New accountant
Share this content

Trouble getting potential clients to sign up!

Trouble getting potential clients to sign up!

To kickstart our practice we've engaged a telemarketing company to arrange appointments. We're getting a lot of appointments with worthwhile businesses but our conversion ratio is low  - around 1 for every 5 appointments. I'd be interested to know if this is a typical conversion rate for these type of appointments - am I expecting too much?

If our conversion rate is low I'd be grateful for any tips that can improve this.

Thanks for your help!


Please login or register to join the discussion.

06th Oct 2010 12:01

Have you asked them why?

Seems a good place to start. Could be your pricing, they don't like you when they meet up or false expectations set by telemarketeers. Unless you ask you don't know what to address.

Thanks (0)
06th Oct 2010 13:02

Help with Increasing Conversion Rate
We are a small firm of telemarketers ourselves so hopefully I can give you a hand with this one. Firstly, have you approached your telemarketers for advice? They should be able to give you plenty of tips on how to increase your conversion rate. 1 in 5 is not bad, but realistically you should be aiming at 1 in 3 depending on the size of the prospects you are targeting. Historically we have found (and it makes sense) that the larger the business you are targeting, the harder it is to win the business.

Please don't feel I am being patronizing, but I think it is fair to say most accountants find it hard to sell. At the end of the day, it's not what you trained to do!

If you feel that the meetings you are being sent on are good quality, (by which I mean they meet the criteria you want, and the prospect genuinely wants to meet you) then we have to assume there is a reason other than the telemarketing company you are using.

We have a free download on our website offering tips for meetings which we would recommend any accountant should have a look at, whatever your sign up rate.
Go to and you will see an icon on the right hand side of the Home page. Click this and a PDF should automatically open.

I hope this helps; several of our clients have increased their sign up rate by up to 30% simply by following the advice in this document.Good luck and please don't hesitate to ask me for further advice.
Kind Regards

David Ellis Managing Director
T: 01604 211221
E: [email protected]

Thanks (0)
06th Oct 2010 15:27

1 in 5 is reasonable

I used telemarketing for years and 1 in 5 was about what I achieved. That's not to say that a higher conversion rate can't be achieved but I don't think you need to worry that the process isn't working.

Thanks (0)
06th Oct 2010 16:02

I Agree!


I agree 1 in 5 is not bad. But is it 1 in 5 very small fees? I guess what I'm asking is are you getting a return on your money? If not then either the sign up rate needs to increase or the fee level needs to go up i.e. perhaps try targeting larger businesses. 

Either way it can't hurt to make sure all involved are doing all they can to maximize your chances of getting those signatures!


David Ellis Managing Director T: 01604 211221 E: [email protected] W:

Thanks (0)
06th Oct 2010 16:08

Quality & time

Are these genuine prospects - or is your telemarketting firm setting up weak apointments.

Also dont assume that because they dont immediately sign up that they wont. Often you wont hear from them until the next set of accounts are needed.

Thanks (0)
06th Oct 2010 16:34

Does your telemarketing company include follow up work in the de

If you don't sign the prospect in the meeting this must be followed up. When you have asked for the business and the prospect has delayed the answer, agree when you will call to find out. If you still can't trap them then your telemarketing team should be on to this for you and keep chasing until there is a definitive yes or no. If you leave it then the likelihood is that the lead will go cold. Yes there are some that will crawl out of the wood work at a later date but not enough to justify the cost of telemarketing. 

-- David Ellis Managing Director T: 01604 211221 E: [email protected] W:

Thanks (0)
06th Oct 2010 19:41

Converting clients is easy - getting in front of them is the hard part.

You need to emphaphise with the potential client, find out what they really want, find out what they didn't like about their previous or exisiting accountants,  address these points, incentivise, give service guarantees.

Always close the conversation with the words "is this something that you want to go with" or "do you want to do business" and you should find that your conversation rates increase.

You will get better with this with experience.

Jason Dormer

Seahorse (UK) Ltd - Supporting Accountants and Bookkeepers





Thanks (0)
08th Oct 2011 03:25

What was the brief

Firstly, what brief did you give the telemarketing firm?  What data are they using?  How did you target your audience?  Make sure the telemarketers can really demonstrate genuine success with other clients like you and make sure you ring them.

After the appointment is arranged do you call the person yourself first or do you just turn up.  I would thoroughly recommend that you call them before meeting them.  It is far more friendly and inviting and it will also give you the chance to quality the appointment and find out what they really want so you can bring the right stuff with you.

Are you paying your telemarketers by the hour or by results.  The former is better than the latter if you are looking for quality.  Doing your pre meeting call will help you to monitor the quality and help them get better results.

You have invested in telemarketing so please don't waste their efforts by not investing in yourself.  Get some good sales training.  This will help change your mindset.  You are not selling to them you are trying to help them.  Don't follow the awful example of an earlier answer where the word 'trap' was used.  That is a dreadful mindset.  Your not trapping them, you are attracting them.

I use the Trust Need Help Hurry format.  Don't ask for the business directly because there are only two answers to that question and one of them could be no.  Try using three alternative grades of your service, bronze, silver, gold and ask them 'how does that fit with what you had in mind.  Then they are choosing between three versions of your service, not whether to say yes or no.

Follow up the people who didn't sign up and ask them why not.

Someone said earlier that guarantees are essential.  Make them meaningful and bold.

Find the right call to action gift.  Do not give them a discount.  You are training them to expect low prices and devaluing your service.  Offer them something extra which fits with your brand.  Preferably something of high perceived value to them that can be branded subtly and will become a talking point when they meet other people.

Test and measure.

Good luck

Thanks (0)
Share this content