Why There's Never Been A Better Time To Partner with CPAs
This is a training video that we pulled out of our CPA Team Based Model Training Program for Financial Advisors and Insurance Agents. In this video, we talk about:
- Why There's Never Been a Better Time to Partner with CPAs
- How to Approach CPAs with a Unique Value Proposition
- How to Partner to Create win/win/win Relationships
- How Clients Benefit from Partnerships
We hope you enjoy the free training!
What's up everyone, Anton Anderson here and in this training video, I wanted to give you an introduction to the CPA Team Based Model. I happened to be a big fan of Sir Winston Churchill, great quote here from him. "If you don't look facts in the face, they have a way of stabbing you in the back." Now, I'm going to make the argument here today that there are a number of facts that we need to look in the face as financial professionals, whether that we are insurance agents, financial advisors, accountants, CPAs, et cetera, so let's talk about some of that today. I really want to first and foremost start by reemphasizing your role as a team-based model consultant.
TBMC is what we call for short and that's really just the name that we've referred to or given to insurance agents, financial advisors working together in this model and again, the goal is to help CPAs deliver more value to their clients by educating them on the basics of necessary planning solutions, leading them through a process to identify those opportunities, providing them with a hub of some of the very best specialists in the country, and then most importantly, helping them actually take action.
I think that's something the accounting industry has been terrible at is they require a tremendous amount of CPA education and there's all of these workshops, all of these articles that are always about what's going on and what I want to know is yeah, but what are you doing about that? What action are you taking, and you'll hear that a lot in our training and that's why we encourage you as you go through the different accounting meetings to really take action and share the action in your Facebook group. Those are the key things as a team-based model consultant that you're really helping the CPAs to deliver to their clients.
I want to spend a couple minutes addressing one of the elephants in the room which is do accountants actually need you and remember, the term CPA really just refers to one type of accountant. There's enrolled agents, there's tax preparers. There's all different types of accountants that can be tremendous partners for you, so do accountants actually need you? I start by addressing this and calling it the elephant in the room because I know there are a lot of advisors and I'm going to refer to the term again as advisor as anybody that's working in financial services.
There's a lot of advisors that question that do accountants actually need me, so I wanted to share this post that an accountant made during tax season in a private group that we're a part of and it's a little bit long. I'm going to read it here, but I think it really hammers my point well. The accountant said, "It's tax season and I'm having a major problem. I'm disgusted with some of my clientele and I don't want to work for clients for $150 return. I'm disgusted by the people who keep asking for discounts. It really makes me sick. After seeing my potential going to Tony Robbins, I know that I can do so much better and I closed a few clients at a much higher range, $500 to a thousand a month. I want clients from 500 to a thousand a month.
I want to grow a 7-figure firm, but I just don't know where to start. I'm so busy with meeting clients and running my office with my staff. They mainly do everything. I'm so underpaid and I'm so undercharging these people, and they still ask me for discounts. I'm so grateful that I've met you because I used to be happy with $150 clients. I really honestly want to cry. I have a lot of loans to pay and I don't want to work, lol," which let me just pause up to this point. I mean how sporadic and all over the place is this accountants thoughts, right?
It's like somebody that writes like this is just overwhelmed and a very busy and noisy mind and then I love this part where she or he says I honestly want to cry and then the next second sentence says lol, which for avoidance of doubt means laugh out loud. It's like this person to me when I picture them writing this is on the edge of a nervous breakdown. There's nothing funny about this. She or he used the word disgust three or four times already. How many people feel that disgusted about their clients? It's like this person really needs some help. I'm going to tell you a little bit more about this person after I finished reading this post here, so let's pick up where I left off.
"I don't want to prepare returns for 150, but I need to pay off my house that I recently purchased. I need to focus more on the clients that would pay me much more, but how do I do both? I'm already working from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and then again from 9 p.m. to midnight meeting with clients in my home office. I'm ignoring messages from some of my clients because they're so demanding and they only want to pay me $99 a month. I feel like I'm so stuck and I can't get out of my own way. What do I do? I'm thinking of selling or doing something, but I want my life back, so I don't need to faint at work anymore, and I just want to be there for my kids. Fainting at my office was honestly the biggest wake-up call this year. Anyone, what should I do? Thank you for listening..."
Thank you for listening, okay, so you might look at this post here and think wow, this person is really struggling in business. I mean they're only charging $99 a month, $150 for a return. You know what, this person had seven staff members doing 900,000 of revenue a year. That's more than the average advisor is doing in our program, at least when they join our program. Nine hundred thousand dollars a year of average revenue, seven staff members, she owns the firm 100% herself. Why am I telling you this? I'm telling you this because this accountant that wrote this post is your ideal partner. They have tremendous opportunity, but look at what they're struggling with behind the scenes.
Now would they sit down and open up and say this to you or any other advisor during a first meeting or second meeting? No. No, no, no, they wouldn't. You might get a little bit of a glimpse of it, but this took a lot of time to build this type of relationship where this accountant wrote this post to us. You have to understand don't buy in to the idea that the accountants at the top of the totem-pole and everybody else is just struggling to get up there with them. No, the reality is much different and we've worked with hundreds of accountants probably if not thousands at this point, and I can tell you this post and the emotions behind this are not that unique. It's really not that unique, so think about this from their perspective.
