Accountants -implement superior tactics to increase your profits; identify and capitalize on those windows of opportunities within each client’s purchasing cycle.
If a successful accounting firm isn’t your goal, why do you work so hard? But, are you missing out on fortunate circumstances that often catapult practices to the “next level?”
In the daily rush of building and maintaining a prosperous firm, many professionals miss those subtle signs that keep them from increasing their profits, providing additional services, and increasing their referral base. Essentially, relegating them [clients] to “one-and-done,” seasonal practices that are little more than commodities with little client loyalty.
You need to create an on-going resource as your clients’ lives unfold. However, before you can be that resource, you need to know your clientele. Again, you can’t miss those indirect, yet vital clues that each client provides; it’s those elusive blurbs and comments that determine where they are in their lives and purchasing cycles.
Why is it so critical to pay attention to clients’ buying cycles? You may find these facts very fascinating.
- By merely increasing client retention rates by 5%, this increases profits by 25% – 95% (per Frederick Reichheld in a study for the Harvard School of Business).
- Also, multiple direct response advertising studies have shown the following:
- Up to 95% of all ads written only target 5% of the intended audience.
- Conversely, the probability of selling to an existing client is 60-70%, while the likelihood of selling to a new prospect is only 5-20%.
You may be thinking, “wait a minute; we invested in one of the best customer relationship management (CRM) software programs available.” It’s true; a good CRM can help companies manage their current and future client relationships, and they increase profits by automating, tracking, and organizing that communication. However, the best technology in the world is rendered impotent if you don’t use it as intended.
In my nearly three decades of experience, I have found that many professionals are anxious about making phone calls; often, they don’t know what to say, or how to expand the conversation beyond the obvious.
* Sure, you can increase your number of daily client calls; but if all you say is a variation of “Hi, how are you; anything new with you? No? Okay, talk to you next month.” Then, you’ve achieved nothing!
Related Article: Reconnect With Lost Patients
IT’S MORE IMPORTANT TO BE INTERESTED THAN INTERESTING –
Eliminate your fear; become a good listener. What your client says provides the next question. Approach the conversation as a relaxed chat with a friend. Begin with the topic you have in common, the work you’re doing for them. Ask about their work, their family, hobbies, etc. Then, casually ask about their plans, their children’s’ or spouse’s goals, etc.; as they share, take copious notes.
The majority of your conversations should be face-to-face or on the phone. Texting and emails are impersonal; your goal is to establish connections that sow the seeds of loyalty. Set up Google Alerts; receive articles on specific topics that align with your client’s interest; send that to them. If your client is a business owner, suggest the possibility of exchanging referrals (as your relationship strengthens). All this nurtures the bonding process.
The previous statement should not be taken lightly! Bonding and branding in business create a very lucrative coupling. Take a company like Harley-Davidson motorcycles, for example. They communicate with consumers on a visceral level. Their brand positioning represents a sense of freedom and adventure to customers. Harley doesn’t try to be all things to all people; their message is very tight and focused. They get people to raise their hands and say, “They get me; and, I want that too!” Their brand is so impactful that on any given day, you will see someone walking around with a Harley-Davidson tattoo, some of whom don’t even own a motorcycle.
ALL CONSUMERS ARE MOTIVATED BY SELF-INTEREST –
So, take Harley’s example and run with it. For instance, as you send information that interests your client(s), include a few lines of professional wisdom, such as, how they can take advantage of a particular thing from an accounting perspective.
In time, you may find yourself having similar conversations with many clients. Create a client inventory profile; as recurring themes arise, start speaking directly to them.
*Here’s an opportunity to have your brand [you] stand out from your competition.
Enhance your “expert” status and separate from your adversaries; become a published author. Write, print, and distribute a series of topic-specific e-books, pamphlets, and special reports that speak to your clients’ needs within each profile group.
Related Article: Dominate in Business Via Powerful Gap Marketing Strategies
WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD –
How valuable would it be if your client told you they were getting married or divorced? Consider the possibilities of knowing that the company where your client works is dissatisfied with their current CPA firm. Or, your client tells you they’re changing industries, becoming a partner, or starting a new company.
Be proactive; convince your clients you’re not just the best option, but the only option for their specific accounting needs. Feature a series of 2-minutes service-specific testimonial videos (depending on your specialty and client profile index). Prominently lead with these raving fans on your website and your waiting area.
*For maximum effectiveness, how you deliver your expertise is crucial; provide information from a client’s perspective rather than that of an accountant. Eliminate the industry jargon when speaking to clients. Your message must be engaging, compelling, relevant, and, most importantly, interesting.
Technology has changed the landscape; consumers have many options. Far too many websites are visually appealing, but they don’t engage. Many provide a laundry list of services offered but don’t capture anyone’s interest. Information is presented, but it’s dry and full of industry jargon, it’s not exciting, and readers move on and don’t return.
To conclude, it is a colossal error to think that all clients share the same qualities, interests, needs, lifestyles, and timelines, etc. — that each client’s ever-evolving needs don’t affect their lives and purchasing cycles.
As accountants, you know that business profitability is achieved by acquiring more clients, or doing more business with existing clients, or increasing your prices. By far, creating additional business opportunities (cross-selling) with someone who knows you, trusts you, and likes you is substantially more comfortable and lucrative!
#Accountants #ClaudioGormaz #Clientbuyingcycles #Bookkeepers #SEO #Brandng #Referrals #Increaseprofits #Bonding #FrederickReichheld #HarvardSchoolofBusiness #CRM