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Flyer drop

Success rate?

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I'm looking to drum up a bit more business with a flyer drop in the local area. Anybody had success with this?

I'd expect a success rate of perhaps up to 5% - not sure though whether to accompany each flyer with a personally addressed letter (therefore more time consuming), or to just use a generic letter with a follow up call...

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24th Sep 2018 19:52

0.5-1% is a more common response rate for flyers with 1-2% being typical for personally addressed direct mail.

You will then move forward with around 50% of those who respond.

So, 10,000 flyers will yield 50 responses who - if followed up in a timely fashion - will turn in to 10-15 appointments or visits.

In closed sales, I would then expect 3-5 of those visits to eventually sign on the doted line.

That's about a 0.03% success rate.

Depends therefore what you are selling, its average value, its average life and the costs of the campaign.

If your average fee is £1,500 and a typical client lasts 7 years a successful campaign will generate circa £31,500 of sales for a costs of about £1200-£1500 to drop 10,000 flyers. All very profitable.

If your looking at £150 SAR's that hit once, its a wasted effort.

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24th Sep 2018 20:18

Surely it's easier and quicker just to throw cash straight into the bin and cut out the middle man.

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to Tim Vane
24th Sep 2018 20:56

Oh well, back to the drawing board...

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to Tim Vane
28th Sep 2018 17:02

Tim Vane wrote:

Surely it's easier and quicker just to throw cash straight into the bin and cut out the middle man.

Is this a good time to advertise my new ‘bin-emptying’ business? I think there’s good money in it.

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24th Sep 2018 20:59

If you are going to bother with flyers, put them where your target market is likely to hang out. No, I don’t mean the pub.

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24th Sep 2018 21:01

Not being in practice, I have no idea what methods of advertising/marketing are successful but I agree with Tim Vine that I find flyers a massive turn off.

I always thought that accountants got new business from recommendations and from "socialising" with the business community. For example, you could offer to do a talk to the local Chamber of Commerce, Landlords' Association, Federation of small businesses, etc..

Just a thought.

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24th Sep 2018 21:10

I'm not pinning all my hopes for growth on flyers, but just thought it could form part of the mix, and gets my name out there a bit more. I'd hoped for perhaps a handful of enquiries from my local area - wouldn't want to spend hours crafting hundreds of personalised letters though when it's probably easier just getting out and speaking to people.

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By Matrix
to the_drookit_dug
24th Sep 2018 22:06

Have you tried local Facebook groups?

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to Matrix
25th Sep 2018 08:26

On and off. Should probably have a more concerted effort.

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24th Sep 2018 22:40

Flyers - about 5 responses for 5,000 flyers.
Try putting your name as Tax Consultant in the yellow pages (joking).
The only phone call I got over a three year period was someone wanting a TAXI from their home town to Manchester airport! (TAX = TAXI)
I found personal recommendation the best, but that takes years.

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to penelope pitstop
02nd Oct 2018 10:28

We had the taxi call too. From somebody who must have found us online and for whom English was clearly their second language. In spite of repeated calls we weren’t able to make her understand and to refer her to a proper taxi company.

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25th Sep 2018 08:05

Having worked for a direct marketing company for several years I can say that the response rates indicated by James are optimistic.

Response rates are very much dependent on whether the information (be it flyer or letter) reaches someone who has an interest in your offer. There is no point in trying to sell motor insurance to someone who doesn't have a car. Neither is there any point in trying to sell accountancy/bookkeeping services to someone who doesn't need them.

Identifying businesses which do have a use for your services and contacting them will produce far better results than sending information to households which will never use an accountant.

Unfortunately for you, it is not an easy or quick process. Clients tend to stay with accountancy practices for a number of years (we still have a client from 25 years ago). It can be a several stage (and years) process. We were approached yesterday by a local company we first spoke to about two years ago. They are now thinking of changing.

You also need to consider how a potential client researches you. Our experience is that if a client is thinking about changing to us they look at our website and ask people they know. Having a reasonable website and being known is important.

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25th Sep 2018 08:56

Mass littering never seems like a strong advertising strategy to me.

NB i'd suggest James Green's conversion ratio from meetings is fairly poor at 1 in 3.

You really should be pre-filtering a lot better and work on your patter.

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to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
25th Sep 2018 10:53

Cheers. I should clarify - I'm aiming to target the main businesses in my village (a dozen or so), as well as specific targets in the town I work and some further afield. I'm fully aware that they'll all have accountants that they're likely happy with, but feel that all businesses in my area should at least know I exist.

Do you think maybe a direct conversation would be a better means of achieving such a result?

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to the_drookit_dug
25th Sep 2018 14:17

Early on when I started a spent a fair lump of cash on printed leaflets and flyers etc.

Return was poor I felt although the flyers were decent. I still use the digital versions now.

