How to keep your client meetings on track with The GLOSS Method™

Guide your most important client meetings with The GLOSS Method™, developed by James Ashford.

Your framework for client fee reviews and sales meetings

As a business, you serve to deliver value to your clients. Yet during times that are most critical to be demonstrating this value, such as fee reviews or sales meetings, it's tempting to focus on yourself—your services, your products, your team—rather than the client.

But that's not what matters in that moment. Your client is what matters.

This is why James Ashford from GoProposal developed The GLOSS Method™. It's a framework to guide your most important client meetings.

In his short video, James outlines an approach to demonstrate how to help your clients reach their goals and solve their greatest challenges. It's a method simple enough for your entire team to follow, and so transparent that you can even communicate the process to your clients.

The only way you're going to ultimately give that value to the client is if you're having better conversations with them and really understanding where they're trying to get to and what's preventing them from getting there.

James Ashford, GoProposal

What is The GLOSS Method™?

Developed by James Ashford during his time as an accounting firm owner, The GLOSS Method is a client meeting framework that helps you stay focused on the client's needs.

In the framework, GLOSS stands for:

  • Goals

  • Location

  • Obstacles

  • Speed

  • Solution

The GLOSS Method™ diagram

Here is a breakdown of each component:

Goals: Where is your client trying to get to?

Before you can help your clients achieve anything, you need to know where they are trying to get to.

You should focus on your client’s personal goals first and their business goals second because ultimately, the reason they are in business is to live the life that they want.

You should encourage your client to be thinking in 90 days, 1 year, 3 years, and their ultimate goal.

We need to know what the client's personal goals are because if we don't know that, we can't be providing them with the most value we possibly can.

James Ashford, GoProposal

Potential questions to ask to coax these responses include:

  • What does your perfect week look like?

  • What immediate wins would bring your personal goals closer to reality?

  • What would a great year for you and your family look like?

  • How much revenue do you want to be generating in 12 months?

  • What would success look like for your business in 3 years?

  • What’s your ultimate dream?

Location: Where is your client right now?

You can't help anyone to get to where they want to be without knowing where they are now. This is critical when it comes to costing the solution. Here you should be looking for things like revenue, staff numbers, and number of transactions and debtor days.

We need to know what their revenue is, how many staff, the quality of their record keeping, how many transactions they have going through their accounts. Because we're going to use that information to price it.

James Ashford, GoProposal

Your solution will be priced dynamically, which requires you to know:

  • Industry

  • Revenue

  • Record keeping quality (determined by you)

  • Staff numbers

  • Directors numbers

  • Transactions numbers

  • Invoice numbers

  • Purchase invoice numbers

Not sure how to price and package your services and attract clients? Here's a pricing for bookkeeping services guide.

Obstacles: What stands in your client's way?

Next, you need to explore what obstacles currently stand in your client’s way. These will normally be created due to a lack of resources. Identifying these obstacles will help to inform what services they need.

Find out what is preventing them from reaching their goals in terms of:

  • Time

  • Money

  • People

  • Knowledge

  • Technology

Speed: How fast does your client want to go?

The speed in which your client wants to move is dictated by their ambitions. Knowing this will help you present the correct level of service and will put some of the onus back onto the client to decide their level of investment.

At some point the client is going to be asking you how much it will cost. And one of the factors that's going to impact the cost is going to be how fast they want to go.

James Ashford, GoProposal

Here's how their speed may manifest in what you offer them:

  • If your client wants to go fast you can do everything for them, freeing up their team completely.

  • If your client wants to go slower, you can do most things for them and train their team on how to do the rest. You can provide support on those activities moving forward.

  • If your client has a lot of time and wants to keep costs down, then they can do most of it themselves, providing it conforms to your standards.

Solution: What is the best solution for your client?

After learning where they are, where they want to be, what’s blocking them, and how fast they want to get there, you can now present the solution to your client. This will combine your services, products, software, and training.

A lot of firms get to this point and will present three options. But if you've been through this process correctly, there should only be one solution—the best solution.

James Ashford, GoProposal

Here are some tips from James regarding this stage:

  • It’s not fair on the client to give them too much choice.

  • Be their trusted adviser—confident and authoritative.

  • Make no assumptions. Don’t just offer the solution that you would want—offer what you would want if you were them, knowing what you know.

  • Explain that, “based on where you are now, where you’re trying to get to, the obstacles in your way and how fast you want to get there, this is the best solution for you.”

Making The GLOSS Method™ work

The GLOSS Method™ relies on a few things for success:

  1. Dynamic pricing: A fixed pricing model that you can flex based on the client's circumstances and required service levels.

  2. Client-facing: The entire process—every step—needs to be completed with the client. And you can even be transparent with them about the method—bring them on a journey with you and explain to them why you're taking them there.

  3. Instant documentation: You need to be able to produce the required documentation in front of the client, such as a proposal and a letter of engagement.

The GLOSS Method™ is a simple-to-follow, transparent process that your entire team can confidently communicate to the client. Ultimately, it will help your firm maximize the value you’re providing.