“What are you doing to get new clients?”
After exhibiting at 3 of the leading accounting and technology shows and conferences over the last 4 weeks and asking this question to over 100 firm owners, here is what we figured out.
- Nearly 4 out of 5 accountants stated “word of mouth” as their primary way to get new clients.
- But only 2 out of 5 accountants also said they are using specific strategies to get new clients.
- And surprisingly, there are three common strategies that are being used differently by growing firms.
How are the growing firms doing same things differently?
1. Actively ASKING for Referrals:
Even though word of mouth is still the topmost source to get new clients, only about 1 in 5 accountants ACTIVELY ASKS for referrals.
And no surprise – those who are actually asking for referrals are growing their practices faster.
Takeaway: Ask and you get! Ask for referrals – during the phone call, by email, in-person meetings – use ALL positive interactions to seek referrals.
2. Follow The Money:
Instead of focusing on who “needs” their services, accountants are focusing on finding out “who can and who are willing to pay more” for their services.
Almost always an instant way to know whether a prospect will NOT pay better fees is when the prospect quickly asks for the price for your services, without taking the effort to learn if you are a good fit to what they are looking for.
Takeaway: Analyze your existing, better-paying clients and work out some sort of a thumb-rule – e.g. your fee is how much percent of their revenue. LOWER the percentage, higher will be the ability of new prospects to pay you more! Find out which businesses, which professions, which industries are most profitable and which ones are attracting more investments.
3. Helping The Clients, of Your Clients:
Yet another surprise!
You obviously help your clients well. That’s why they give you referrals.
But are the referrals mainly their friends and families?
What about the clients of your clients? Are your clients referring you to their clients?
If not, you are missing out on a Gold mine. It is their “trusted inner circle”. You want access to that inner circle. And marketing-minded accountants are actually asking their clients “Hey Bob, do you want to help any of your clients to do better? I can help them, just as I help you”.
Takeaway: The question is loaded with psychological power. Who doesn’t want to help their clients do better? The trick though is not psychological. The trick is in actually asking the question!
What are you doing differently to produce better results? Please share your thoughts.