Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

How Do They Describe You?

“A conversation is so much more than words, a conversation is eyes, smiles, the silences between the words.” – Annika Thor

CPAs in public practice attend a lot of civic and charitable events. I know you are all familiar with the value of “getting out there” in your business community.

When working at a CPA firm for many years, I understand how difficult it can be to recruit accountants from your staff, including partners, to attend these kinds of events. However, the best rainmakers I have known were very skilled at being out and about and being seen and heard in their business community.

I learned the skill of personal business networking from one such CPA. He was so smooth at working the crowd and making connections with people who just might refer business to our firm. He allowed and encouraged me to shadow him at some of the major business events in our city. I observed people light up, smile and engage when he approached them. He came to our firm via an acquisition, and I am grateful that I had the chance to learn from him.

Think about the last charitable fund-raiser dinner you attended. I hope you didn’t sit next to people from your own firm. I always encouraged our team to spread out and sit with people they did not know. Let’s say a potential client happened to sit next to you at that dinner, and you enjoyed the conversation.

What kind of impression did that person have about you when the evening was over? Here’s a great quote I read recently:

“When I left the dining room after sitting next to Mr. Gladstone, I thought he was the cleverest man in England. But after sitting next to Mr. Disraeli, I thought I was the cleverest woman in England.”
— A woman when asked her impression of the two English statesmen Benjamin Disraeli and William Gladstone after dining with them.

Maybe this is something to strive for at your next charitable or civic event. Practice makes perfect! Share this post with your younger, less experienced team members.

  • "Good conversation is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after."
  • Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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