Why accountants must fight their fear of cold calling

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Marcus Cauchi
Managing Director
Sandler Training
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Accountants typically shy away from cold calling, but with increased competition for work this year it could pay to get familiar with it. Marcus Cauchi explains how to make the process as painless and profitable as possible.

Nobody likes cold calling, but the cold hard truth is that if you don’t cultivate a positive prospecting culture in your organisation, you could go the way of the dodo.

The recession has decimated balance sheets. Dead certainties have fallen out the bottom of pipelines. Hot leads have evaporated into thin air. Dependable clients have stripped back their budgets, whilst others have gone to the wall. If you aren’t up on last year by at least 20% you are exposed. Personal networks wearing thin, last favours cashed in and marketing departments struggling...

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09th Feb 2010 11:35


One of the biggest problems is that of impressions. I know that if the actual accountant made the call then the impression that you give is a small practice with no staff and you would generally attract low end customers. I suppose it depends on the target audience. If thats the target then that is fine.

In my experiance, its better to hire a telesales company to deal with this for you.

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09th Feb 2010 13:15

It works


Telemarketing works; as a lead generation tactic is second only to referrals so a firm who NEEDS to replace lost profit or WANTS to grow can use telemarketing as part of their mix. 

All I would advise if you are going to do it in house is use the right systems and develop an effective processes.  But, there is a strong case for outsourcing or outsourcing the management and employing someone local to come into the office!

Having done my own and managed a telemarketing team I’d recommend professional telemarketing software, so you can be highly effective with your time investment.  I’d also get some training/coaching, develop sales processes and think about linking your telemarketing to your other marketing.

One thing about telemarketing is that it gives you freedom because you are in complete control of your destiny. And, the good news is that the market has open ears at the moment so if you do have a compelling proposition then you will get more return now than at any other time.

By the way, some people are scared of the thought of telemarketing not the activity itself.  if this is you then you may benefit from a bit of internal change before you try anything externally and the image in the article doesn't help! 

Before I pick up the phone, the image which comes to my mind is that I am calling is having a nightmare with their practice and my marketing support will save their life....sometimes it feels wrong not to make calls, weird isn't it how you can look at things differently?




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10th Feb 2010 13:16

Works for me

I tried following up a mailshot with telephone calls in December. I put off making the calls for ages as I hate phone calls, especially sales ones. The first one was terrible but after that they were easy so I carried down my allocated list of 10 for the day and then continued onto the next 10.

Of the 20 about half were out and 2 were interested. I vowed to finish the list at 20 a day but, of course, kept putting it off out of fear and have never continued. I know that I found it easy but, you're right, it is the fear of doing it that puts me off.

Now I have another dilemma: I know how well it worked so I'm thinking of using a professional telesales outfit but, as I found it so easy once I got going, I keep thinking that I'll do some more myself. In the meantime nobody is making the calls!

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By calan
11th Feb 2010 01:18

Great article

This is a great article, thanks for the insight.

We've just launched a software product and need to start calling companies. As software developers, there is certainly fear around making the calls but we also know we have to walk the path first as we know the product intimately and are the most passionate about what we are doing. I'll reply to this thread again in a couple of months with an update on how it's going.

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By Anonymous
11th Feb 2010 23:42

Some professional bodies do not recommend this.

Professional ethics may prevent cold calling.

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12th Feb 2010 10:33

Telemarketing Done Professionally

There is an excellent and very recent white paper of this subject which covers all the issues a practice should take into consideration when looking to bolt on top end, quality new fees; but I am not aware of it being available online.

If anyone would like a copy of it, please let me know and I'll email it to you.



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13th Feb 2010 10:49

Telemarketing for Accountants

I have recently set up a small marketing company specialising in the Telemarketing of Independent Accountancy Services.  I have built up a fantastic business relationship with several practices in 2009 which is proving to be very lucrative for them.  I provide fully qualified appointments for Accountants within their specified criteria i.e. turnover etc. and find that the arrangement works really well for them.  Feel free to contact me if you would like further information. [email protected]

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By onesys
17th Feb 2010 16:45

Just Make Sure That New Clients Can Find You

Telemarketing (cold calling) or 'door knocking' has never been easy and it takes a certain type of extrovert person to do it. I wouldn't describe the accountants I know as 'cheeky extroverts'.

It certainly helps if you have the gift of the gab, confidence and a very thick skin, as not everyone likes sales calls.

Every business you call may harbour a person who is interested in what you have to offer but reaching that person is half the problem with telemarketing.

The other half of the problem is timing. You may call one week and the answer is NO but had you called one month later, just after the relationship with their existing accountant had broken down, you could have been their saviour.

A simple but easily found website can get round both of these problems and your fear of cold calling. A website ensures that people who are in the market for your services can find you when they are ready to sign up. (you don't even have to sell)

A clear website with some details about you, your services and a few client comments should do. As long as your prospect can get in touch with you.

The important bit is the Google optimisation and online marketing of your website. This will ensure that prospective customers can find your website before those of all your competitors.

If you already have a website that isn't producing regular enquiries, it may just need optimising or some additional online marketing. If you could benefit from a little website 'tweaking', or a new website, we can recommend these guys www.business-website-seo.co.uk as they performed wonders with our website.

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30th Mar 2010 18:15

Telemarketing Specialists for Accountants

Hello again,

My name is Claire Robinson and my company is Daisy Marketing Ltd.  We specialise in telemarketing specifically for Accountancy Practices.  If anyone is interested in finding out more about our services then please feel free to send an email to [email protected] or telephone me on 07921 670273.

Thank you

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