If you are wanting really local business, ie the village you live or work in, put together a hit list of say 10 people you would like as clients. Do you some homework, look on Co House and find out who the owners are. Then either approach them direct or find someone who knows them and see if they can a meeting with them.

I have been picking off a few clients on the same high street as I operate on. Now is a good time to do it as many who see accountants once per year will be doing so now so you could hit them when they are maybe unhappy with the news they have had.

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25th Sep 2018 15:34

Why not start a little networking group? Invite the local bank manager, estate agent, solicitor, Chamber of Trade chairman etc and send a personal invite to a couple of local businesses who you fancy as clients. Do it every couple of months and it will get your name known around the village.

You could put on a topical seminar (MTD?) and invite 'the usual suspects' listed above.

Also join things like the carnival committee or whatever groups you have in your village (yes, OK you will become the treasurer, such is life!)

Then ditto for the town where you work.

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27th Sep 2018 10:27

The concept is one thing. The content of the flyers is quite another and will impact the likely success rate. As will the call to action and who this appeals to.

"It gets my name out there" Really? I'm afraid i think that's wishful thinking. I throw flyers away on a daily basis. Can't say I recall any of the names on them.

If you want to secure more business, first decide WHO you want to attract as clients. The more specific you can be, the better.

Then look for ways to get in front of such people.

This may be helpful >>> http://bookmarklee.co.uk/whats-the-best-way-for-an-accountant-to-win-new...

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to bookmarklee
28th Sep 2018 11:12

Spot on as ever, Mark. There are always two angles to lead generation:- The method and the implementation. And you're right about not trying to get 'brand awareness' in isolation - Get 'brand awareness' as a spin-off from some well-executed lead generation.

Existing businesses will almost certainly have existing Accountants, so your 'flyer' or any other form of lead generating communication, must let them know several ways they'll get more value by switching to you (and it's their perception of value that counts, not yours!).

Do be aware that offering things they expect to be able to take for granted (until they are disillusioned) - things that none of your competitors would ever dream of saying they provide the opposite of - will not be sufficient. Examples would include 'qualified Accountant', 'superb service', 'reduce your tax bill', etc.

And as others have said, target your audience and weed out those who don't match, then discourage more of those you don't want with your promotional piece. And promote your services in places you know they'll look. So you'll need to take Mark's advice and define your audience first!

David Winch
Sales & Marketing Consultant
Cambridge

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28th Sep 2018 10:23

I agree with Mark Lee. Unless it is a professionally produced brochure (very expensive to push through thousands of doors for perhaps a 0.5% response rate), a cheap flyer will promote you very badly. Would you trust a lawyer whose name you heard from a scrap of paper pushed through your letterbox? If your target area is a local village and small town (as opposed to the relative anonymity of a city), then I'd have thought it relatively easy to be known in the vicinity. Talk at local public or business-related events, work with local solicitors, mortgage brokers, etc. All of these will likely generate a much more positive response and be more reputation enhancing than fly dropping.

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28th Sep 2018 10:44

I have found flyers to be a total waste of time and effort. Conversion rates were almost non existent and lets face it, we all throw flyers straight into the recycling bin without so much as a glance at the contents. I have even seen some home owners place mini bins beneath their letterboxes to catch all the letters and flyers and they just pick out the letters from it in the evening. If you do get the odd response or two, it will be from potential clients who want "cheaper" accountancy services. No use getting such clients as they never last anyway.

As for "getting your name out there" from a leaflet drop, forget it, it will never happen. People are too busy in their daily routines to remember a name from a flyer.

If you are only targeting a dozen businesses or so in your village, your best bet would be to find out their owners names either from Companies House or other enquiry and then post letters addressed to one of them. It will be a far cheaper and more successful option.

The only other option would be personal networking in your local area via business lunches etc. if there are any. Sorry to say this, but it is a bit tough to gain new business in the book keeping, payroll and accountancy field as business owners are very reluctant to move from their existing providers unless they are unhappy with the service.

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By rawa363
28th Sep 2018 11:43

Success in marketing comes down to 3 things Market, Media and Message.
In my experience the best method for generating business would be a good sales letter that outlines your USP that demonstrates why they should choose you over all the others in the area, perhaps with an offer and maybe some testimonials from current clients. The letter will be the Media in this case but you could use other media too if you wished.
So then you need to define your Market, what sort of customers do you ideally want, where are they located, what type of business are they in, what size of business, age of business, ages of owners and whatever other business demographics are important to you. Then do the research buy a mailing list that fits the criteria you have defined with named contact(s). I would suggest a list of about 1000. from that you should be able to generate a decent number of clients.
Craft and hone your sales letter and send it. Then follow up with a telephone call. And follow up with repeated letters each with a slightly different slant. Over time you will convert a high percentage of prospects into customers. Also for every client you land you must ask them for referals.

