You Are the Value: Define Your Worth, Differentiate Your CPA Firm, Own Your Market

Publisher: AICPA
  • $59.00-$69.00
    You Are the Value: Define Your Worth, Differentiate Your CPA Firm, Own Your Market In Stock Product #: 090550
    AICPA Member: $59.00
    Non-Member: $69.00

Learn how to stand out from other CPAs by showing clients that YOU are the value of your CPA firm.

You Are the Value: Define Your Worth, Differentiate Your CPA Firm, Own Your Market provides you with practical strategies to build meaningful and lasting relationships with clients. Written specifically for CPAs, this new book guides you to discover what makes you valuable and different from other CPAs. While exploring the meaning of the word value and how it applies to you and your firm, you will examine the following seven questions about yourself to tap in to your personal value:

  • Who Are You?
  • What Do You Do?
  • Why Do You Do What You Do?
  • How Do You Do What You Do?
  • Who Have You Done It For?
  • What Makes You Different?
  • Why Should I Do Business With You? (Real Value)
Exploring these important questions prepares you to no longer “wing” client meetings, but knowledgably and confidently present yourself to clients in a unique way.

PCPS Members are eligible for a discount on this product. Click here to learn more.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1—No More Winging It
    • Whom Do You Admire?
    • The Key Behaviors
  • Chapter 2—Discovering the Value Ladder™
    • Spelling It Out
    • The First Step on the Ladder
    • The Next Logical Steps
    • A Complete Message
    • The Virtual File Cabinet™—Custom Answers in a Drawer
  • Chapter 3—Who Are You?
    • First and Lasting Impressions
    • Respond to the Situation
    • How Do You Rate?
    • Getting Off to a Strong Start
      • Professional Considerations
      • Personal Considerations
      • Get Visual
      • On the Spot
      • Strategic Questions to Consider
      • A Case in Point
      • Tell a Compelling Story
    • Final Thoughts
  • Chapter 4—What Do You Do?
    • Defining Your UVP™
    • What Do You Actually Do?
    • Making It Come Alive
    • Go on Through
    • Five Steps to Your UVP™
    • The UVP™: Yours, Mine, and Ours
    • Referrals and Existing Clients
    • Staying on Task
    • Strategic Questions to Consider
    • Final Thoughts
  • Chapter 5—Why Do You Do What You Do?
    • Why?
    • What’s the Foundation for Your Business Beliefs?
    • The Question Unfolds
    • Getting at the Core Beliefs
      • CPAs and Business Beliefs
      • Team Up
    • After Who, What, Why—Are You a Fit?
    • Strategic Questions to Consider
    • Final Thoughts
  • Chapter 6—How Do You Do What You Do?
    • Buying the Process
    • A Key Element of Differentiation
    • Your Process: What Does It Look Like?
    • A Case in Point
      • Align
      • Discover
      • Articulate
      • Capitalize
      • Realize
    • Putting It to Work in a CPA Firm
    • Think about the Future
    • What’s in a Name?
    • Strategic Questions to Consider
    • Final Thoughts
  • Chapter 7—Who Have You Done It For?
    • Telling the Story
    • Tools to Help You Analyze Your Clients and Markets
    • The Key Emotional Issues
    • Delivering Solutions
    • Impressing a Prospect
    • Acres of Diamonds
    • Clients for a Lifetime
    • Strategic Questions to Consider
    • Final Thoughts
  • Chapter 8—What Makes You Different?
    • Setting Yourself Apart
    • Three Ways to Distinguish Yourself (Or, Bring Your Umbrella to the Party)
    • Who Are Your Real Competitors?
    • Organizational Differentiation
    • Key Competitive Differentiation Concepts
      • Organization Differentiation
      • Solution Differentiation
    • What Do You Stand For?
    • Distinguish Yourself
    • Opening Your Umbrella
    • Differentiation 3x5
    • Strategic Questions to Consider
    • Final Thoughts
  • Chapter 9— Why Should I Do Business With You? (Real Value)
    • Value Versus Real Value
    • Getting Out of the Vendor Parking Lot
    • The Qualitative and Quantitative
      • Qualitative
      • Quantitative
    • What’s the Bottom Line?
    • Jumping the Gun
    • Making the Connection
    • Strategic Questions to Consider
    • Final Thoughts
  • Chapter 10—The Value Ladder™ in Review
    • Communication: An Art and a Science
  • Chapter 11— Advanced Applications for Your Value Ladder™
    • Getting to Real Value
    • The First Application: The Value Ladder™ Comes to Life
    • The Second Application: A Shorter Dialogue
    • Third Application: Using the Value Ladder™ to Add the Right Services
    • Fourth Application: The Value Ladder™ Questioning Model
    • Fifth Application: Use the First Three Questions to Determine Compatibility
    • Sixth Application: Competitive Evaluation Tool for High-Level Prospects
    • Strategic Questions
    • Final Thoughts
  • Chapter 12—Creating a Culture of Value
    • One Message
    • C-U-L-T-U-R-E
      • Challenge Yourself and Your Organization to Greatness
      • Understand the Value Gaps and Act
      • Listen Aggressively to Your Clients
      • Total Commitment to the Initiative
      • Unify Your Organization
      • Respectful Dialogue With All Involved
      • Enjoy the Ride and Measure Your Success
    • Be Value Ready
    • Strategic Questions to Consider
    • Final Thoughts
  • Chapter 13: Competing on Value Begins with a Strategy
    • Vision
    • Clients
    • Services
    • Marketing Strategy
      • Reputational Value
      • Value Proposition
    • Financial Metrics
    • Professional Development
    • Competition
    • Final Thoughts
  • Chapter 14—What Are You Going to Act On?
    • The 7 Keys to Successful Action
    • A Final Thought to Consider



