TFYW#034 The Undisputed Way To Get Traction

May 5, 2023

This week I am going to introduce a new format for my newsletter.

I want to offer more actionable tactics you can implement today besides my regular formatted newsletter.

Each newsletter will have stand-alone sections for tactics, tech and the typical deeper topic.

Today’s Tactic

We request things from clients every day. Their responsiveness directly impacts how fast we complete their work.

Well, there is a secret weapon to get a better response rate from our clients.

It is the ‘Reason Why.’

Ellen Langer, a psychologist from Harvard University, ran an experiment in the ’70s. Langer discovered that:

“A straightforward request was honored 60% of the time, but Langer found that adding a reason for the request increased the compliance rate to 95% – an astounding improvement.”

Adding a ‘because our team is waiting on this last document’ or ‘because this will improve our work’ adds weight to the request. The reason doesn’t even have to improve their experience.

“Humans are predisposed to look for behavioral causes. People will be more receptive to any request if you give them a reason why.”

It may seem small, but including a reason why gives your requests more priority.

Give it a shot because clients need reasons to act.

Leveraging Expertise

In 2015, I started a renovation project. I wanted to put in a rental suite in the basement of our new house. It was an older bungalow in an inner-city neighborhood.

I had an electrician friend over on the day we took possession of the house. I wanted his opinion on the project.

His advice lingers in my head to this day.

He said, “You will save money, time and your sanity if you get an experienced contractor to do most of the work.”

I heard his advice, but I did not take it.

I prepared myself to do most of the work. I thought I would save money that way. Keep in mind; I was working full-time, had a side gig, and had two small children.

It was supposed to take me three months to complete.

It ended up taking 12 months.

I now own many tools I don’t use and battle scars from that year.

The project turned out well, but it was a clearly DIY job. I did unusual things that an experienced contractor would have never done.

The overall cost of me completing the reno, including the tools, 9 months of lost rent, and wasted material (I made a lot of bad cuts), was $25,000 more than what I would have paid an expert for a better result.

For me, this is a hefty piece of humble pie sharing this experience.

So, why am I telling you this?

If you don’t remember anything else from this week’s newsletter, remember this:


Getting expert help pays for itself quickly.


If you do it alone, any short-term savings or advantage will never outweigh the long term ROI.

Getting Traction

With tax season in the US and Canada over now, your firm probably has extra time to make changes.

Starting May 15th, I will work with a new group of ambitious firm owners looking to install new systems in their firms.

My signature program offers four months of 1 to 1 coaching and support.

You will get tailored instruction for:

1. Market Position

Only a clearly defined niche will fuel sustainable growth in your firm.

You can only deliver more value and charge more when you pick the right customers.

Your firm makes more because of who they are, not because of what you do.

2. Offer and Pricing

Most firms are focused on simply offering services. They offer a commodity in a sea of similar service providers.

Niche-specific offers put firms in a market of their own, delivering high-value solutions to happy clients at much higher prices.

Nailing your offer and pricing is the most crucial factor in building a sustainable firm you enjoy.

3. Workflow and Tech Optimization

here are a crazy amount of tools available to accounting firms.

A clear tech strategy will increase your overall profitability and reduce the hours you waste researching, implementing and updating your tech stack.

Firms that manage their tech well will remain profitable in the face of talent shortages, AI, and bots.

So if you are ready to get a better ROI on your actions this offseason, fill out an application to see if you qualify.

Working with me will save you 100s of hours, improve your margins, and reduce your time working in your firm.

Today’s Tech

As service providers, we write a lot. This tends to lead to wordy emails that only other accounting folks will understand.

That same issue pops up when we try to create content. We deliver dense and undigestible info that regular business owners do not understand.

The key to good communication is to be clear. Most of your writing should be at a grade 4 – 5 reading level.

Simple writing does not diminish your intelligence. It makes your value accessible to your client.

The best tool for being clear in your writing is the Hemingway Editor.

Paste your text into the (free) website or desktop app and get instructions to improve your writing.

This is what my newsletter this week looked like before the final edit:

Here’s to better writing, clear content and more leads.

Build The Firm You Want!



P.S. Email with something that you want me to talk about. I’ll add it to the list. 

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Every Friday, 900+ accountants and firm owners get tips and tactics to build better firms that work for their lifestyle.

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