Today we have a guest post by Hitendra R. Patil, COO of Pransform, Inc. (Pransform.com) and the author of Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant.
"What should I do to get new clients?"
This is the most common question that I get asked when I speak with accounting and tax professionals.
I ask them, “How are you currently getting new clients?" The answer is mostly “word of mouth” or “referrals."
Pay close attention. “Word of mouth” and “referrals” have been and still are two of the topmost sources of new clients.
BUT, this response actually means that you're not using a real marketing and sales process to beat the competition.
Referrals bring, more often than not, a perfectly “qualified prospect” in your door. The prospect’s need for your services has already been identified. Not by you, though.
IF you are lucky, your network of contacts qualifies your leads. They turn leads into prospects and bring them into your door. Referrals keep coming in IF you carefully nurture your network. BUT there is no predictability – no consistent pipeline of new prospects.
When BUT and IF are part of your marketing and sales strategy, you are WAITING for growth to happen. You are dependent upon luck. You are “hoping” that something good happens.
And hope is never a good business strategy.
WANTING to Grow or WAITING to Grow?
When you are WAITING for referrals, you have no control over your practice growth. Stress is ever so present in your day-to-day routine. You will experience “sales inaction."
When you are “WANTING” to grow your practice, you experience sales ACTION.
And that requires you to communicate your value to your prospects. Why should they work with you (and not with your competitors)?
How to Communicate Your Value to Attract New Clients?
Let’s read the question again.
Why should they work with you (and not with your competitors)?
It begins with “WHY." And that is the first thing that your prospects want to know.
WHY are you in accounting and tax business? What your “purpose”?
The FIRST challenge for you is to articulate, to communicate your WHY. In his bestselling book Start with Why, author Simon Sinek explains that the “what” and the “how” come later. People first want to know your why. In my book, Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant I have discussed this in detail. In the book, I have also provided a starting template of how to communicate your why.
And, people also want to know why should they work with you. They want to understand why working with you can improve the results they seek. It not, they won't change what they are doing.
If you are already feeling stuck now, here is a hint.
Yes, nature gives you a hint how to communicate your why.
Beaches attract beach lovers. Mountains attract hikers. Parks attract greenery lovers. And so on.
You want to attract those who love your why.
And you want to communicate that as clearly as possible.
One of the most effective ways to do so is to express your why in terms of others. Find out what your ideal clients want to achieve and then express how you can help them reach that goal.
And don’t stop there.
Paint the picture of what happens AFTER you have started working with them. Keep in mind, the picture has to be of what they are trying to achieve. Contrast it against their current reality.
“Wow! How do you do that?” After reading (or hearing) what you express, if people ask you this question, you nailed it! The “that” in this question is actually what they are trying to achieve. The core idea is that how what you do can help someone else.
Tools to Use to Articulate Your Value
Writing can be challenging.
Fortunately, there are some tools that can make it easy for you.
But remember, tools should be used to give shape to your why, your beliefs. Not replace them. You can NOT try to be someone else that you are not and yet expect prospects to line up at your door. You can take help from professionals to write content for your website. But you must create the content about your why (even if someone else helps you bring finesse into the expressions).
- Are you really struggling to know your WHY? Take this online assessment to know “What Motivates You”.
- Want some inspiration? Check out this Hubspot Incidentally, LeadG2 can help you leverage several tools from Hubspot’s system.
- If you feel writing is a challenging, use HemingwayApp to simplify your writing. For example, this article shows a readability score of 5 in HemingwayApp. (Readability score indicated roughly what level of education someone will need to be able to read a piece of text easily).
- Grammarly makes sure everything you type is easy to read, effective, and mistake-free.
- CrystalKnows helps you understand yourself, read other people, and become a truly great communicator.
- When you like “about us” or “why us” content on any website, make immediate notes on WHY you liked it. You will find that the content resonated with either your problems or fanned your aspirations. That’s what you need to talk about – how you help your clients solve their problems and achieve their aspirations.
Remember, if your prospects start haggling about your price way too early in the discussion, DO NOT drop your price. Keep modifying your message to convey the true value of everything you do for your clients.
About the Author
Hitendra R. Patil explores how insights from behavioral economics apply to the tax and accounting profession. His findings have enriched lives and businesses of many professionals. He can be reached at (312) 265-5875 or by clicking here.