I struggled with pricing until I did this…

Hal is an experienced CPA whose clients are business owners.

During his work on their taxes (and while looking at their financials during tax return prep) he saw a set of issues again and again.

He was itching to help owners address those issues and decided to offer fractional CFO services.

Unlike accounting services which tended to be repetitive and clearly defined, CFO advisory services were wide open.

He needed a pricing model that accommodated the range of client needs and desires.

He tried a set of options, Good, Better, Best. Each encompassed a list of the tasks included at each level and a price for each level.

He was surprised when there was little interest.

The most common response was “How is this different from what you’re already doing?”


That’s when Hal called me.

He’d been intrigued by my work around pricing for knowledge and expertise that delivers life changing differences—IMPACTs.

Could IMPACT based pricing help him?

I asked him how  his CFO work changed the lives of business owners. Not his tasks, but how the tasks change the Owner’s life.

He described this and within a few minutes he used the words that would lead to success. His CFO advisory work would change people lives by helping them:

  • feel secure
  • be comfortable spending for leisure and non-essential experiences
  • write estate plans that reflected their values

He labeled these options Secure, Leisure, Estate.

New Marketing

Hal began a new marketing effort that called attention to these IMPACTs.

He took three steps:

  1. A personalized letter that reflected what he already knew about each person. I told him it was worth the effort to write a personal note to everyone rather than a generic letter that didn’t speak to anyone specifically.
  2. An invitation to an in-person or online one-on-one meeting to talk things over. This was not a ‘sales’ meeting, it was a conversation between established clients and Hal.
  3. A follow up that the client chose: another meeting to discuss things further, or a proposal for CFO advisory services tailored to the specific client’s needs, wants, and desires. The client could choose one or the other, or none, or both.

At first Hal was overwhelmed by the time all of this would take.

Why? Because he was so used to thinking that time is money. If he was using his time “talking” he wasn’t making any money.

He had to get over this internal hurdle. We did a few “what if” scenarios with some of his best clients.

What if they chose the Secure option? The Leisure Option? The Estate Option?

What would those engagements look like and how much would he charge for them?

Would they lead to recurring revenue? Referrals?

Once Hal saw the numbers, he realized how powerful this new mindset is.

The larger the IMPACT, the more clients would pay, and they’d understand the concept that fees are proportional to the life changing differences Hal delivered.

Hal agreed that unlimited access to him and the highest quality advisory would be included in ALL options. He wasn’t selling various levels of quality or time; he was offering different life changing IMPACTs with fees proportional to those IMPACTs.

How is it going?

In the past 4 months, 5 of Hal’s existing clients have chosen one of the CFO advisory options. Three chose the Leisure, one the Secure and one the Estate.

Each engagement is unique to the client, and fees are proportional to the client. The owner of a $5 million company will enjoy a bigger IMPACT from a Leisure engagement than the one with a $750K business.

Hal now tells everyone that his struggle is over!

He’s happy with the growth of his new CFO Advisory services engagements. Each new client conversation is easier and generates more excitement because Hal’s confidence is high.

Will this approach work for you?

Most of you are not offering fractional CFO services.

Yes, it will work for you because it models my recommendations: customize and personalize everything. That is where the large fees come from.

No one will pay a high fee for something they can get ‘off the shelf.’

They will agree to your fees the more your options speak specifically to them.

if you’re thinking you’re ready to stop believing that time is money, let me know. You can have the  same conversation with me that Hal had.

Text IMPACT to  703-801-0345.

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