They're doing nine 900,000 of revenue, but they have seven employees and an office where those employees work, plus a home office, and then look at what they're working. How many people do you think in the team-based model are working? How many advisors in the team-based model or actually any advisors across the industry do you think are working from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. so that's 10 hours right there, then again from 9 p.m. to midnight? What is that, another three hours, that's 13 hours a day and I happen to know that six days a week because they were working on Saturdays.
How many advisors were working 13 hours a day, six days a week? Very, very few and for all of the revenue that this CPA is bringing in 900,000 of revenue, take a second and I just want you to think out loud. What would you guess their take-home is at the end of the year? I know and I'll tell you 900,000 of top-line revenue working 13 hours a day, six days a week, 87,000 a year. That was what was left to pay themselves after paying all of the expenses, the employees, the clients that don't pay their bills, 87,000 a year. If you're listening right now, how likely is it do you think that if you and this CPA partnered that you could help them make an extra 87,000 a year?
That's one good case, that is one good... That's not even big case, that's like one mediocre case. Eighty-seven thousand a year, you could double this CPA's revenue by working on one of their clients. I'm going back to the initial question, do accountant need you. If you just put any doubt out of your mind for a minute and you trust us that this is by far what's going on behind the scenes with the majority of the accountants, ask yourself do accountants need you. Yes, more than ever. In fact, look at that last sentence that the accountant wrote, "Anyone what should I do? Thank you for listening." We've had the opportunity as I said worked with hundreds of accountants, many of which are considered some of the top thought leaders in the industry.
Andrew Argue, owner of accountingtax.com, phenomenal thought leader in the accounting. Salim Omar, written multiple best-selling books. Ron Baker really considered the Godfather of value-based billing. Dominique Molina as well, bestselling CPA author. Bryan Eberle and Paul Latham which are two of the founding partners of HaydenRock Solutions. Paul is an accountant, started and grew in accounting practice, sold it for $45 million in 2001 by the way. Think about what that would have been worth today. Think about how many accountants that look like this right now would love to grow a practice and ultimately sell it for $45 million. That's the type of transaction or transition I should say that we can help accountants go through.
We've had an opportunity to work with hundreds of accountants all of these thought leaders, what have we learned? Honestly, accountants need help, but not in the old way. They want a team of professionals to help them deliver more value while working less and I'm harping on this not to sell you into our program because you're already in the training. I'm harping on this because I want you to have the right mindset when you're researching CPAs, when you're contacting CPAs, when you're meeting with CPAs, when you're monetizing the CPA relationship. You need to understand this is a mutually beneficial relationship. They need you as much as you need them and I'd argue in some situations even more.
What we want to help you do is to transition the way that you're seeing the CPAs, really understand that they are business owners. We strip away any title, CPA, EA, tax preparer, accountant, financial advisor, insurance agent, it doesn't matter. We are business owners and they happen to be business owners with a very flawed and a very outdated business model, so here's the focus. We need to shift from getting referrals to helping CPAs become more proactive and holistic and value-based planners. Very different and I'm going to talk about that in detail today.
What that shift actually looks like, but what it allows for us is really to work with the simplest of account rollovers to some of the most complex tax mitigation or business planning scenarios, and we really want to help them deliver the value that they desire while getting paid for what they're worth. If that CPA that I read the post of earlier is only getting $99 a month and charging $150 for a tax return, how proactive can that CPA really be with their best clients? Think about it, $99, what is that? Thirty minutes of their time? How proactive and holistic can you be in 30 minutes? Not very, so that accountant was asking what do I do. What you do is you shift the way you work with clients and you shift the way you are getting paid.
In your circumstance, you really need to remember, you're no longer just prospecting for life insurance, assets under management or annuities. Yes, obviously those are always going to be the bread and butter of our business, but you don't want to focus on just those transactions. Instead, what you want to do is really focus on becoming the CPAs go-to person and you're really completing their team for the services that their clients need. It's important to understand this mind shift because you're not just getting referrals from the CPAs, but rather you're working together as a team. Obviously, that's where the term team-based model comes from and what this is very similar to is a family office and many of you I assume are familiar what a family office.
Really started originally with the Rockefeller family in fact, but this is a diagram... If you were to Wikipedia family office, this is a diagram of what a typical family office would look like. We actually had quite a bit of experience back in let's see 2010, 2011 working with a CPA that ran five family offices. His lowest net worth family was 257 million, highest net worth family 1.1 billion net worth. He ran five of these family offices, so this is where we learned a lot of this information about family offices and how to replicate the benefits of a family office, but really do it for clients that are not worth 250 million because there's not that many clients out there that are.
We can do it through the team-based model and what you'll see here is the family office is really at the center of all of the professionals that they would need when it comes to tax planning, wealth management, wealth planning, charity, family governance, trust and corporate services, and all of the different moving pieces that are around them. When you think about what a family office needs, an extremely wealthy family, it's not that different than what an average family needs. It might be a little bit more complicated and sophisticated, sure, but an average family or an average small business owner doesn't just need one product.
That's why it drives me nuts when I see these debates on Facebook ads like buy term and invest the difference, that's the best thing for every American or term is trash, buy whole life or buy IULs, don't invest in this, only invest in that. It's like it's so much more complicated than that. Back away from being just addicted to a product and really become addicted to solving problems, that's the best thing you can do for your clients and the best thing you can help the CPAs do. Really we just become very effective at diagnosing problems and then just understanding within this wheelhouse where are the potential solutions. Let's talk about some of the changes in the industry.
