 29

Strategic Questions to Consider 29

A Case in Point 30

Tell a Compelling Story 30

Final Thoughts 31

Chapter 4—What Do You Do? 33

Defining Your UVP™ 34

What Do You Actually Do? 36

Making It Come Alive 37

Go on Through 39

Five Steps to Your UVP™ 41

The UVP™: Yours, Mine, and Ours 45

Referrals and Existing Clients 45

Staying on Task 46

Strategic Questions to Consider 47

Final Thoughts 48

Chapter 5—Why Do You Do What You Do? 49

Why? 49

What’s the Foundation for Your Business Beliefs? 50

The Question Unfolds 52

Getting at the Core Beliefs 53

CPAs and Business Beliefs 54

Team Up 57

After Who, What, Why—Are You a Fit? 57

Strategic Questions to Consider 58

Final Thoughts 59

Chapter 6—How Do You Do What You Do? 61

Buying the Process 61

A Key Element of Differentiation 64

Your Process: What Does It Look Like? 65

A Case in Point 68

Align 69

Discover 69

Articulate 69

Capitalize 69

Realize 69

Putting It to Work in a CPA Firm 70

Think about the Future 72

What’s in a Name? 73

Strategic Questions to Consider 74

Final Thoughts 74

Chapter 7—Who Have You Done It For? 77

Telling the Story 79

Tools to Help You Analyze Your Clients and Markets 80

The Key Emotional Issues 82

Delivering Solutions 83

Impressing a Prospect 84

Acres of Diamonds 85

Clients for a Lifetime 86

Strategic Questions to Consider 89

Final Thoughts 90

Chapter 8—What Makes You Different? 93

Setting Yourself Apart 94

Three Ways to Distinguish Yourself (Or, Bring Your Umbrella to the Party) 96

Who Are Your Real Competitors? 98

Organizational Differentiation 99

Key Competitive Differentiation Concepts 100

Organization Differentiation 103

Solution Differentiation 104

What Do You Stand For? 105

Distinguish Yourself 105

Opening Your Umbrella 107

Differentiation 3x5 107

Strategic Questions to Consider 109

Final Thoughts 109

Chapter 9— Why Should I Do Business With You? (Real Value) 111

Value Versus Real Value 111

Getting Out of the Vendor Parking Lot 113

The Qualitative and Quantitative 117

Qualitative 118

Quantitative 119

What’s the Bottom Line? 119

Jumping the Gun 120

Making the Connection 121

Strategic Questions to Consider 122

Final Thoughts 122

Chapter 10—The Value Ladder™ in Review 125

Communication: An Art and a Science 131

Chapter 11— Advanced Applications for Your Value Ladder™ 133

Getting to Real Value 133

The First Application: The Value Ladder™ Comes to Life 134

The Second Application: A Shorter Dialogue 135

Third Application: Using the Value Ladder™ to Add the Right Services 136

Fourth Application: The Value Ladder™ Questioning Model 137

Fifth Application: Use the First Three Questions to Determine Compatibility 138

Sixth Application: Competitive Evaluation Tool for High-Level Prospects 138

Strategic Questions 139

Final Thoughts 140

Chapter 12—Creating a Culture of Value 141

One Message 142

C-U-L-T-U-R-E 143

Challenge Yourself and Your Organization to Greatness 144

Understand the Value Gaps and Act 146

Listen Aggressively to Your Clients 148

Total Commitment to the Initiative 150

Unify Your Organization 152

Respectful Dialogue With All Involved 154

Enjoy the Ride and Measure Your Success 156

Be Value Ready 158

Strategic Questions to Consider 158

Final Thoughts 158

Chapter 13: Competing on Value Begins with a Strategy 161

Vision 163

Clients 164

Services 164

Marketing Strategy 165

Reputational Value 165

Value Proposition 166

Financial Metrics 166

Professional Development 167

Competition 168

Final Thoughts 168

Chapter 14—What Are You Going to Act On? 171

The 7 Keys to Successful Action 172

A Final Thought to Consider 173

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Author Information

Leo Pusateri, president and CEO of Pusateri Consulting and Training in Buffalo, New York, works with financial professionals to help them discover, articulate, and capitalize on their unique value. He is the author of the highly acclaimed 2002 book, Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Am I the Most Valued of Them All?

Leo has provided inspiration to hundreds of advisors around the globe, from Singapore to Spain, from Vancouver to Zurich, New York City to London, and from beautiful Buffalo to San Francisco. In light of Leo’s robust training programs, firms have endorsed Leo’s skill set as the absolute best-in-class in bringing value-based training to the table. He recently launched Pusateri Canada to extend his firm’s intellectual property and consulting capabilities.

The PCPS is a community of CPA firms committed to making practicing CPAs and their firms successful through education and advocacy. The PCPS provides local and regional firms with practice management tools and resources and acts as a voice for these firms in the standard setting arena.

The PCPS Firm Practice Center provides access to a wide variety of valuable information and resources to make firms successful. The Center showcases content from the AICPA and associated state CPA societies; renowned experts and authorities in numerous fields; and well-known consultants to the profession and firms themselves. To learn more about the PCPS, log on to pcps.aicpa.org.

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