About Trent Butler...
I'm a Chartered Accountant based in Sydney, Australia. I also know a ton about developing a practice using online channels, which makes for a rather unique mix of skills. I work exclusively with accountants and advisers to help them grow their businesses by providing them with a best-practice approach to acquiring clients online.
I’ve long had a passion for building businesses. Specifically, building accounting and advisory practices through the power of clear messaging and valuable conversations. It's what I love to do.
My team and I help accountants and advisory business gain an immediate increase in clients and gross fees. The short-term objective is always positive ROI within the first 30 days.
But frankly it’s not just about sales and money. It’s about much, much more.
It’s about equipping those professionals with the desire to start or grow their practice with the tools and know-how to do so. It’s about helping professionals earn the money and have the time to follow their passions, rather than being stuck toiling away for any longer than is truly necessary to achieve their goals.
Supporting the growth of others in practice is one of my greatest joys in life, but it took a decade of living and learning to get here.
The Accounting World
It’s fair to say that I was destined to enter the accounting profession from a fairly young age. Coming from a family of small business owners, I can still recall a time sitting in the office of my parents’ accountant, reviewing the financial statements and walking through the numbers.
I must have been all but five years old.
I think it was the way my father hung on every word the accountant said that seduced me into the profession. Seeing someone I respected listen so intently to the words coming out of this accountant’s mouth is an image I still hold in my mind.
Ultimately, I became an accountant to be a strategic partner / adviser to the clients I serve. I have also for as long as I can remember been obsessed with business and entrepreneurship, so I figured a career in accounting would also equip me with the skills needed to go into business for myself. I was half right.
My career in accounting started off fairly standard. Go to college, graduate with distinction as an accounting major, obtain Chartered Accountant status (the equivalent of Certified Practicing Accountant in Australia), start at the bottom of a traditional accounting firm and work your way up.
After spending a decade rising through the ranks of the “traditional” accounting firms, I was excited to be promoted relatively early to Senior Manager at a truly exceptional and well-regarded boutique Forensic Accounting practice.
The money was great. The workload challenging and intense.
But it left me feeling empty…
The Business Development World
Approximately five years ago, and whilst working full-time as an accountant, I started working hand in glove with my wife; helping her to start and grow a hair and makeup studio.
It was through this business I began to realise that the traditional accounting career path teaches you absolutely ZERO about the two most important ingredients in any business:
1. Lead generation.
Whilst I could create a budget, income statements and balance sheets, prepare complicated discounted cash flows and three-way financial forecast, I had no idea how to:
1. Confidently articulate my value to another human being; or
2. Sit across from said human being and ask for money.
I also realized that sales was the number one skill that I needed if I wanted to become successful in business myself.
And this is where my life changed.
“One thing I’ve noticed from working with really successful people is they kind of reach out for learning, to say, “What can I learn next that will make me a better person? What can I learn next that will contribute more to my relationships?”
– Gay Hendricks
I began to study some of the most successful salesmen and saleswomen on the planet. Books, videos, webinars, trainings, mentors – you name it. Basically, anything and anyone I could get my hands on to help me develop these skills. I also began investing in myself to learn the fundamentals of how to become great at sales and client acquisition.
Study turned into passion. Passion into obsession.
I continued to apply these learnings to my wife’s business. In three short years, Nardin grew her brand to become one of the most well regarded and sought after independent hair and makeup artists in our state. Nardin is frequently booked out (and now employs several staff to assist with service delivery) and has on several occasions been flown by clients to exotic wedding locations all over the world. I occasionally tag along.
Now the honest truth is Nardin is truly exceptional at what she does and I take little credit for her success. What I do know however is that absent a sound client acquisition and sales strategy, it is highly probable that her talents and abilities would never have seen the light that they unquestionably deserved.
Intrigued by this success, I began helping other small businesses with their online client acquisition efforts; adopting similar systems and processes I had seen work so well in this business. Originally, I offered a broad range of services and worked with any small business that wanted my help.
The marketing I did worked, but it required a lot of time and patience or large capital investments. I knew there had to be a better way.
There is a better way. The fastest, most cost effective way: clearly identify exactly the client(s) you wish to serve, find them, then start a conversation with them. But not just any old conversation – one that shows potential clients the value of what you have to offer – a solution to their problem.
The Two Worlds Collide
After working as an accountant for 10 years, I’d never lost sight of the two reasons WHY I entered the accounting profession in the first place:
1. To become a strategic partner / adviser to the clients I serve; and
2. To feed my passion for entrepreneurship and to one day be in business for myself.
Whilst I enjoyed a comfortable salary and being surrounded by a wonderfully talented team of fellow professionals, neither of my two “WHYs” were being satisfied. I’d also formed the view that given the relative inflexibility of my “Senior Manager” position and the strategic decisions adopted by the firm I was employed by, my two “WHYs” had little chance of materialising in the short or medium terms.
It also turns out that balancing a full-time accounting career whilst growing a digital agency is fairly unsustainable so far as work-life balance is concerned.
“The man who chases two rabbits catches none.”
So after a decade of climbing the ladders established by those who had come before me, I found myself in an interesting predicament. I needed to make a choice:
Choice A: Continue as a well-paid employee and wait an unknown period of time to do the two things I joined the profession to do in the first place; or
Choice B: Go “all-in” and ultimately do the two things I joined the profession to do in the first place.
It was finally time to dive full-time into the scariest part of business: entrepreneurship. I took Choice B – TrentDButler.com was born.
Why I Do What I Do
Now I run a business dedicated solely to helping accounting firm owners and advisory professionals acquire clients. I could say that I help professionals grow their business by providing them with a best-practice approach to client acquisition online; but it’s really much more than that.
I work with clients specifically to figure out what is the vision and the dream that they have for their lives and their practices – i.e. their WHY.
Once the vision and WHY has been defined, we work together to develop the exact steps needed to accomplish those dreams, including:
What type of work do we enjoy?
Who do we actually want to be working with?
Exactly how many meetings do we need to have on our calendars each week?
Exactly how many clients do we need?
How are we going to get those clients?
What do we need to learn?
What do we need to say?
These questions are important to have the answers to. If you don’t have a clear and detailed plan over the most important parts of your business, lead generation and sales, it has a way of never actually happening and those dreams never come true.
People who have an accounting or advisory practice and want it to grow. Our clients span the entire professional services landscape, including accountants, financial planners, mortgage brokers and recruitment firms.
People who have a burning desire to start their own practice and want help getting clients to get things moving.
People who want to massively change their lives for the better.
People who are open minded and willing to adopt new and better ways of doing things.
If this sounds like you, even just a little bit, then let’s start talking.