I'm going to start on talking about the changes for us as advisors and then we'll shift at looking at for accountants, but we really have to acknowledge that our role has dramatically changed since 2008. The financial scandals that came off, you see the picture of Bernie Madoff there. They've really reduced the credibility and trustworthiness and that little chart in the bottom right is taken from financialplanneronline.com. You can see the consumer trust by industry. Surprisingly, some things like technology and automative are at the top. You see brewing and pharmaceuticals in the middle and then way down at the bottom, you see banks and even below banks, financial services.
I used to joke around with my coworkers that ironically people trust more the individual serving them the beer at the restaurant or at the bar than me as a financial professional, which is pretty interesting if you think about that, but it's not that crazy to jump to a conclusion on why. I mean look at the cover of New York Magazine with Bernie Madoff there, think about how terrible of a monster he was made to look and fair enough did terrible things, and then think about movies like Wolf of Wall Street.
In fact, I have a funny story about that. Both of my parents were elementary school teachers and I've probably mentioned that in past stories, but they went and saw Wolf of Wall Street in the movie theater and they called me when they got out and I say, "Hey what's up mom, dad?" "They said, "You know, we're sorry we have to call, but we just got out of Wolf of Wall Street and is your business really like that?" It was like, "What?" I mean these are my parents that raised me. My dad's a fifth grade... Well retired now, but was a fifth grade elementary school teacher in Eagle Scout and he's watching this movie picturing me like in my office taping people to boards and throwing darts at him and shaving people's heads and like all of the terrible things, like, "No. What do you mean is my business like that?"
I'm their child, their son. Think about what they must think of the average financial advisor if they think their son has the possibility of being like that. I mean of course people don't trust us and to be fair, to be fair, not every financial professional is a good person, right? It's not just the Bernie Madoff and the Jordan Belfort that have been terrible people. There's a lot of people running businesses and I'm sure you've come across some. In fact, one of my first Jobs was at Smith Barney and the Big Cheese of the office I got to spend an afternoon with, and one of my questions was if you could point to one thing that's resulted in your success here at Smith Barney, what would it be? He sat back and he chuckled.
He said, "If you really want to know, every morning I get to the office. I leave all of my morals and values on the elevator." Now granted that was 2001, but I'm sure that stuff still goes on, so not everybody is a good person. Let's look at some of the other issues going on besides the trust factor in our industry. Commoditization, what does that mean? It means making something more of the same, commoditizing a product. Websites like mint.com, phenomenal website. I use it, but it definitely is replacing some of the value that a financial advisor would bring a client.
Budgeting, financial planning, financial statements, looking at their credit cards, looking at their retirement accounts, are you on track to retire, are you saving enough, are you not saving enough, have you opened a qualified account, all of these things a website like mint.com does for free, does for free, and then what about some of these big companies? I'm sure you've seen this Walmart, Amazon, Google getting into the life insurance game, absolutely. Now, I'm not suggesting that the majority of your clients are going to leave you for Walmart.
It's probably not going to happen, at least not in the immediate future, but I am suggesting that the more these types of companies get into the space, the more like websites like mint.com get used, the more commoditization happens, which means the less valuable they see you, which means our fees go down, which means there's less differentiation between us and our competitors. We need to look some of these facts in the face. What else is going on? Well, let's talk about tax professionals, let's talk about accountants, what changes have happened in their industry and are those changes dramatic. You bet. They're being asked to handle more and more issues.
As a result, it really forces them to refer clients out to third parties. What does that do? It damages the client relationship potentially because of poor results from other professionals. Referring out is very uncomfortable. I'm going to talk to you about that in a moment here. and then you have other things like Trump's tax plan. tax cuts and Jobs Act, all of these changes make it even more difficult for the average accountant to do their job. We were actually at a CPA symposium where one of the partners of a CPA firm stood up and told a story about their last partner retreat.
Four hundred CPA partners at this firm, a pretty big firm and his opening line was, "Ladies and gentlemen tax returns and audit services are dead," and I want you to just think about that statement for a minute. Again, this is the managing partner of a 400 CPA partner firm. Think about the managing partner getting up and telling these people whose livelihoods rely on doing tax returns and audit services saying tax returns and audit services are dead. That'd be like me getting up in Edward's rooms or in Northwestern Mutual or a New York Life symposium as the CEO of that company and saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, life insurance and assets under management are dead."
Think about how shocking that would be and then he went on to say, "Technology and outsourcing have made those services obsolete." Will we continue to offer them? Yes, of course, we'll do tax returns, we will offer audit services, but the firm of the future must be the most trusted advisor and I put that in quotes because that's the exact words that he used. The most trusted advisor, and so the point obviously that he was making was traditional sources of CPAs' income are eroding. Let's talk for a couple minutes about maximizing the team-based model and what are the range of services that we can help CPAs offer their clients. Level one is really compliance focused services.
These are reactive in nature these are things like tax returns, audit services, and accounting services. Again, reactive, they're looking backwards, they're recording history, they're compliance based, and they are dead. Will they still make a living off of it? Yeah, for a little while, continue to make a living. They'll fight it tooth and nail, just like theirs taxi drivers that are still fighting the Uber and Lyfts tooth and nail, but they're in a dying industry so let's talk about level two, advisory services. This is where accountants are becoming proactive. You have business advisory services, you have wealth advisory services, and you have family office services.
