When you’re either starting or expanding your accounting business, obtaining that first client can be pretty rough endeavor. You’ll often hear more ‘no’s’ than yeses and prospects won’t dare return your phone calls or e-mails. You must have thick skin as they say to build your own business. Think about your own experiences, how often are you to send e-mails to the delete box or throw out junk when it gets delivered to your mailbox? Below, are tips you can use right now that will help you land your first or next client for your accounting business.
1: No One Cares About Your Business
This might be a bit harsh for you to comprehend but it’s an absolutely must. No one really cares how long you’ve been in business. No one cares how passionate you are about helping your clients succeed. And, no one certainly cares that you can deliver exceptional results, and you know why, because these benefits should already be implied. If you’re hiring an accounting professional, you’d expect them to have experience, to be passionate about their business and clients, and to deliver winning results.
So, your takeaway is to change the mindset of how you’re thinking about your business. Think, for a moment as client of your own accounting or tax practice, what would get you to reach out to your accounting firm requesting assistant? We’ll dive into this a bit more at the end but this will lead us to the next point…
2: Keep Your Message Short or Give Something of Value for their Readership
When cold-calling, the last thing a prospect wants to see is a long e-mail or message advertising your accounting business and services. To them, it’s just another advertisement. More often than not, your prospect will ignore your message or delete it right away without a care in the world.
The best approach when reaching out to a prospect is to give them something of value such as a free report, guide, or something that they can benefit from right now. This will not only peak their interest but will help differentiate yourself from your competitors.
If you can’t offer something of value then keep your message short, to the point, and real. By real I mean if you were trying to sell a friend of a friend your accounting services, I’m sure your message to them might be a bit different than to a cold prospect that you have no relations with.
Also remember that your prospect has a very short attention span so void communicating a long, drawn out messages otherwise it will end up in the delete box.
3: Network Like Crazy from Your Office Chair
In-person networking events will always be the best method for either starting or expanding your business. But, finding the time to attend selective events might not always fit your availability. So, the alternative would be to use social media to your advantage such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
Everyone nowadays has either a Facebook or LinkedIn account, so why not use them to your advantage? There are tons of groups out there for your target niche that house your next prospect or business acquaintance. Join as many as you can but before you start shotgun blasting traditional messages to active members, you want to go with a warm emailing strategy. What you’ll want to do is research their business and website (if possible) and point out one or two things you like about their business or accomplishments. Then, briefly introduce yourself and what you can offer them. Reach out to as many people as possible, make connections, and then establish working relationships.
4: Follow Up
It sounds so simple yet many people fail to commit to this. Your prospect might not be sold the first time around, and that’s okay. If they respond and don’t need you right now, follow up with them in a couple months. Send just a few cold messages at the start and if they don’t bite then follow up in a few weeks. It sometimes takes seven messages for a prospect to respond to one of those e-mails. Be consistent, but don’t be a pest.
5: Know Your Market First and then Sell Yourself on Your Own Business
No matter what your marketing strategy is, knowing your target market better than anyone else will position you above the rest. By knowing your market, you can understand what keeps your prospects up at night, what are their business goals, what are they struggling with, and how their accounting books currently are being handled.
The best way you can go about getting a lot of these questions answered is by reaching out to other accounting professions in your particular niche or reaching out directly to a prospect, sit back, and listen to what they have to say. When you listen, you’re picking up ideas from others; you’re listening to their pain points, what makes them happy, what they hate, and so on.
Knowing your market is pivotal but there’s another tip you can benefit from that relates to your market and that’s thinking like a customer. Nobody likes the idea of being sold, and your accounting services should be no exception. Shift your mindset from a business owner running his or her own tax or accounting practice and put yourself in your client’s shoes. Would your current marketing get you to pick-up the phone and call your business? Craft your business writing and marketing efforts around what your client or prospect wants to see and hear and give it to them.
6: Invest in a Rock Solid Business Listing
Most often prospects will search the web for an accountant if they don’t have friends and family recommendations. The big question is, when people are searching for you, are your listings accurate? Do you know where your business is listed? And, do you have the time to maintain these listings when you have more important things to worry about such as your current client base?
At DoTax, we have built the absolute best listing tool that will become the go-to resource for individuals when searching for an accountant. It’ll list all the important information clients need when searching for an accountant.
Interested to learn more? Click the link below and discover what our Premium Listing Service can do for your accounting business and your future clients.