It’s a rare privilege to have a conversation with someone who has nearly 20 years’ experience of working with in excess of 2,500 accounting firms, someone who is willing to share deep insights about their experiences of the profession and how it’s changed over the years, as well as what’s needed, what’s necessary – now – to run a successful growing accountancy firm, someone who is currently in the process himself of setting up the UK operation of a – relatively new to the UK – business, albeit very quickly having won almost a thousand accounting firms.
So please listen to Ian Cooper and I on this Humanise The Numbers podcast. Scroll down this episode page to find the contact information for Ian, as well as links to the resources mentioned in this podcast.
I've been speaking to my other half Emma about coming on a podcast called Humanise The Numbers, and she said, “Ian, you head up a software company in the UK that does document management and process automation and you're talking about removing the human aspect.”
I then waxed lyrical about the fact that what we're doing is giving a number of intangible benefits back to the firm of that extra time for the team to be doing deeper, more meaningful work rather than doing repetitive, mundane tasks.
Staff satisfaction and staff retention go up by removing mundane work from their day-to-day life.
Giving them more chances to be creative is a massive part of what automation should be bringing to all firms, which sort of brings us almost back to the beginning of the conversation.
Connect with Ian
Connect with Paul
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What to do with your freed up time?
Can you train client managers?
People, process and sustainability
Where do you start with enacting change
Click the play button below and use the slider on the audio below to get quickly to the chapters in the podcast.
Resources relating to this podcast:
Paul and Ian talk about selling and the value (or not) of recruiting salespeople.
Ian still believes there is a place for sales, that sales is not a bad word, and they have moved away from the used car, double-glazing sales perception.
He believes that your team acquiring the actual skill of selling can still be a good thing.
Paul and Ian discuss the fact that successful selling is about being curious, asking the right questions and really listening to the answers and being there in that moment for your clients. Those sales skills are, in reality, human skills and relationship skills.
Ian believes you can develop emotional intelligence (or emotional quotient, EQ) by undertaking basic sales training.
Paul then references a story of a business called Atlassian, which dismissed all of its salespeople and took people from within the software area of operations and got them involved in conversations with clients.
This story highlights that it’s not extraverts or introverts that are best at 'selling’. It’s the big chunk of people in the middle - ambiverts, or those who have a balance of extrovert and introvert features in their personality.
To read more about how Atlassian transformed the future of their business and how selling is really just about being curious, empathetic and interested in your client’s business, click the button below to read the Business Breakthrough report 'New Face of Selling'.
Paul refers to a book by Michael E. Gerber called The E-Myth Revisited, which talks about how to scale up small businesses, as well as the importance of getting the processes, the people and the empathy right in your firm.
Click the image below to purchase the book.