We'll talk more about each of those in a little bit more detail over the training videos and also in week seven, we have a lot of good material on training videos on business advisory, wealth advisory, family offices, et cetera. Then we have level three, strategic services and again, this is really being proactive, the highest level of strategic planning, succession planning, and mergers and acquisitions. This is what it would look like if you were to map it out here. You have level one at the bottom, the lowest amount of money being generated. You're doing tax returns, you're doing audit services, you're doing accounting services, it's the reactive technical advisor. Now here's what's funny about this.
When you think of an accountant, what do you think of? Somebody that does taxes. I'd say probably 95% of people, the first thing they would think is somebody that does taxes. Five percent would think of audits or financial statements. However, where do they need to go? Level two and level three. They need to play above that red line and this is what you have the opportunity to help them see and execute, business advisory services. Business advisory services could be things like where is your company going, what's the vision, what's the desire, what are the biggest things holding you back.
Wealth management or wealth advisory and this isn't as simple as like setting up a 401(k) or doing a buy-sell agreement, although those could be things that are covered there, but it's really looking at well and how are you using or capturing your wealth. More advanced tax planning as an example, and then family offices and I talked about that earlier on this video. Let's talk then about level three services, the strategic services. These are the highest revenue-generating activities, strategic planning, looking at all of the moving pieces.
It's like looking at a chessboard and being very strategic with what pieces you're moving, how many companies do you have, are they the right entity, should you have more entities, should you have less, how can we use income shifting to our advantage, should we only be domestic or should we be international. These are types of strategic planning succession planning. What are we doing with this company in five years, 10 years, 15 years are, we going public, are we selling private, do we have junior partners coming up that are going to buy us out, and then mergers and acquisitions, are we merging with another firm, are we being acquired by a firm or are we acquiring competition. These are really proactive, trusted advisory services.
To maximize the team-based model, to really get in the nuts and bolts, a CPA should know how do they offer more proactive and holistic services to their clients. The main thing is they should not reinvent the wheel. They shouldn't waste time trying to figure out what training to get, what licenses to get, what marketing to do, what platforms to use. They should learn from those who have already done it successfully and this has been one of the major challenges for some companies like HD Vest, which they've really harped on this first option here, which is the CPA gets licensed and attempts to develop all of the expertise that their clients need. What's the problem? They become a jack-of-all-trades in a master of none.
By far, the majority of CPAs that have gotten licensed by HD Vest have not been successful in selling insurance to their clients and managing their clients' assets. They're trying to do too many things. It's just too much for any one person to do at a high level and I compare it to like let's say your kid is 10 years old and a 10-year-old playing Pop Warner, they probably could change quarterback and receiver and all of these different positions, right? You could be the running back, the wide receiver, the quarterback because the talent level is not that high, but now let's talk about the pros. Let's talk about a professional football team with professional players. Do you think a quarterback could swap with a running back or a wide receiver? Of course not.
I'll use the Patriots as an example and some people love them, many people hate them, but I'll tell you what. They've created a team that has won some games. Why? Because they have some phenomenal players that know their roles and do their jobs. Tom Brady, would Tom Brady be a good running back? Would Tom Brady be a good wide receiver? No, but he's one heck of a quarterback, so let's look at the second option here. The CPA firm hires the advisor in-house. This has been a little bit more successful for some partnerships to get to a certain level, but really caps out pretty quick. Why? Because you're limited with the expertise of one person and again, we already said it.
If you think about that map of the family office, those are the types of situations and those are the types of solutions that clients need way too much for one person to be an expert in all of those things. Just think about it from your circumstance. If you were going to hired full-time to go into a CPA firm, I'm sure you can do what you're doing right now very well, whatever that might be, retirement planning, college planning, maybe it's mortgages, maybe it's life insurance, maybe it's annuities, but let's think about all of the other things that their clients might need. What could those be? Cost mitigation, advance tax planning, business succession planning, employee retention, buy-sell agreements, qualified plans, non-qualified plans.
I mean obviously the list goes on and on, and then the other problem is for the CPA firm, they've increased their overhead, right? They've really taken on some serious overhead and some serious liability if they're hiring that financial advisor in-house. Let's look at the third model and this is what by far the majority of the industry has done, which is really that outdated third party referral model and it's risky. Why? Because think about it from the CPAs' perspective. You have a client that has a need, you refer them out to a third party, then what? What happens? They lose control. They have no idea what side of the bed you woke up on.
They have no idea whether you're coming to work after a long night out, whether you're moody, whether your team lost the game last night or they won the game last night. Whatever it is, they have no control over the experience their client has. Also, what recommendations are you giving to them? Are they appropriate? Who knows? There's also a lack of teamwork and collaboration. There's no discussion that's going on about the right hand understanding what the left hand is doing and even if they do, it's at a very superficial level. It's not at a synergistic level where we're making sure that one plus one equals three. It's uncomfortable for the client. Think about it from your perspective.
If your CPA said, "I understand your issue and my team and I can take care of that for you, I'll need you to come into the office next Tuesday to sit down and talk through this in a little more detail," would you prefer that or would you prefer them to say, "Interesting. Well, I don't know, I'm glad you called to tell me about this. I could probably send you a name and a phone number or maybe even three names and phone numbers, which is even worse for the client experience to call up Joe Schmo in downtown and go to his office and deal with his parking and find that office. I know you don't know Joe, but don't worry, he's probably a decent guy. I don't know him that well, but if you don't like Joe, then you could also call Sally and Sally..."
