The key to developing a strategy for winning more clients lies in the realization that accounting is by large a fungible business. This is not to say some accountants are not materially better than others, but that from the viewpoint of most clients, there are no material competencies between accountants. To them, all accountants do the same thing; they offer tax advice, file returns, and maintain books of accounts.
So, how do you differentiate your firm? In other words, how do you get clients to change over to your accounting services?
Let me commence by dispensing a myth. You cannot brand yourself as different by using superlatives about your own superiority and skills as an accountant. See, everyone is already doing that.
Quite on the same page, using traditional marketing and presentation approach only serves to prove you are no different from their current accounting firm. They, too, did exactly that. They told the same client how great they are, how good their services are, and now the client knows it was all not true.
If you really want to win business, here are 5 tips on how to get more accounting clients
Ask for referrals
It sounds easy, but not many accountants gain from it. The number 1 reason clients do not refer you is because you never ask them to! Simply put the word out to your current clients that you are looking for referrals, and you will get them. However, note that even a strong referral does not guarantee business. Most referrals will turn online to research more about you and prove your legitimacy. So, ensure your social media pages, and the website clearly communicates your competitive advantages. For instance, explain why they should choose to work with your accounting firm over the 100s, possibly 1000s, of accounting firms in your area.
Become a Thought Leader
Well, you are an expert in your field, but who knows you are? Most accountants fall into a category we call “hidden talents.” They are top-notch professionals that very few people are aware of. If this is the situation you are in, the secret to supercharging your practice and dramatically boost your firm’s revenue is to become a thought leader. What’s more, even if you are professionally established, becoming a thought leader will still boost your ability to win high-value clients.
Be on a Panel of Accounting Experts – Even If You Have to Volunteer
What is awesome about appearing on a panel instead of speaking to an audience is the short preparation time involved. The only thing you need to do is to prepare to answer questions in your area. If you do it intelligently, clients will often follow up with you to discuss what more you can do for them. Bing on a panel allows you to showcase your firm’s skills to numerous clients at once.
Appear on Radio, TV, or in the News.
This one is much easier than you are thinking. What are the burning accounting questions in your region? Simply generate a list of these, turn them into a press release, and mail them to the editor of your small-town newspaper. Make them know you are the local expert when it comes to issues of accounting, and you would be happy to field questions and give your opinion on their blog. You can even offer to supply weekly QuickBooks or accounting articles to them. The best way to go about this is to make a list of “7 killing mistakes you are making…” 7 things you should know…hire, etc” Then, sit back and enjoy your 10 minutes of fame, and more calls from clients seeking to outsource your services.
Leverage the marketing channels you are already using.
Lastly, if you are already on social media, send outposts and tweets letting your followers know you are seeking new bookkeeping, accounting, or QuickBooks client. For optimal results, describe the qualities of the client you are looking to engage in. In addition, if you routinely send, email one letting your clients know you are searching for new clients and who they should send your way. A common mistake most accounting firms make with a newsletter is sending accounting articles only. Ideally, you should occasionally mail announcements of specials you are having, which will promote your sales, or other specials such as to a request for testimonials, free training classes you want to offer, and open houses. The more specific you can get, the more likely you will see results.