Marketing anything to clients takes a proactive approach. Some of your clients will ask about the latest and greatest accounting solution – most will not. If you believe that a cloud based accounting system is better for your clients then you need to promote it.
The benefits (to your client) of a cloud based accounting system are very compelling:
- Data integrity – especially when the accounting system is linked to the warehouse, point of sale or inventory system
- Real time and accurate reports – enables your client to make better management decisions
- Connection to the Accountant – so you can advise them if something is not working the way it should
- Reduced costs – no more software upgrades and expensive hard drive systems
- Mobility – access the data anywhere, anytime from any device
All of this leads to enabling your client to run a better business. A better run business means jobs, improved cash flow and economic growth.
Unless your clients know about these benefits then they are not going to switch from their current system to a new one. That’s where you come in. Your clients trust your recommendation – you just need to recommend!
Without a doubt the best way to introduce cloud accounting to your clients is by running events of some sort. The event could be a large scale business seminar, a private boardroom briefing, a small workshop or similar. Your clients need to ‘see’ the product, understand the benefits, how it will impact their business and then make a considered decision. You can certainly meet with your clients ‘one on one’ but that is quite slow.
When running events you need to offer some value – not just selling. The best attended seminars are where the business owner can take away ideas they can apply right away. That might include; cash flow management, KPI reporting, profit improvement or revenue growth. A short 2 hour event will do the trick which includes a ‘demo’ of the new system and Q&A. It will also show that you are serious about staying on the leading edge and looking after your clients.
Talking of seminars. At my upcoming seminar ‘Capitalising on the Cloud’ I will be showing you in more detail how to run events and promote cloud accounting to your clients. I will even show you a pre-formatted presentation (with content) that you can use at your event. You can also get access to a full system kit to give to your administrator so the event runs smoothly. My seminar is visiting 14 cities starting on March 17 in Newcastle. For more information and registration details go to www.cloudseminar.com.au
The web is the way prospective clients will research Accounting firms. It is also the way potential team members will decide if they want to work for you or not. What is your presence like on the web? If you are going to have a presence then you might as well have dominant one.
Use the table and put a tick in the areas that you are non-existent, existent, competitive, distinct or breakthrough. When you score yourself do it from your target markets eyes – not yours.
My new all day seminar (Remaining Relevant) is going to address the usage of the web for an Accounting firm in detail. The day seminar will cover the actual what to do and more importantly how to do it. Suitable for all levels (beginner to advanced development) of firms. It’s on in February and March (it’s my ’20 year anniversary’ tour) all over Australasia. It’s on …. Perth Feb 25, Adelaide Feb 27, Sydney March 5, Brisbane March 8, Melbourne March 12 & Auckland March 14. For more information and booking click here
Every business needs new enquiries for new clients. You can get new enquiries either:
1) Reactively or
Most firms follow option 1 and wait for enquiries to come through by the way of referrals from existing clients. Other than being a very slow path to growth there is nothing wrong with it.
If you are proactive about it then you will adopt marketing techniques that encourage your target market to make an enquiry with you. Most Accountants I know do not want start-up businesses (due to the majority of them having the inability to pay) so that means that the client you want is already serviced by another Accounting firm.
A client will leave their current firm (or join another) because of 2 reasons only:
1) Service – not being proactive, sloppy customer service, limited communication/relationship
2) Services – perceived value for money, looking for more but not offered
For you to encourage new enquiries you have to offer multiple ‘experiences’ with you. Can the prospective client hear you speak at a conference, meet with you, read an article etc.
Some firms need more clients than others. As a rule of thumb you might be losing 10% annually (attrition or letting some go) so you should at least aim for a net 10% increase which means a 20% growth rate in new clients to cover the loss.
If you need 20% new clients and your conversion rate is 50% (not following our system) then you need approximately 3% of your current client count in quality enquiries – each month!
I have written an extensive report on Accounting firm performance. You can download the full report here.
Enjoy video # 8.