It's like, "What? No. Of course, I'd rather sit down with my most trusted advisor in an office I already know and a place I already know and talk to somebody that I already trust. I don't need you to refer me out to all these people I have no relationship with." Then the last thing is this lose-lose relationship with the CPA, right? Let's look at it from the CPAs' perspective. They refer the client out to you. First scenario, you do a terrible job. Like I said, your team lost last night, you're in a bad mood, you slept terribly, you're a little grouchy during the meeting. Well, that's terrible for the CPA. Why? Because it's terrible for the client. Now the client is slightly unhappy with the CPA for this recommendation.
Let's say on the other hand, great recommendation, great referral, you've been referring to this person for the last seven years, you think they're the best person when it comes to X, Y, Z. Well, okay, so that's a little bit better Mr. and Mrs. CPA, but let's walk through that situation. Let's say this is your brother-in-law. In fact, they've been married to your sister for seven years, they're the best insurance agent you've ever come across and every client that you've referred them to loves them, okay, but what happens next weekend when your client is at the football game and he starts or he or she starts talking to their buddies about the great experience they just had with Joe Smith insurance agent? What's in that for you? Your client had a positive experience.
Joe Smith, insurance agent, who happens to be your brother-in-law got a new client. Okay, cool, but why is the client telling somebody else's story at this football game? Why isn't this client saying, "Oh, you would not believe the work my CPA just did for me"? No, that conversation is not happening and the client saying, "I just had a great meeting with an insurance agent that put some great planning in place for me," so that's why we call it a lose-lose. CPA refers a client to you, they call you. You do a terrible job, the CPA loses. Why? Because the bad referral.
You do a great job, CPA still loses. Why? Because best cases, they just maintain status quo, that's it, that's it, and honestly what is maintaining status quo going to do for an accountant like the one that I showed you the Facebook post of earlier? Nothing and therein lies the true opportunity for us using a hybrid model with a team-based model. It's really taking the best of the above three scenarios and it's creating a perfect partnership between you as a specially-trained advisor using the team-based model, which is why we refer again two advisors in the training as a team-based model consultant because we don't want the CPA to assume it's just going to be the referral model with another advisor.
It's a specially-trained advisor using the CPA team-based model and their team of top-notch specialists that are there to help the CPA provide those services to the client. Do you see how different that is? The CPA now provides the tax expertise and the platform, the platform being the relationship with the client, the trust to get the necessary solutions done. You are specifically trained as the advisor, insurance agent, you have a team that supports you, CPA uses their tax expertise and the trust together, you get the solutions done. What exactly is the team-based model? I love the saying a picture tells a thousand words.
We've showed this to so many CPAs and ideally when you show them this as the third party referral model and then the next slide which is going to be the team-based model, they should say, "Aha, I got it. Aha, I got it," and that's why this visual is in the talking tool which you'll learn about in the meeting process. Okay, so let's just talk about what this actually is that we're looking at here. The average CPA has over 500 clients. Think about how many clients that is for the CPA to deal with and each of these clients has their own concerns, their own fears, their own desires, their own goals. When they come to the CPA and they need X, Y, and Z, name whatever it might be, what does the CPA do?
They're going to refer out to Joe, to Sally, to Tom, to Bob and you need to remember, it's not just this dozen or two dozen different specialists, but what is the AICPA been telling them for years? Well, just in case Sally or Joe does a bad job, make sure you have two or three people you can refer to. Now you got a picture two or three social security planning experts, two or three money management referral sources, two or three business valuations, so let me ask you this. Let's assume this is 12. Now we're at 36 if it's three specialists for each category. How well can this CPA really know these 36 professionals, plus there's 600 clients? Not very well.
What's more likely? They went to a networking event one time, they sat down next to somebody who happened to say they do cost segregation, they got a business card, they put it in the drawer and any time a client has a complaint and cost seg might solve the problem, they open the business card, they look at that person's name and phone number, and they provide that information. Happens maybe once or twice a year. Possible they haven't even spoken to a lot of these people for five years. I've heard that before when I've been sitting down at CPAs'' meetings and I've asked, "How well do X, Y, and Z referral partner?" "Oh, I met him about seven years ago. I haven't spoke to him since."
"Wow, really? That's who you're referring your client to, the future of your business, the reason you exist? Your client, that's who you're referring them to, okay." Let's look at all of these different solutions, right? Non-qualified plans, financial planning, estate planning, tax and credits, employee retention, qualified plans, life insurance, cost seg, succession planning, business valuation, money management, Social Security planning, and there's obviously dozens of additional strategies and specialists. If you want to see a real representation of that, just look at week seven of the training where we have all of the different training videos put together from our specialists.
You'll see much more than this captive insurance and ESOPs and cost remediation, and all types of additional strategies. The point is definitely too much for one person to know, so therefore the CPA in the old model has to refer them out to a specialist. Now I want to pause before I go to the next screen because you've heard me say this a few times, old model. One of the most effective tools that you can use with CPAs, with clients, with anybody, it's just the way our minds work as human beings is polarizing. Human beings by nature want to see things as black or white. That's why we have Republicans and Democrats. Republicans and Democrats are incredibly effective at polarizing topics, right?
