In this article, you will learn an incredibly effective marketing strategy for growing your accounting and bookkeeping business.
In creating an accounting and bookkeeping service, there are steps that work every time in marketing. For the best way, see: The best way to market an accounting and bookkeeping service Another approach in creating your own service is to contact those businesses with which you do business.
Your business contacts.
Small businesses that you deal with as a customer tend to be a great source of clients. These contacts are often overlooked. At the end of this newsletter is a list of businesses that are traditionally small, that you might have used at one time or another. As you are reviewing this list, note the names of businesses that you want to notify in regard to your services.
Working with other businesses requires a professional image to achieve respect. A letter is a good way to begin.
This letter tells them that you are starting your own bookkeeping and accounting business. As a customer of theirs, you would like very much the opportunity to show them how you can assist them in running their business better.
In our course we have a sample of a letter that works terrific. I can’t show it here because I have to save some secrets for the course.
In the second paragraph you emphasize two very important points. First, you state that you have an accounting system uniquely designed for their specific business. Secondly, you explain that you will customize the system so that they can do the whole thing alone, you can do it with them, or you can do the whole thing yourself. It’s up to them. This let’s them know that you are there to help them.
Finally, in the third paragraph you announce that you will be in the area at a certain time during the next three or four days, and that you will stop in. (Be sure to make a note in your calendar to drop by at the appointed time.)
Try to be there about five minutes early. It will make a positive impression and also provide a buffer in the event that you run into unexpected traffic jams. If you can’t make it on time, be sure to call them, and let them know you need to reschedule.
You will want to send out only ten letters per week . No more — no less. Initially, this might seem like a small number. That’s alright. At first you will want to spend more time rehearsing and reviewing your presentations. Later, as you start setting up new clients, and follow up on past visits, ten letters will seem like a lot.
There are other articles showing easy methods of marketing your own accounting and bookkeeping service. For information on the other articles, you can link to them here:
The best way to market an accounting and bookkeeping service
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For complete information on marketing an accounting and bookkeeping service, see our section on Building a Successful Accounting Service at our Accounting Made Easy site.
Here is a list of some of the businesses you may work with, (just to get the creative juices flowing):
Lawn Care Services
Mobile Home Sales
Mobile Home Service
Moving and Storage
Sand and Gravel
Stocks and Bonds
Used Car Lots
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Apply your understanding of the core accounting principles to specific industries. You will learn to set up books from scratch, do payroll like a seasoned pro, and much more. — 6 Videos & Manual.See Sample
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Sure ways to set up complete bookkeeping systems and manage the books for a variety of more sophisticated industries. — 9 Videos & Manual.See Sample
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How you first present yourself to that prospective client can make the difference between getting a new client or walking away empty handed. Here are five tips that will help to make the initial visit a positive one.
1. Don’t overstay your welcome. Business owners/managers are swamped with work. Their time is valuable. Don’t take more than your fair share of it. Know your client presentation before you show up for an appointment, and don’t drag your feet following up with information your prospective client requests.
2. Keep time on your side. If a call is taking longer than you thought and you’re worried about jeopardizing a major client at your next appointment, don’t just rush through your presentation. You may get out the door in time for your next appointment, but you may also blow your chance of being invited back to meet with this client. Be honest and admit that you underestimated the time the call would take, and ask whether you can return later that day or in the morning.
3. Let it sink in. If the prospective client isn’t ready to commit on your first visit, give them time to consider your offer. Suggest that you will call back in a few days to answer any questions they might have.
4. Listen up. Some owners/managers know exactly what they want and can explain it to you clearly. Others need a little prompting. Either way, listen to what they say. It’s up to you to deliver the accounting service they ask for or work with them to find the right fit for their companies.
5. Build confidence. Always keep in mind that the owner/manager wants to make the right decision. You know that you are the right person for the job. Now, he or she must trust you before doing business with you.
Follow these simple techniques and each meeting with a prospective client will either get you a new client, or a respectful associate from whom referrals might come.
Other Articles about starting your business:
Selling the benefits of your bookkeeping service
Make your first impression count
Five Tips to Strengthen Your Client Presentations
Outsourcing your bookkeeping
Finding Clients near home
Find leads at networking events
Promote your website
The best marketing strategy: word of mouth
Get a new client every week
Trade shows can be a gold mine!
Wouldn’t it be terrific if you could encourage prospective clients to conduct business with you by the use of specific words? Marketers know that the use of certain words create a response, while others are too passive. Entire books exist devoted to nothing but "Words that Sell". Some of these work exceptionally well when working with prospective clients to get them one step closer to agreeing to use your services.
Words that Get Results
So which words are motivators? The following words are considered to be the most persuasive in the English language by Yale University:
- and last, but by no means least, the word that all of us enjoy hearing – you.
Focus on Benefits
The secret of success here is to determine what words are important to your prospective client and then, rather than focus on what you feel they should know, focus on what’s important to them.
