Marketing Health-check: Are You Getting the Basics Right?
April 25th 2018, Originally written for Accounting Insight News
Accountants are now bombarded more than ever with advice on how best to attract new clients. Some of the strategies really work and others… well... they would be effective if you were flogging double glazing to the general public, but not if you’re promoting a highly skilled, professional service to businesses!
Industry influencers will offer you “50 Proven Sales Tips”, all of which are perfectly sensible in and of themselves but the authors rarely differentiate between what is crucial and what would be nice to do if you have the time and budget! Usually when you get a long list of tips, each idea is accredited equal worth and with the best will in the world, 99% of practitioners simply will not get around to implementing all of them – if they even read to the end of the guide!
Let me therefore simply state the most important strategies you can put in place straight away throughout your existing marketing efforts, to gain and keep new clients – at next to no additional cost:
Benefits: Don’t just list the services you offer; explain how it benefits the customer to use your service rather than a similar service offered by a competitor. What problems do your potential clients have and how will you solve them? This solution-focussed stance should feature in all your communications, from your website to your literature, to the bespoke quotation you send out to each prospect, explaining how your firm will meet their individual needs. Don’t fall into the trap of creating dull, dry content listing your services and hoping for the best! That is a sure-fire way to lose business to a firm down the road who will actively state how they will make life easier for their clients, by streamlining their processes, saving them money, boosting their profits and so on. Aim to stop the reader in their tracks when they are perusing your website, so they don’t simply click on to the next firm’s site.
Audience: Everything you create content-wise, from your website, to your social media, to blog posts should be written with a specific target audience in mind. Who are the businesses you are best suited to acting for? This is the audience you want to appeal to, so demonstrate how you are experienced in dealing with their type of business. Why would they look elsewhere?
Testimonials: Glowing reviews from existing clients with similar circumstances to those you’re targeting will play a vital role in reassuring prospects that you can easily meet the accounting needs of their particular business. Similarly, if you’ve recently won an award, make sure the world knows about it!
Brand Image: You need a precisely defined way to present your firm, which all your staff adhere to in their interactions with clients, from the reception desk up to Senior Management. Ensure that your brand image focuses on your firm’s Unique Selling Points. People should know how you differ from the competition long before they start doing business with you.
‘Subliminal’ Marketing: Marketing novices often don’t realise that marketing extends beyond the content of your literature and your social media posts. It is woven into every aspect of a prospect’s contact with your practice, from a cursory glance at your engaging website, to a warm telephone conversation with your receptionist, to the informative, tailored proposal document you issue.
In summary, if you do something well, it is essential to communicate that to your potential clients through every marketing medium you use. Any additional marketing campaigns you run will then be vastly more effective if you already have the basics in place!
This blog post was originally written by Rhiannon Glacken for Accounting Insight News. See it on their website here: Accounting Insight News Blog