Polarizing topics, so what you want to do is take advantage of that subconscious trigger which is polarizing. What you want to do is use polarizing terms when you're referring to the outdated third party referral model. Understand that? As soon as you say outdated, it means behind the times, reactive, yesteryear. Then what you want to compare that to is the new team-based model, the new way that accountants are working with their clients using the team-based model. The 21st century option, right? Not the 20th century option.
The team-based model, you have the same clients, same CPA, but rather than the CPA having to juggle those 36 different strategies that I was referring to earlier and obviously, it's many more than that, but I'm just using that as as an example, they're now really focused on one relationship, and that's with you as the team-based model consultants so this is the advisor right here. Now it's your job to be a liaison for that CPA to all of the different specialists and the different strategies and the different solutions that their clients need. Now you and I know if you were to survey a CPAs' book of business, their average 600 clients, what is 80 to 90% of the solutions that these clients are going to need?
It's the things that all of us need, financial planning, life insurance, retirement planning, college planning. Yes, your solutions are one or two or maybe in some situations three of the solutions that the CPAs' clients are going to need, but in order for you to validate this concept of the proactive, holistic planning which is so important, it's really that vocabulary is what makes this whole thing work, right? You have to talk to them about becoming more proactive with their clients, about becoming more holistic with their clients. The reason is because they believe that. The AICPA focused 20/20, accounting works, all of these different thought leadership groups have been harping on accountants that they need to become more proactive, they need to become more holistic, they need to offer these these business advisory services.
It's just like the managing firm of that 400 partner CPA firm that I talked to you about earlier. They already know these things are important, so that's why you want to talk to them using the comprehensive vocabulary. Even if you're at a broker dealer or an RIA or you're a captive agent of some life agency and you yourself cannot recommend other types of strategies like cost segregation or like tax credits, even if you yourself can't do that, you still need to talk to them about the team planning, and then you can just use our team members. Let the CPA lean on what we have built because this really isn't you having to now juggle these 36 or these 45 or ongoing different types of strategies and specialists.
It's us, that's what we have done behind the scenes for the last 10 years. For the last 10 years, we have been building these relationships across the country, working with our own clients and working with our own accountants, so you don't need to reinvent the wheel. If you already have somebody that you love, you think they're incredible when it comes to business valuations, fantastic, use them, that's fine, no problem. You think you're the best life insurance specialist that's going to work the CPA, great, do that. Your brother-in-law is an incredible money manager, great, work with the brother-in-law, but what we're doing is we're bringing a team to the table to fill any of the gaps in the relationships that you don't have.
In addition to this, what we're looking at right here is what I would really refer to probably as a global team, a global team. Now you also want to have a local team. What's the difference? A global team is somebody that's going to be brought in, either because they have a very niche expertise. Good example of that would be for cost segregation. There's not many people in the country that are certified cost segregation specialists. Big difference between a non-certified specialists and a certified specialist, any specialists that we have on our team is going to have the proper credentials that they can back it up in case or win there's an audit. Cost segregation is the same way.
If you've come across any other companies, I think Stride is one then make sure the specialist that you are recommending to a CPA or you're using for your own clients or prospects are certified, okay, because this isn't just some gimmick to try to sell more life insurance or try to manage more AUM. Gimmicks will get you in a lot of trouble. They might work quick, but they're not meeting the long term, so make sure you work with true professionals. Okay, so any of the global experts on the team that we work with have a deep niche expertise and I used the example of cost segregation. I could use it with tax credits, I could use it with ESOPs or captive insurance companies or a lot of different strategies.
Now local experts on the other hand are relationships that you should form a local relationship with. That means somebody on your team should be local to help clients with in-person. A good example with that would be a business banker or a business attorney or even an estate planning attorney. We have estate planning attorneys on our team, but they're really going to come in just when it's 10 million or more of net worth. You also want to have a good estate plan attorney that can help a client when they've got a one and a half million dollar net worth or $900,000 net worth or a couple million dollars, right?
You want to have a good local estate planning an attorney, so your local professionals should be individuals that you meet and you build relationships with, and I gave you an example of a couple of them already, a business bank or a business attorney, an estate planning attorney. A payroll specialist is another good one, commercial real estate agent, residential real estate agent, and I'd say probably look for six to 12 local professionals like this. I gave you maybe six there, but the other local relationships are going to vary a little bit depending on where you're at in the country and what needs your clients and prospects or your CPAs' clients and prospects have because what you want to be able to say is, "No problem, you need to sell your house, I have a great residential real estate agent.
No problem, you're looking to move banks and you want to work with a good business banker, I've got a great business banker." Why do you want to do that? Will you get referral fees? Maybe or maybe not, depends on your local specialist. You will from all of the national specialists, at least the ones that don't charge the legal fees. Typically attorneys have a little bit of a harder time sharing legal fees, but all of the other global specialists, yes you'll absolutely get referral fees. We have all of that in writing. If you haven't seen it yet, it's in week eight.
It's called ERT specialists compensation agreements, okay, but much more important, much, much more important than just the referral fee that you can get is the fact that you're really solidifying your role as the go-to professional to the CPA and to your clients and prospects as well by the way. Most of you already have clients and prospects, so you really should become their go-to professional and introduce all of these additional specialists and strategies to your clients using the CIQ. We talked about that already earlier in the training, but more certainly you also are becoming the go-to professional for the CPA.
