Ready to Start Winning? First Stop Losing

August 18, 2017

Scott Dine

Scott Dine

Partner + Technical Director

3 min read

Ready to Start Winning? First Stop Losing

Ready to Start Winning? First Stop Losing


Principal + Technical Director

A wise man once said, “Before you can start winning, you have to stop losing.”

While this statement seems to be suffering from circular logic, it illuminates the importance of the process that differentiates between success and failure. This logic also applies to creating proposals for your Accounting Marketing plan. Successful people generally don’t earn their success because of some amazing momentary genius, just as most unsuccessful people aren’t just the victims of circumstance.

The difference between success and failure is usually the sum of many small habits. Successful people implement many small actions on an ongoing basis that set the stage for their success. Unsuccessful people take on bad habits that become a roadblock to achieving their potential. The author of the quote is referring to these bad habits. Before you can start winning, you have to identify and remove the obstacles to success in your life, or in this case, your business.

The difference between success and failure is usually the sum of many small habits.
What does this have to do with proposals for accounting services? Nearly every firm that I meet mentions a desire to increase their “win” percentage with their proposals. Firms want more opportunities to be more successful. But what are the good habits that go into creating a winning proposal?

Interestingly enough, many of these same firms that express a desire to win a greater number of their proposals also express frustration with the quality of their proposals and their internal development process. Problems may include:

  • No consistency from one to the other.
  • No clear or coherent message.
  • No differentiating design or compelling theme.

Proposals are often developed separately by individual partners, pieced together with parts of formatting, messaging, and appearance from previous proposals that don’t present the brand the firm desires to put forward.

This uncoordinated process fails to put the firm’s best foot forward and is the heart of the process that leads to “losing.” It’s the bad habit that needs to stop before you can start winning.

So how do you stop losing and start winning? How do you develop tools and processes that will allow for the consistent and efficient production of winning proposals? If your CPA Firm prides itself on planning and process, it needs to stop creating proposals that lack strategic planning and effective processes.

First, identify the results you want to achieve. Most firms tell me they want two things from their proposals that they aren’t currently getting.

  • First, they want proposals that increase their win rate.
  • Second, they want proposals with minimal production time.

Once you know what you want, create a templated solution that accomplishes the desired results. It’s a simple matter of strategic planning and following through with execution.

If design, branding, and messaging are outside your firm’s personnel expertise (and that’s okay, a great accountant isn’t necessarily a great marketer), find a qualified partner to help you. Once you have the content and delivery problem solved, your compelling content template will ensure efficient and consistent proposals that live up to your brand. Any associated costs will be quickly recouped through greater fee realization and less time wasted by your professionals on an inefficient process.

In other words, you’ll stop losing and start winning.

If you want to learn more about the characteristics of winning proposals, check out this post.

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