I agree with Della, as is often the case - ' This usually means wearing something similar to my client so that the relationship is more equal. '
This article http://bit.ly/2MeFVYm, that originally appeared in Accounting Technician magazine goes into more detail.
Sales & Marketing - The best, most practical definition is from Steve Pipe:
“The whole point of marketing is to get meetings with quality potential clients.
Sales is what happens during and after the meeting.”
If any accountant in practice reads this book and is not inspired by the difference they can make then surely it’s time to call it a day.
In fact, as inspiring a read it is for accountants, it’s an even more inspiring for business owners. Whatever their circumstances there are powerful examples, one after another, of simple steps taken to transform businesses and their owners’ lives.
I love how Steve brought home the reality behind the numbers. It’s all too easy for accountants to submerge themselves in the figures without understanding their implications to their clients. People don’t go into business to make money. They go into business to put their children through private school, buy that bigger house, free themselves from 9-5 or a hundred other reasons. Steve shows that to truly serve your clients, you must make time to understand their worlds and dreams.
If you don’t appreciate your clients’ current situations and goals how can you help them achieve? And if they don’t associate you with their success, you are destined to be replaceable.
What makes it so powerful is that Steve has resisted the temptation to position the accountants as the heroes. The business owners rightly play the Luke Skywalker role and their drive shines through throughout. The accountants are more the Obi Wan Kenobi, (apologies for the Stars Wars talk) the mentor bringing light and clarity, enabling business owners to fulfil their potential.
Perhaps the best thing I can say about the book is we now start every morning by taking it in turn to read a chapter and then talk it through.
Never mind inspiring accountants, as the owner of a accountancy practice growth agency it’s by far the most inspiring book I’ve read.
Thank you to everyone who read and commented on the interview.
There are no ground breaking revelations in the discussion. This is from Gale Crossly and Debbie Stover's excellent book, ''At the Crossroads':
'A few years ago, Inside Public Accounting's Benchmark Report noted that the average fee growth for firms in the survey was approximately the same, whether the firm had marketing professionals on board or not.'
This is certainly my experience too over the last 18-years I've spent working with accountants.
I was surprised how our conversation could be interpreted as an 'advert for telemarketing.' I explained clearly that telemarketing only works for a minority of firms, therefore, obviously, it fails the majority.
Unless a practice has extensive experience in working with and attracting clients paying £3,500+ p.a. in fees I would recommend you AVOID TELEMARKETING. It's a very expensive route to new business and only effective for firms that add considerable value to their clients' businesses. If you are not currently attracting substantial fees from non-compliance work AVOID TELEMARKETING.
Telemarketing does deliver a stunning R.O.I. but only to those whose compliance services are not the dominant factor in the support they deliver.
That is why I decline to work with many firms and instead recommend they work first with a consultant or talk to AVN. I do this because I genuinely want these people to be successful. I'm sure you all feel the same way about the business owners you come into contact with.
From my experience AVN do a great job in helping firms to improve their clients businesses and wealth by helping them package valuable new services.
Please understand I have no interest in AVN other than trying to help firms to grow their fees and their margins.
The comments suggest telemarketing works for some firms, but not others. From my experience, of running telemarketing campaigns for accountants, those that fail often fail for the same reasons.
To help firms decide if telemarketing was right for them I wrote a free guide http://bit.ly/RPOrUD It warns firms of what to expect and describes the skills and resources needed to make a success of it.
What an excellent article.
What an excellent article. There's so little marketing advice available for start-up firms.
Firstly, I should declare an interest as I run an accountancy telemarketing company. @davidross is right: you can't attract new clients without meeting them. We have found that the key to a high meetings to clients conversion rate, is "qualifying" the prospect before you meet.
I came across the advice below in an email from one of the UK's largest sales training companies:
"When calling for an appointment-just sell the appointment-just sell the meeting. They are happy, so what? You are not asking them to drop their supplier and give you the business. All you are looking for is a meeting".
From my experience this will only lead to frustration and disapointment. At the very least the prospect should say yes to the question: "If you like what we have to offer will you seriously consider working with us?
To help accountants decide if telemarketing is right for them I wrote a short, balanced, guide. Please click on the link to get hold of a copy: Is telemarketing right for my practice