Getting new clients can start with something as simple as delivering a quick, 30-second elevator pitch - if it’s crafted with the right components. Your elevator pitch as an accountant or tax professional is your chance to briefly summarize to prospects what you do and how you can help them. The problem many people run into with elevator pitches is that they’re so short. It can be a challenge to squeeze in all the information you want in 30 seconds or less.
The good news? Elevator pitches for accounting and tax professionals like you are easier to craft when you know what belongs in the pitch - and what doesn’t. We’re sharing our best tips to help you create an accounting and tax elevator pitch that will stick around in the minds of your potential clients and help you make solid connections with prospects.
Your accounting and tax elevator pitch should have a few essential elements to make sure it’s memorable and gets your information across. We like to call these the 5 S’s:
We’ll show you how to weave each of these elements into your accounting and tax elevator pitch next.
Elevator pitches are meant to be short. Keep your pitch somewhere between 20 and 30 seconds to ensure you don’t lose the attention of your potential client along the way.
Elevator pitches may not actually take place in elevators very often anymore, but that’s where the phrase originated. People would prepare a quick presentation to outline an idea, story, or script they were writing on the off chance they ended up sharing an elevator with an executive or decision-maker at work. The time of the elevator ride was a natural stopping point for the pitch, usually ending between 20 to 60 seconds later. Stick to the origins of the elevator pitch and keep your pitch brief.
The most effective elevator pitches are refreshingly simple. You aren’t expected to fit every service offering or pricing plan into an elevator pitch. Instead, stick to broad strokes and give your prospect an idea of what you do without going into every detail.
Simple pitches provide enough information to engage a potential client, but (usually) not enough to result in a business agreement right then and there. What you can hope for when you deliver a short, simple pitch: Exchanging business cards or contact information, setting up a later meeting or appointment to talk about options or a request for more information from your prospect.
If you find yourself only talking about what you want (doing business with your prospect) in your elevator pitch, you reduce your odds of success. Your pitch needs to be solution-based and focus on the ways you can help the person in front of you.
Solutions will be different based on who you’re talking to, so it’s a good idea to have a few versions of your pitch memorized. You might have one for microbusiness owners, one for taxpayers, one for conferences, etc.
If you’re speaking with a small business owner and know payroll is a common struggle, tell them how you can make it less of a challenge. If tax deadlines are approaching, talk about how you can help file an extension or complete the return on time. Tailoring your pitch to your prospect is one of the most important parts of your elevator pitch.
Don’t forget to mention your specialties and what makes you an accounting or tax expert. You can have a short, simple, solution-based pitch that sounds great on paper, but isn’t memorable if your prospect doesn’t understand why they should keep you in mind.
What makes you stand out in the industry? Have you done a ton of work with clients like them? Are you certified and licensed? How long have you been in the accounting and tax industry? Think of any unique or impressive trait that can help you make your mark and a great impression when you deliver your elevator pitch.
A sincere elevator pitch - one that sounds like it’s genuine - gets better results than one that is forced or overly technical. Elevator pitches are all about creating a connection, and nothing kills connection faster than industry jargon or language that is too formal. Here’s a great example from Xero:
Instead of saying: “I provide advisory services to help small businesses recognize their growth potential.”
Consider trying: “I help small businesses who are sick of having the same year over and over again.”
Sincerity appeals more to your prospects’ emotions than technical, formal speech and lets them know you’re relatable. It also helps open the door to more conversation. After all, most prospects don’t know how to follow up to something like “I provide advisory services to help small businesses recognize their growth potential.” But responding to a relatable phrase that indicates your understanding of the industry can be a gateway to connection.
Sample Accounting and Tax Elevator Pitch
“Hi, I’m Jamie! I’m an accountant that exclusively works for small business owners. I’ve been in the industry for 12 years now. I know that a lot of the business owners I talk to see the same problems come up year after year - cash flow, taxes, payroll - so I created some special offerings that get those challenges out of the way. I love helping business owners stop worrying about the books and get back to what they do best. Let’s chat sometime to see how I can help? Here’s my contact info, do you have a business card?”
This sample pitch is short, simple, solution-based, specialized, and sincere. It lets the prospect know that Jamie specializes in working with small business owners, is experienced, knows how to solve common problems this prospect might be facing, and provides an easy way to exchange contact information at the end for follow-up.
If your elevator pitch contains these 5 elements, you’re sure to land more clients and make better connections with prospects. Your focus might be on the numbers most of the time, but when it comes to growing your accounting or tax business, it’s time to let your inner salesperson shine.