<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=187647285171376&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1" alt="facebook pixel">
Call us: (866) 497-9761 or Learn More

Three Questions All CPAs Should Ask Prospective Clients

Published by Hannah Hood on Jan 5, 2024 6:00:00 AM

01_Set Attainable Sales Targets Prospective clients will value CPA services to varying degrees, or not at all, and it’s going to be specific to each client. Just as there’s no universal understanding of what makes a good pizza or which NFL team is the greatest of all time, there’s no universal belief among business owners on what makes a good CPA and when is a good time to use a CPA’s services. 

As a CPA, that means every discovery call with potential clients must begin with an assessment of what they value. Again, every client is different, so every client’s understanding of your value changes with each new client. To really get to the heart of it, there are two key questions you should ask prospective clients:

  • Why me?
  • Why now? 

If you’re using value pricing, as is increasingly common within our industry, you can’t properly align on how much to charge if you don’t align on value. Starting with these questions will get you there much faster and help you avoid launching into contracts that aren’t a good deal for anyone. 

Start with understanding “why me?”

Asking this question may seem strange, both to you and a potential client. But picture this scenario: 


You’re in a discovery call with a small business CEO who came to your website and immediately filled out a contact form. In the call, you ask why she chose you out of everyone else. Without even hesitating, the CEO responds that your company was the first that appeared when she Googled “small business CPA firms in Minneapolis.” 

That’s great, right? It depends. 

It’s great in so far as it means your SEO is on point. There’s probably a fair amount of competition for CPA firms in Minneapolis, so owning the top spot in a Google search is worthwhile. But it also doesn’t mean that the client values your firm’s business over any other CPA firms. You’re just the first on the list. And if that CEO spent no time investigating the content on your website, such as your service page, about us, or client page, then they really don’t value you any more than the company sitting at the #2 or #3 spots for that search term. 

Now let’s take that same scenario. Instead of stating that she came to you because you were #1 in a Google search, maybe she says that when she asked around in her small business group, you were the top recommendation. Other business owners spoke highly of your firm, so she decided to contact you first before trying any other CPAs. 

Now you know that that potential client values you because you come highly recommended. That immediately changes the equation. You go from being a generic “top of list” to “a recommendation from people I respect.” Not only are you more likely to land that client, but you’ll also be able to charge a higher price because your services are more valuable to them.

Understand their timing by asking “why now?” 

They say timing is everything. For prospective clients, that timing can make or break whether they truly value your service to the degree that they’re willing to pay for it. When you ask a client “why now”, you uncover their personal03_Use Pipeline and Cash to Check Capacity business circumstances that make hiring you valuable to them right now. Another term for this is their exigency or their urgent or pressing need for your services. 

The stronger and more timely the need, the more value they’ll find in what you offer, especially if other factors about what your services align with their needs. 

Let’s extend the scenario from above. Let’s say the small business CEO you talked to explains that she Googled and found your company at the top of the results list. As we learned, that’s not ideal when it comes to why you’re a better pick than other CPAs. But, then she goes on to say that her company is being audited by the IRS.

That sense of urgency means she’s far more likely to consider your services if you’re the right match for what she needs. And if your business specializes in existing audits, she’s likely going to find your firm’s services more valuable, especially if you can prove you’ve worked situations similar to hers before. 

The picture obviously won’t be that rosy all the time. If, for example, she tells you that she doesn’t have a pressing need and is just interested in what CPA services can offer, that’s probably going to be a flag on the play. Even if you come highly recommended, someone who isn’t even sure that she has a need to begin with probably won’t value your services as highly as someone who does.

But wait, there’s more! 

02_Build a Marketing Strategy That Makes Sense Asking “why me” and “why now” will help you uncover whether you are distinguishable from other potential CPAs and whether the client really does need your services right now. However, there are other questions you should ask to really solidify the alignment and guarantee a higher price for your services. Get deeper insights on this topic in Episode 102 of The Modern CPA Success Show, “Niche Down, Price Up” with Geraldine Carter.




Leave a comment