Why is that important? Because the CPA is the go-to professional for their clients, so what have you done? Every concern that a client has, they're bringing to their CPA. Every concern and opportunity now that's being brought to the CPA is being brought to you. That's how you eliminate a marketing budget, that's how you increase your closing ratio, that's how you consistently get new business being brought to you by new relationships, by establishing yourself as the go-to professional to the go-to professional, so that's why it's important to use this conversation about a comprehensive team. Even if you're restricted by your BD or your RIA or your insurance agency from collecting referral fees, again it's not the end of the world.
You can have those referral fees, go to the CPA. You can have this those referral fees, go to the CPA with the agreement that any referral fees from specialists they spend 50% of those referral fees doing joint marketing efforts. Think about how cool that is. We've done that with dozens of advisors. Let's say we get a $15,000 referral fee from a specialist and the advisor cannot accept that $15,000 referral fee, so we send all 15,000 to the CPA. They have an agreement, before we send that to the CPA, that CPA gets to keep 7500 and then the other 7500, they're going to use to do a client appreciation event with hosted cocktails for a hundred of their top clients. How cool is that?
You're getting an endorsement from a hundred top clients of a CPA firm paid for from referral fee that you couldn't accept and co-hosted with the CPA inviting the CPAs' clients. By the way, if you're going to do that, invite your clients as well. Great opportunity to get more joint clients. The more you can help the CPA, the more they help you. It's just a huge win-win all around, so there's all types of different ways that you can still benefit from the team-based model and the specialist even if you can't accept referral fees. Let's talk a little bit about some of the benefits of the team-based model for the financial advisor. Now some of these are obvious, but we're just going to hammer through them one by one.
It's a much better target rich group of prospects that you have and you have the CPAs backing. You get to reduce the marketing costs. I've touched on that. Increase revenue from increased quantity of cases and quality. The size of your average case will go up. Definitely an increased closing ratio because you're working already with the client's most trusted advisor. How many of us have had that experience where we come up with a great solution for a potential client and the client says I think I'm going to move forward but let me just run this by my CPA?
If you have no relationship with that CPA, what's the likelihood that they come back and say hey, my CPA gave it a glowing review, I'm ready to move forward? Hmm, more likely than not they come back and say, "Uh unfortunately, my CPA was uncomfortable with it. I don't think it's something I'm going to do at this point." You want to be on the flip end of that conversation. You want to be the one actually that is receiving those clients, right? You ever wondered what happens to those clients after the CPA tells them they're not comfortable? Well, if they're working with an advisor in our model, the CPAs then calling up their advisor saying, "Hey, I just got a call from a client and he asked me to review this thing called a fixed indexed annuity. He was putting 400,000 in.
I don't know that much about it, but I'm wondering if you wouldn't mind sitting down with them instead. I trust you a lot more rather than some advisor I have no relationship with," that happens every day in our training program. In fact, one of the best stories I have is from an advisor Dave [Dore 00:50:37]. You can ask him about this if you want. It happened a number of years ago, but it's a true story. He had a new CPA relationship. CPA calls him up on a Friday and says, "You know, I'm not sure if this client is worth talking to or not, but I thought I'd run it by you because they're really sweet clients.
They've been clients for over 20 years and they have about $5 million in a variable annuity that they want a transition out of and put it in a different type of variable annuity, and I really don't even understand what a variable annuity is and I don't even under... No, you know, it might not even be worth your time. I don't know if we want to bother the clients or not," and Dave said, "Listen, whether it's five million or 50,000, I'm your go-to professional so I'm glad you brought it to me. Tell me a little bit about these clients." "Well, they're in their upper 60s. Their kids are also clients. They also have grandkids." He said, "They're in their upper 60s, they have $5 million that they're considering putting into a variable annuity, do they need the money?"
She's like, "Yeah, I mean they'd like to live off of some of it." "How risk averse are they?" "Oh, they're not comfortable with risk." "Okay, we need to meet with these clients." He actually met with the clients on Saturday. Whatever the advisor was suggesting was completely inappropriate putting over $5 million, which was almost all of their investments by the way into variable annuities and Dave said, "This is crazy." He looked at that, told them really the pros and cons of that, educated them on that option as well as on other options, which by the way the advisor didn't talk to the clients about any other options and by Monday, the clients called Dave and called... The CPA's name was Tracy and said, "We just canceled the application for the variable annuities."
Tracy didn't even realize this, they had already written the applications but the funds hadn't transferred yet. They said, "We just canceled the 5.1 million applications for the variable annuities. We'd like to move forward with you and Dave." Think about that and then the majority. By far, the majority went into fixed indexed annuities with Dave and a little bit was left as AUM that they managed with a diversified fairly conservative portfolio, but it was an incredible story because not only was it millions of dollars of fixed indexed annuities that Dave got to write and also the assets he got to manage, but the kids of those clients heard about what happened.
They didn't know the term variable annuity, they don't care what a term is, but they heard about what their parents were about to get into. They called Tracy and said, "Thank you so much for taking the time to look at this situation and to work with your team on this. We have retirement accounts that we'd like to move over to you as well." Within the first month of that relationship, they wrote those annuities, had an opportunity, had a lot of AUM and worked with two generations, a great, great situation, but think about it from that other advisor's perspective.
