Currently sat in the dealership waiting for my car to come back to me after a service.
The service cost £330.
- It included a service
- A valet inside and out
- Free roadside assistance
- Free fix of my air con
It seems cheap to me Not because £330 is inexpensive for a service but because I feel I am getting massive value for the money.
- Roadside assistance is £80
- A decent valet is £50-£70
- Air con fixing (dunno I’m not a mechanic)
- Service therefore feels super cheap
My point is here… it doesn’t matter about the cost, if the client feels it’s great value. Which is why you must always sell on value never on time taken to complete a job.
Want to niche your accounting firm but don’t know where to start?
First of all, you have to like your prospective niche
Secondly, they have to be able to afford to pay you
And thirdly, you MUST ensure that you can provide the value and solution they need.
Wow, found this in my Facebook from 3 years ago… Guess I was looking at Facebook all the time then, hardly use it now. How do you stop yourself from procrastinating?
So many accounting firms spend time working on the wrong things. Without clients you won’t have a business. If you have the wrong clients you will have a bad business. Your job is to get and keep the right clients.
Too many people spend time talking themselves out of doing things, and not enough time talking themselves into taking chances.
They dither. They question the risks. They ponder the outcomes. They follow the herd. They convince themselves either the timing or the action isn’t quite right.
I would say that this dithering is what keeps so many firms playing a small game, and not achieving the success they truly want.
The people who have the most success in the world take action fast, fail often, and get to where they want to be faster. On Wednesday of next week I am running an all day marketing workshop specifically for accounting firms. Some people in the workshop will take massive action and be able to add £100k-£500k to their bottom line in the next 12 months. But those who sit and dither will not be so ‘lucky’.
What is holding you back from having the success you want? If you are a ditherer then the chances are the answer is you.
This is a term that Grant Cardone uses to describe the space in someone’s diary that should be filled with sales and marketing activity.
It implies that empty gaps in your calendar will kill your business.
Whilst this is true for many types of businesses I haven’t seen many accounting firms with this problem.
In fact the opposite is true. Any white space you SHOULD have for sales and marketing is taken up with compliance work and fighting fires.
Your clients expect you to be doing the day-to-day work, your staff expect you to do the day-to-day work and therefore you have resigned yourself to the fate of having to also do the day-to-day work. A full diary is the norm.
Which is why you need to choose a new normal.
Today map out some whitespace in your diary. Block it out for sales and marketing activity and make a point of changing the status quo. Change your client’s expectations, your staff’s expectations and up-level your business thinking, so you can grow your firm and purposely get better clients.
My son is currently looking for a part-time job. He is 16 and wants money.
The high street has 140 shops. This is how he approached the task:
- Created a strong CV outlining his experience (PITCH)
- Gathered referrers if needed (TESTIMONIALS)
- Dressed smart but not overdressed (BRAND)
- Visited every shop (bar a few hairdressers, not appealing to him) on foot and asked to speak to the person in charge. (COLD CALLING)
- Left CV with those who were not available. (BRAND ASSET)
- Followed up two days later with those he didn’t get to speak with. (FOLLOW UP)
- 2 trials booked (DEMO BOOKED)
- Followed up with those who haven’t responded (FOLLOW UP)
- 2 trails done (DEMO EXPERIENCED)
- Follow up with two trials (FOLLOW UP)
- Another visit planned in 24 hours (MORE FOLLOW UP)
- Revisit every shop that didn’t say no or whom he has had trials with. (EVEN MORE FOLLOW UP)
This is the exact approach that accounting firms could take to get clients. But so few do. 8 follow-ups is often seen as just too much work. The follow up differentiates the successful from unsuccessful.
Most partners in accounting firms are not thinking or acting in a way that will enable them to grow their business.
They are on the tools, picking up compliance work if their team are busy, and are fighting fires.
This means that the most important aspect of a partner’s job (building the firms brand and getting new clients) is pushed to the bottom of their lengthy to-do list and is overlooked.
Which is why firms are stuck and struggle to catapult themselves over the £400K-£600K mark.
For this reason I recommend you engage what I call CEO thinking:
1) What actions must you start doing to increase turnover/grow the business?
