Making it easier for new clients to choose you

While some accountants win new clients through the force of their personality and reputation, more and more are reliant on their website and social media activity, explains Mark Lee.

As ever, the importance of such resources depends on who you see as prospective clients. And the more new clients you seek the more important it is to make it easy for them to choose you.

Years ago someone looking for a new client might ask around their friends or look up local accountants in the Yellow Pages. There are more resources available now and prospects will often form a view of any recommendation or search results when they check out your website.

Another argument for having an effective online presence is that this can boost the number of people who could recommend you or choose you as their next or first accountant.

Inevitably we form a view and maybe judge people by reference to what we read online – just think about some of the personalities who regularly comment on AccountingWEB. When you have not met or even spoken with someone it is human nature to build up a picture and to decide who you take seriously, who you are prepared to help and whose views you will spend less time considering.

Thus we should expect prospective clients to...

Continued...

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Comments
guyletts's picture

More practical ways to be easier to choose    1 thanks

guyletts | | Permalink

Mark

These are excellent points. It's also true that whatever the source of prospects, we all routinely check out a company's website to get a feel for what they're like to do business with. The website itself may or may not generate huge numbers of new clients, but it can kill leads if it's poor.

Just a couple of points to add from my experience working with accounting practices on client satisfaction:

1. How to be 'recommendable'. I will only recommend a company (accountant or otherwise) if I am confident they will do an exemplary job because my personal credibility is on the line. I don't want to let my friends down. So every aspect of how they conduct business must be beyond reproach - from how good their advice is to how good they they are at returning calls promptly. As an accountant there may be things that clients won't say to your face which are not enough for them to leave personally, but are an obstacle to them giving an unreserved personal recommendation.

A systematic (and client-friendly) process for collecting feedback is the only way to discover and remove blockages and unlock personal recommendations.

2. How to harness 'social ranking' and 'transparency'. In nearly all spheres now we make a judgement based on what other people say. Even if I have a personal recommendation, it can be amplified if independent reviews corroborate it.

Having the courage to display your unvarnished client feedback (rather than hand-picked testimonials) is very persuasive. It also makes you a less risky choice than the other accountant you might be compared with who doesn't display their feedback. And my customers tell me that it definitely helps them win more business.

Hope that helps.

Using your digital medium to create a presence

guy_pearson | | Permalink

I can totally back up everything that has been said above. 

As a founder of an accounting firm (www.interactiveaccounting.com.au) that's grown from strength to strength in the last 4 years to the point I've exited the day to day, I can say that it's possible due to 2 things:

 

1. An awesome team that practice what they preach in our messaging;

2. Great messaging that's rememberable and easy to pass on. 

 

To further capitalise on this, I've moved into a software role at www.practiceignition.com to digitalise (in the long run) all the methods that accountants use to increase value per client, automate referrals and encourage deals to your existing client base with my new startup. 

I'd love to see more of the above and would love to take all of the discussion points a little deeper as practice growth through client acquisition and retention is a major passion of mine and is the blood of all accounting practices. 

Make sure you have digital upgrade in your budget as your mum probably google's you now....Mine does. 

Cheers.

Guy