How pumped was that advisor when he filled out the apps for over five million of variable annuity, and then all of a sudden, the clients call over the weekend and say, "Actually we spoke to our CPA, we're going in a different direction." That adviser had no idea that what actually happened is the CPA spoke to an advisor in our training program, that's why they went a different direction. Let's talk about the benefits from the CPA's perspective. This has been written a lot about in the Journal of Accountancy, Accountant Works, this leader group, but basically to summarize, it's a one-stop shop for the clients, right? They go to one person, their go-to professional. It also reduces the risk of losing the clients from the CPA's perspective.
In a survey with this leader group, they found that 72% of clients were unhappy with the amount of proactive services that their CPAs were offering, and that's either the reason they left or the reason they're considering leaving. You have an opportunity to significantly reduce the risk of losing clients through the team-based model, also reduce the risk of referring out. I already told you that one, the lose-lose reality of referrals. Provide the needed value to clients. Clients need these solutions. They're just not adequately getting served. It also represents additional revenue stream from existing clients for the CPA. Now there's a number of ways, a number of ways that CPAs can profit from the relationship.
One of them obviously is get licensed, insurance licensed or securities license, but that's not the only way, certainly not the only way and I would encourage you not to limit your discussions to that. What I would encourage you to do on the other hand is take a look at week seven under how CPAs are compensated in the model. We have things like value-based billing, business advisory services, tax planning, of course getting licensed, advisors paying rent, advisors paying for CPA's education, advisors paying the CPA's consulting invoices. There's a lot of additional ways that CPAs can increase their revenue. They also get to expand the brain trust. Meaning, they have now access to a much bigger pool of expertise to help their clients with. They also can increase the organic growth.
What's organic growth? It means natural, comes natural from the clients, their very best clients telling their story going back to that football game analogy, right? We want the client of the CPA to tell the CPA story. We don't want them to tell my story or your story or financial advisor Bob story. We want the CPA's client to tell the CPA's story. Why? Think about it from your perspective, why does that make sense? Because the more clients the CPA gets, the more clients you get. What you should build as you're getting to the phase of monetizing and maintaining the relationship with the CPA, we'll teach you about this later, but as every new client that the CPA brings onboard should go through an onboarding process which involves filling out a new CIQ and meeting with you and the CPA to talk about the team-based model, every single new client.
You know how many new clients CPAs get a year? Even bad ones get referrals, it's crazy. Think about good ones with unique value propositions saving their client's money and taxes and risks and expenses, doing more comprehensive planning, they get great, great referral growth, and then the last bullet point that we don't have listed here, but I want to touch on with you is helping the CPAs actually reduce the number of clients they have. This is counterintuitive to the majority of CPAs. CPAs a lot of times when you're meeting with them will tell you, "Well, if I go at this model, do I stop losing my referrals from other financial advisors and insurance agents?"
The only reason they want referrals is because they're used to getting paid per tax return, but let's think back to that accountant that had that Facebook post. How many more clients do you think that accountant wants to do $150 tax returns for? None, right? Let's even say a $500 tax return. You saw the accountant's post. I'm learning now how to get 500 to $1000 clients. okay that's better. For every new thousand dollar client, you could fire five $150 clients, but let's get real about how much revenue we could actually help the CPA get. You and I both know one good case could be 20,000, could be 40,000, could be more. My first case I did with one of my first CPAs was $97,000. That was half of the revenue I earned.
I gave that CPA a check for $97,000 which was 15 grand more than that CPA made the previous year. How many new clients do you think that CPA is really going to want if you're helping them earn that type of revenue from clients? The answer is zero and in fact, rather than having 600 clients, think about if they could go from 600 clients to 300 clients, but they could double the revenue in the same time. No brainer, every CPA in the country would want to do that. Ultimately, one of the goals that we have as we're working with CPAs is for every A client that we bring on or every time we double a client's annual revenue, we fire two C and D clients and by doing that, in 24 to 36 months, now we've cut down the number of D and F clients and we've increased the number of A and B clients.
It's a totally radical way to think for a CPA, but we've helped so many CPAs do it and it's much, a much more rewarding way to operate the business. All right, so then let's talk about the experience from the client, much better experience, right? The team-based model versus referral model. I mean again I used that analogy earlier, would you rather drive around town and meet with three new referral partners or would you rather go to your one best relationship that you trust and they're going to get everything done for you. If you're a client, I'd rather go to my one most trusted person. One point of contact much like the family office, the CPA remains the quarterback and the CPA approves the solution, so you know that the right hand is talking to the left-hand.
You have much more holistic and comprehensive strategies and solutions being put into place and you have world class results because rather than just having your client work with some person that you sat next to at a networking event seven years ago, you're now working with a team of national specialists, truly world class certified experts in what they do. I will conclude with this slide that we opened up with from Winston Churchill. "If you don't look facts in the face, they have a way of stabbing you in the back." I included this quote here for two purposes. One is because I'm really hoping that this discussion is hammering home the importance of looking the facts in the face in our industry. Let's get serious about what things are happening.
Let's get serious about delivering value, building a business, becoming different, not just selling a proprietary product or reducing our management fees, but about truly building a unique value proposition, but I also included this quote for a second reason and that is I want you to remember this quote as you're meeting with accountants. When you're meeting with that accountant that's really just arguing, they're holding true to what they've known, I've always done it this way and nothing's going to change, I'd remember this quote and whether you just think of it in your head or you say it out loud, I'll leave that up to you, but if you don't look facts in the face, they have a way of stabbing you in the back.
That's it for this training video. I hope it was helpful. I look forward to connecting with you in the next video.