Discovering the Value Ladder™

I’ve discussed a few key concepts so far: winging it, confidence, passion, and speed. However, what I believe sets me apart is my dogged dedication to helping people in the profession of consulting and, yes, selling take their ability to compete on value to levels that they have never experienced before. As a CPA who needs to know his or her value and the price of that value, you are not only an indispensable consultant for your clients but also someone with the potential to be—excuse me, folks—a great salesperson. That means being able to sell your value.

We have seen a renewed focus on value in recent years—a value revolution, in fact. Many authors are writing about the value revolution and their interpretation of it. I have read their books, and they occupy an honored place on my bookshelves. I also was influenced by some friends and fellow consultants with their iterations of the word value. I have spent years of my life earning the equivalent of a doctorate in the challenges we all face in trying to stand out and to differentiate our firms, our solutions, and ourselves. I have performed my own internal introspection to learn how to become my best; raise my confidence level; and, in the process, help others excel and enhance their confidence. The real value of this journey, as I say, has been amazing. Seeing organizations and individuals competing on their value, winning client mandates, and feeling better about themselves has been my finest reward for many years.

The moment of illumination for me came when I was teaching a sales training class that focused on helping clients ultimately become confident with their salesperson. My intellectual and life AHA hit me like a ton of bricks. “That’s it,” I said to myself, “we all want clients to have confidence in their decision to work with us, but, how can they if, in fact, you, the one consulting or selling to them, are not confident?” We need to be confident ourselves before we can expect someone to feel confidence in us. Bingo. That confidence would bring with it passion and, ultimately, speed in answering questions. The end result? No more winging it! My business career and reputational value went to a new level as I worked relentlessly to share this insight with my clients.

That, my friend, is how a stunningly simple, remarkably elegant, but deceptively difficult model was created. It became known as the Value Ladder™, seven questions that professional services providers are being asked by today’s more sophisticated and informed clients who have a broader range of service options at their disposal.

An old adage says the best way to learn how to sell is first to understand what it’s like to buy. Think of the logical questions you might ask before making an important buying decision for your business or for yourself and your family. Common sense tells you that you want to know more about the individual or the company you are considering. You want to know what they do. For example

• is their background impressive, both professionally and personally?

• do they specialize in what you are looking for?

• why are they doing this?

• what drives their thinking?

• what have they learned from successfully working with other clients?

• is their story compelling?

• can you feel their passion?

• if you decide to work with them, what is their process?

• who else have they done this for?

• who are their typical or ideal clients?

• can you call somebody for a testimonial?

• what success have they had?

When you’re making an important purchase, don’t you feel more comfortable when you understand the answers to these questions? As your conversation deepens, especially if you’re shopping around, you may want to find out what makes the seller different. “I want to know more about your company,” you may say. “I want to hear about your products, services, and solutions. How do they distinguish you from your competitors? And, oh, by the way, I may want to know more about you as an individual. What do you stand for? What can I expect from working with you? And why should I make this decision to do business with you? What is the real value?”

If you are like me, you want to make a confident decision about someone who is confident in themselves and their business. Throw in some passion and spontaneity in responding to all these queries and you’ve got the makings of the Value Ladder™.


About the Authors

Leo Pusateri

About the Publisher


About the AICPA The American Institute of CPAs is the world’s largest member association representing the accounting profession, with more than 412,000 members in 144 countries, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting. The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, nonprofit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination, and offers specialty credentials for CPAs who concentrate on personal financial planning; forensic accounting; business valuation; and information management and technology assurance. Through a joint venture with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, it has established the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation, which sets a new standard for global recognition of management accounting.

Product Reviews