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to rawa363
01st Oct 2018 20:23

Thanks for the tips, but I am curious, what exactly are the USP's for an accountant looking for new clients? We can't say we are cheaper or better than other accountants as that would bring the profession into disrepute.
So what exactly are the USPs for an accountant looking for new work? A list of such USPs would be much appreciated.

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to Nefertiti
01st Oct 2018 23:00

Looking at what other local firms are doing, the main sales hooks seem to be:

- MTD
- R&D tax credits
- Auto enrolment (although this one's wrapping up)

So not really 'USPs' at all, as everyone is pushing them!

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to Nefertiti
03rd Oct 2018 07:51

Hi Nefertiti
Re USPs, it’s important to remember this means UNIQUE Selling Proportions.

A generic list won’t help you much. But I did put a list of popular USP claims by accountants in this blog post, which also includes some related advice

http://bookmarklee.co.uk/stop-talking-about-your-usp-its-the-same-as-oth...

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03rd Oct 2018 10:55

After many years (Far too many!), as a Serial SME entrepreneur, I have tried I am sure, every -legal - method known to create new customer/client base.

As the American major corporation Chairman stated:

"I know full well that 50% of my entire advertising, PR and Market Research annual budget is a complete waste of money. The problem is, I do not know WHICH 50%!"

1. Local Free Sheet Adverts: total waste of time and money. Usually results in brain-pickers who have zero intention of instructing you plus a majority of time-wasters and certifiable nutters!

2. Yellow Pages Ads. Look at two sectors to realise why this does not work!

A. Plumbers looking for emergency calls outs (Scam artists) looking for elderly ladies to rip-off by charging obscene "Call Out" fees to change a tap washer: etc: and;

B. Skip Hire Operators:

In order to compete and ensure Product Placement, you would have to buy a far BIGGER advert than the competition: bloody expensive!

They ALL seek to outdo each other by calling their cowboy activity such as AAA1 Plumbers, etc, in order to try and gain top listing.

Flyers delivered direct to businesses: and flyers "Stuffed" into local papers etc.

Total waste of time.

There are TWO main secrets to successful selling (And it is NOT "Marketing": classic misnomer and hugely abused descriptor.).

i. Identify WHAT you are selling which enjoys USP - (Unique Selling Proposition).

[***] Ones!
______

"We're cheaper!" So you like the idea of bankruptcy then?

"We're quicker!" How? There is a finite time for ANYONE to process client's papers etc. Easy to claim this when one has a very small client-base but hard to maintain as any practice grows; rod for your own back territory!

First Consultation FREE! Why?

Go run an Oxfam Shop and waste your time here, instead!

Do IFA's give time free? Private Medical consultants? et al.

Your precious billing time not valuable?

Strategic Planning:
___________

What is YOUR USP? q.v. above.

Which sector will YOU specialise in? Dentists: GPs: Pubs: Secondhand car dealers:
Vets?

Etc.

They are ALL different and suffer anomalies and nuances: become an "Expert" in these areas.

THEN you have something to sell!

Best Approach?

Go through local directories, Thompsons, etc and draw up a Hit List.

Telephone first: then write a letter enclosing a Practice Brochure: this can be cheaply printed, and creased, monochrome on A3 Three Fold Card.

Know your Saleable Skills:

Know your target market.

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01st Oct 2018 09:54

I would say take the money you would spend on flyers and join one or two sports clubs. Golf, sailing, tennis or anything else. Not only do you stay fit but people buy from people they trust (so don't cheat when scoring whatever sport you play!). I have found (by accident) that sports clubs are great for business. My monthly memberships fees are more than covered by business generated. I spend £70 per month on the gym and I have received 3 x £150 per month clients from it. Tennis and golf clubs are the same. I would join more clubs if I was allowed to.

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to exceljockey
01st Oct 2018 22:56

What about cycling? I wouldn't know one end of a golf racket from the other.

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By Alex_T
01st Oct 2018 18:20

Don't waste your money. It would be better to advertise via social media... Twitter, local FaceBook pages etc. This is far more effective (and cheaper) than a leaflet drop.

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02nd Oct 2018 10:40

I have always done surprisingly well with mailshots and picked up my very first client that way when I had time but no money.

It was an individually addressed letter and flyer to each small business on my High Street and hand delivered. Yes, I walked down the High Street noting business names and probably looking very suspicious in order to get that information.

Later we used Companies House information and had a regular mailshot of postcards “Need a hand with your year end” and a cartoon sent out at the year ends of local businesses. And another one for newly formed limited companies in the area.

These generated an instant response of average clients.

For the best quality clients you will need referrals through networking online or offline but these take much longer to build the necessary relationships so I’d suggest doing a mixture of both for short term and longer term business

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