top of page

What Clients Want vs. What You Offer

Build Extremely Profitable and Rewarding
                    CPA Partnerships

There’s what you know (ex. insurance, AUM, tax)…what you don’t know…(ex. ESOP law, forensic accounting) and what you don’t know, you don’t know (be humble as this list is long for any of us because there’s just too much to know in finance, tax, and law to be an expert across the board).


Here’s the question…what do you not even know you don’t know that could be beneficial to your clients?


And here’s the next question…does it matter?


Answer…Of course it matters! These are your clients and they look to you for advice and guidance!


Learn the difference between these three categories and start focusing on what your clients actually need vs. what you’ve historically provided them.


Let's have some conversations about strategies and concepts that our clients and our prospects might actually want, but we're not an expert in. And for those of you who didn't raise your hand about being your first time at the Elite Tax Planning Academy, you don't get to participate in this question. This is only the first timers here. This pie chart, and we certainly didn't come up with this, I think the first time we heard it was from Landmark, but let's assume this pie chart represents our knowledge.


There's going to be three categories. So, somebody tell me what one of those categories might be.


What you don't know.


There you are, what you don't know. What would the second category be?


What you know.


What you know. And the third category?


What you don't know, what you don't know.


What you don't know what you don't know. Anybody want an example of those three? Because I'm going to give you one. What you know, I was born and raised in San Diego. Father took me surfing for the first time when I was five years old. Been surfing ever since. I know, I know how to surf. My wife [inaudible] my wife's family is French.


That's all right. You weren't thinking in French.


Yeah, I was going to my French translation there. My wife's family is French. And when we go back and visit her family, I've never taken a day of French in my life, mind you. So when her family asks [foreign language 00:01:41]? I say, "No, no, no." I know I don't know how to speak French. I know how to surf. I know I don't know how to speak French. Somebody give me an example of the third category. What you don't know, you don't know. Kurt?


You don't know it.


Ah, it's a trick. It's a trick by the very definition of the statement you don't know what you don't know. Right? And so, some of you have heard this story, but about two years ago, the first time I brought this up in Elite Tax Planning Academy, an attendee, and I won't mention whether it was an accountant or an advisor, but an attendee came up at break and they said, "You know, I kind of get where you're going with this whole thing. Like, what you don't know, you don't know and it's kind of cool, but does it really matter?"


And he kind of had me for a second like, oh man, did I really mess this up? And then I realized, wait a minute, your clients consider you their most trusted advisor. They're expecting you to know everything about how to make sure, what did we say earlier? What they want, keep more of their money, feel more confident about their business or their financial situation. You know, they're looking to us for that. So what you don't know, you don't know, of course, matters.


We have a client that's owned a business for 10 years. The company owns a manufacturing facility, $2.6 million dollar value, bought it three years ago. Right now, they're having a hard time meeting demand for their products because cash flow is not there to hire more employees and invest in new equipment. If they're go-to professional, their advisor, their team doesn't know to have the conversation about cost segregation, as an example. And by doing cost seg, they'd accelerate the depreciation, increase the cashflow in that first year by, let's just $450,000, as an example, which would allow them to hire two or three more employees, invest in more equipment. Does that matter if nobody had that conversation with the client?


Does it matter to the client? Does it matter to the client and the advisor of the client and the accountant? Does it matter to the employees that the business owner is able to hire? Does it matter to the business and the future success of that company? Does it matter to the business that they buy the equipment from? It matters. It matters. All of these things matter.


So, there's our three categories. What you know, what you don't know, and again, what you don't know, you don't know. And I'm going to try to drive this point home with one more example because I really hope that you understand what we're trying to do, is not move all of the information that we're going to go over in the next two days, from what you don't know, you don't know to the what you know. Like we're [inaudible] try to become experts in opportunities, zone tax credits, and legacy planning, and advanced qualified plans, and work opportunity tax credits, and cost sag, and on and on. That's not the goal.


The goal is just to chip away a little bit at the blue category of what you don't know, you don't know and move it at least into the green category of what you know, you don't know. And what's the difference between those?


I happen to know, Jonathan Kuttin lives in Long Island. If John didn't know that he could fly to San Diego, he would have been looking at Amtrak tickets, maybe considering driving across country. But does John need to know how to fly a plane in order to get to San Diego? Of course not, right? It'd be silly. John just has to know a plane exists, first of all. It saves me a lot of time and money, second of all. And third, how to find a competent pilot.


Same thing, you don't need to be an expert in cost segregation, as I use that example of one of many to allow a client to use cost segregation. You have to know it exists, know how to find an expert, and then have the conversation.

bottom of page