“Replacing the Rainmaker” has a simple premise: Accounting firms need to re-evaluate their approach to business development. Firms can no longer afford to depend on one or two rainmakers to bring in the majority of new business. To compete and thrive in a more globalized, more specialized, more technology-driven world, accounting firms must reframe business development as a firm-wide priority. The age of the rainmaker is dead; business development is now everyone’s responsibility.
Why write this book
I decided to write this book to help accounting firms tackle this new world of business development. In running a consulting business, I’ve realized that most professional service firms don’t have systems or processes in place to ensure their long-term success. Instead, as storied business developers retire, firms are left scrambling to replace their knowledge, intellectual capital and book of business.
Many of my insights come from the fact that I wasn’t schooled in the existing accounting paradigm. Instead, I draw on what I learned from my two decades in the for-profit and non-profit sectors, bringing what worked there into the arena of accounting. In contrast, much of the available literature on business development for accountants is written by accountants themselves. As a result, most of their advice involves tinkering at the margins, rather than reimagining the future of business development at accounting firms. I have substantial experience providing sales and marketing expertise to small and large regional accounting firms, including serving in an outside sales capacity. I’m sharing tried and tested ideas that produce results.
What it’s about
Much of this book tries to change preconceived notions about selling. Many accountants are unwilling to undertake important business development tasks because they don’t consider themselves “salespeople.” But one of my goals throughout the book is to challenge you to reconsider how you think about selling, overcome your resistance and instead embrace it as a way to help your clients seize opportunities and minimize liabilities.
This book defines business development as an amalgam of sales and marketing and focuses on how to improve your performance in both areas — from how to hone your elevator pitch to how to convert more prospects into clients. It’s written for any CPA, whether you’re a sole practitioner, staff accountant or partner at a large firm. If you have an open mind and a desire to grow your business through calculated business development strategies, this book is for you.
How it’s written
The book is divided into 14 chapters, housing 96 short topics, typically two to four pages in length. Each topic culminates with three key takeaways and many topics include step-by-step processes to help you put the ideas into action. We also provide supplemental resources, including templates, spreadsheets and forms.