Ideas to get over the cold calling obstructions | AccountingWEB

Ideas to get over the cold calling obstructions

Currently trying some cold calling in the local area to see if I can get a foot in the door and the biggest hurdle Im coming up against is that people are happy with their current accountant, which is great!  IF they have a good accountant then stick with them absolutely but when I then ask how often they see or speak to their accountants they all seem to say once or twice a year or never which I find a bit strange and think its perhaps just a way for them to get me off the phone and possibly havent even considered the prospect of whats out there.

Im wondering if anyone has any tips on getting past the first hurdle or is it just a case of everyone in my local area are happy with their current advisors?

I did try another tactic where I got the name and number of a few businesses on the same street as one of my larger clients and dropped their name into the conversation (with permission of course) which seemed to work well and I picked up a client with 3 businesses on the same street which was great.  Sadly Im running out of larger clients to use the same trick with however!!

Any advice greatly appreciated

Bob Harper's picture


Bob Harper | | Permalink

Good for you.

You know it is coming so eliminate it. At the beginning of the call innoculate the objection by acknowledging it, then go with a question so you get them thinking and talking. 

Also, think about the objective of your first call...I would suggest the objective to be get permission to have a follow up call with scheduled time. The objective of the second call is to book a meeting.

It can help to have something useful (valueable and relevant) to offer the client on the fist call. 

Bob Harper

Portfolio Marketing for Accountants

Quality Impact Marketing's picture

Hope this helps!

Quality Impact ... | | Permalink


 Good on you for getting out there and doing it yourself. For someone who is not used to telemarketing it can be a daunting prospect. An important point to make I think is that resilience is key! Do not get disheartened after a few "not interested's", if you can't turn them in the call and it's an out and out "NO!" then forget about it and move on. Don't even flinch! Just move to the next call!

In terms of objection handling, get the prospect talking about their business.... it seems you are already having a good stab at this. The more you can get them to open up and talk about their business and what the current accountant is doing for them the quicker you can start building a rapport and demonstrating why you can do better! 

Some people will never change accountants, end of story. They are simply creatures of habit and/or have become old friends with their accountant and just refuse to move despite the possibility of improved services or reduced fee.

Also consider your initial "pitch", you have about 20 seconds to make the prospect sit up and listen before they switch off. Something in what you say needs to grab their attention.

Another approach that has proved very successful for our clients is the whole social media marketing arena. If you have time to and don’t do it already, get yourself on Twitter and LinkedIn. We provide SMM services to several of our clients and in terms of ROI it is way out doing telemarketing! One client is signing up 3 -5 clients a week without even leaving his office!

If you want to have a chat about any of the above please don’t hesitate to give me a call or drop me an email, I'd be happy to discuss how you can best pitch yourself and suggest some good objection handling techniques ... FREE OF CHARGE! I thought I should put that as everyone assumes that a marketing company commenting on here is scavenging for new clients! 

David Ellis Managing Director

T: 01604 211221

E: [email protected]


charlesgrace's picture

Cold Calling and Identerfying the Pain

charlesgrace | | Permalink

Hi Changing accountant is a pain, even if in reality it is not, I and other non accountant believe it is.

Thereofore you need the person you are calling to identerfy with the issue they are having with their current accountants, so that changing will feel a lot esier for them than staying put. If they have no pain they will not change.

Their is a training system Called Sandler out there that doese this.  If you can find a Snadler trainer that can comunicate and train you as Cleint development than as Salesmen, then you are onto a winner.  I like the system as it allow me to do the client development bit (selling) in a manner where the aim is to have a B 2 B business meeting / discussion rather than trying to sell (Very dirty word if you ask me)

I could not work out where in the UK your are but you can google Sandler training UK (  If you are london then you can give me a hand at, as some more profesional within the Execitive Club (Sales anominouse to your and I) would be great, as to many sales type in a room make me nerviouse. (no I am not on a commision)



bookmarklee's picture

I would also endorse the Sandler system

bookmarklee | | Permalink

Came across it a few years ago.

Used to know one of the key Sandler trainers in the UK, Marcus Cauchi. They each have different personal styles but adopt and teach the lessons originally developed by David sandler.  See his book: You can't teach a kid to ride a bike at a seminar'.  Given the great concepts covered it's a daft title!

And I know Marcus runs The President's club - possibly the one referenced above by Charles. 


maxxy's picture

Telemarketing tips for accountants...

maxxy | | Permalink

Happy to help share a few tips and ideas on here for anyone interested in doing cold calling themselves.

First off as Bob says is to anticipate that first objection and be proactive in bringing that into your call opening in some way but the absolute number one tip I could give you is pre-work and planning!

Making a load of random calls to everyone in the nearest vacinity regardless of industry, size, stage of growth, in the hope of picking up a potential client that may either be a) a start up b) just fallen out with their accountant c) considering changing accountants  can make cold calling harder than it needs to be. 

Thinking about why you are calling them in particular and being able to articulate value and benefits to them in particular is imporant if you want to gain appointments and new business from clients that you want to deal with.  Otherwise it can end up in a bit of a price war at the appointment.

Your cold calling could be structured to sell in stages as that's often a lot more comfortable and less daunting for people doing this themselves. If you pick up appointments then great but otherwise use the cold call to listen to what they have to say about their current situation and their business priorities. Then when you do make your pitch it will be nearer to the mark and more relevant and compelling. 

If you can give something away such as some free advice or support or review then that can help to get a foot in the door for an actual appointment itself and will appeal to people who have long standing arrangements with their existing accountant... but it does need to be relevant and perceived as valuable. 

Also, don't forget to check telephone numbers against the Telephone Preference Service as otherwise the people you call will be hostile and that can damage your confidence as well as the effectiveness and return on your effort :)

Social Media Monitoring has been mentioned and this can be very good for identifying messages across social networking platforms such as forums, blogs, online communities, twitter etc and from those messages connections can be made or cold calling approaches made but you do have to be very careful with the approach as it can push a prospect away if not done tactfully and professionally. We've been doing this for a few years via and for other accountant clients but word of warning is that the success can largely depend on your online presence and again relevance.  If you want to have a go at identifying twitter conversations yourself in your local geographic area then a good free tool that can help is 

Hope some of this helps and good luck :)


-- Twitter:@maxinemaxxy

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