2) What actions must you stop doing to increase turnover/grow the business?
3) What actions must you delegate?
It is only when the thinking and ACTIONS of the partners change, that the business changes.
Clients are going to have questions. Unsurprisingly the questions asked are often the same from all your clients.
They want to know deadlines. They want to know opportunities. They want feedback.
Yet so few firms have a system in place to answer these questions BEFORE a client asks them. In fact firms spend days sending emails and speaking to clients in a reactive mode.
This is hard work for the firm, and not a great experience for the client.
A great way to provide an experience that gets you recommended and referred is to make sure that you answer your clients questions before they get to ask them.
You know what they will want to know. Your job is to always be one step ahead of them.
I’m currently sat on a plane for a 4 Day break in Ibiza. I’ve just finished reading an article in the free Times newspaper.
One headline caught my eye: Red meat and cheese back on the menu in healthy diet for heart.
The article was about how sugar and carbs are likely to reduce your lifespan and, if you want to be healthy, up your meat and cheese intake!
Diets have changed over the years: Atkins, Paleo, Low Fat, Weight Watchers, Keto the list is endless… and you will always find proof that one way is better than the other, Google is filled with articles and examples for all diets.
And this is the same with marketing and sales. You only need to Google which marketing is best and you will find an article that will endorse your thoughts and opinions.
If you want to find information on why referral marketing is the best way to get clients you can find it. If you want to find information on why you need to be on every social media platform you can find it. If you want to find a case for PPC over Facebook advertising you will find it. And vice versa.
But in both the ‘diet’ example and ‘marketing’ example one thing does ring true.
If you choose one path for success and focus on making it work and measuring results, the chosen path will eventually work. If you like weight watchers and you commit to the plan – it will work. If you like Keto and commit to the plan, it will work. There is no magic pill.
And the same goes for marketing. If you like referral marketing and want to make it work for you, then commit to a strong referral marketing strategy.
If you like sitting on social media then commit to a social media strategy.
If you want to plough thousands into PPC then commit to a PPC strategy.
What won’t work is dabbling in different marketing ideas. A few blogs, hanging out on Linkedin and watching other people’s updates, a £500 investment in PPC will not enable you to have predictable lead generation.
One more thing, diets work best when they are coupled with exercise. Marketing works best when you have an engage, attract and conversion strategy.
I see a lot of frustrated accountants. Maybe you are one of them.
You’re running your firm, doing the work, but clients aren’t doing their share.
They’re not keeping their end of the bargin – as a consequence you’re not getting the results they want or delivering great service.
Which means they get annoyed, maybe even hold you responsible.
And because we are all judged by our client’s results, you start to slip down the rankings of “worlds best accounting firms” and into the depth of despair.
Making clients listen and take action is one of the biggest frustrations an accountant faces.
Which is why some go for the easy option and switch to a low priced, low value model (commoditised work, charging pennies & working too many hours).
There’s nothing wrong with this but if you want to build a highly profitable accounting firm that GUARENTEES your clients a great result then you need to change your model and do it the third way.
The third way is designed to help clients win. It’s:
1) Teach them why they and your firm have to work as a team
2) Give them tools to make it easy for them
3) Give feedback & support
This way they get all the benefits of great results, and you provide great service and value.
I call this “done with you” accounting and it’s the sweet spot.
In this video I share a big tip on how you can get more creative in your business.
Whilst this is a great quote, it doesn’t work for marketing. Content marketing (which many people say is the holy grail of marketing) is only one piece of the marketing engine that you need.
Yes, you need to build it, but then you need to engage people and connect with them. Once you have done this you need to convert interested parties into clients.
Building alone will not enable you to do this. Blogging and social media marketing is such a tiny piece of the puzzle. There are certain foundations you need in place and certain strategies you need to implement in the background for them to work.
So if you are thinking about investing in blogging or social media marketing make sure you have a strategy to leverage these two tactics. Most firms think if you build it they will come. Unfortunately, they won’t come, and if you succeed in getting a trickle of leads to begin with, you will be unlikely to achieve an ongoing predictable revenue stream.
Wohooo! You are driving people to your website but now what do you do with them? Well, there are two main goals for your website.
I explain more in the video.