A simple strategy, which can be used to achieve this objective, is to ask the prospective directly what is important to him or her. Nothing could be simpler in understanding your client than simply asking them. Once your client has stated what they need most, you can then focus on the features of your service that best solve their problems.
An Example of Zeroing In On a Client Need
For instance, your prospect answers, “After a long day at the office, the last thing I want to do is keep books.” You now know what their primary motivator is for considering your services. Place the most emphasis on that benefit, since you already know that it matters most to them. Now apply action words from the list above to place as much emphasis as possible on those points.
Enthusiastically respond to your client, “Well, that’s where I come in. I can save YOU all those evenings, giving YOU more time to spend with YOUr LOVEd ones. Furthermore, it’s PROVEN that good accounting information can earn YOU more MONEY to boot! And, I GUARANTEE my work. If YOU’re not satisfied, YOU don’t pay — it’s that EASY.”
Words to Avoid
And while we’re talking about words, it’s a good idea to avoid the use of accounting jargon. There’s nothing more frustrating than participating in a conversation which is liberally sprinkled with accounting jargon that is totally meaningless to the prospect. In selling your service, you want to start from common ground you both understand. You build from there. Accounting jargon will not show how much you know. It will place distance between you and the client and can confuse them. People don’t want to be made to feel inferior or that they don’t "get it".
Let the client dictate their level of understanding of accounting terms. If they begin to use them to describe their business, you are normally safe to use those terms in continued conversation. Until then, keep your explanations to plain-english. Once you convey the benefits of using your service to your client clearly, you are well on your way to a sale. When you use terminology that makes you easy to understand, you make the prospective client feel intelligent. You give them confidence that your service will give them additional insight into their business and how to make it more profitable.
Furthermore, unless you are very comfortable with the client’s industry, avoid using industry jargon. Chances are, your client knows more about their industry than you do. Keeping conversation in clear, concise, everyday words avoids a client feeling they have to prove to you how much they know. Any feeling of insecurity in a client makes them uncomfortable. In his book "How to Win Friends and Influence People", Dale Carnegie places great emphasis upon making others feel important and intelligent. In your conversations with potential clients, you want them to think, "Oh! Now I get it!" If you are the one to make them feel that way, the sale is in sight.
Master Marketing Skills
In the course of a week, you run into potentially hundreds of small business owners that struggle to understand their books. They need the kind of service taught in the Professional Bookkeeper™ program. They just need someone to explain clearly to them what their benefits will be and that you can help them make sense of their business’ financials.
The Professional Bookkeeper™ program places its primary emphasis upon real-world small business accounting and bookkeeping, skills you can put to work right away. You will have an incredible edge in servicing your client’s business that is taught nowhere else. The Professional Bookkeeper program’s marketing module teaches you how to find paying clients easily. You will learn to service their accounts efficiently and keep your clients pleased with how your unique talents give them an understanding of their business that makes them more profitable.
Learn How the Marketing Method Taught in the Professional Bookkeeper™ Program Gets You Clients Fast!
“It’s who you know” takes on new meaning in today’s frenzied business climate. We all appreciate the value of networking, especially as it becomes harder to find the time and energy to develop the relationships that can boost our accounting practice. And as we grow more dependent on the technologies that help us do bookkeeping better (and faster), we interact less and with fewer people. What there is of our network is more valuable than ever.
How to Build a Network Of Potential Client
So how do you efficiently build your network? One way is to attend events sponsored by special interest groups that are specific to business, community, and personal interests.
Here are nine quick tips to help your network grow at meetings:
1. Make it your goal to learn about other people and have them get to know you.
2. Set a goal of attending one meeting per week. Look in your local newspapers, city weeklies, and Internet (ie, Chamber meetings) to find out when and where various networking groups meet. Log the meetings on your calendar.
3. Get to the meetings early. Introduce yourself to one of the officers or board members. Ask to be introduced to other attendees. If you’re uncomfortable as a newcomer at the meetings, remember that others there may also be nervous. You’re probably not alone. Take a deep breath, smile, and go for it.
4. As you greet a new contact, hand him or her your business card with your left hand and shake his or her hand with your right hand. Briefly explain what you do for a living before you ask, “What do you do?”
5. Keep your own business cards in one pocket and the cards you collect in another pocket. This will help keep you organized. Write notes on the person’s business card after your conversation with him or her. This will help jog your memory when you talk to that person in the future.
6. Be sincere about building relationships with the people you network with. Show them that you’re interested in them and what they do.
7. Decide how much time you want to spend with each person you meet. When you reach that limit, move on to someone else. Get to know at least one new person each time you attend a meeting.
8. Be patient. Don’t expect new contacts to become your friends right away. If people get the impression that you only want something from them, they won’t trust you and will shy away from you.
9. Dig for other networking opportunities. Ask people to recommend other meetings that they have attended.
Action After the Meeting is Key
After the meeting, organize the business cards you receive. On each card, write where and when you met the person. Categorize the cards by profession or industry. Flag the cards from the people with whom you want to spend more time right away.
Send a note that says, “It was nice to meet you. If I can ever help you, please let me know.” Clip an article that reminds you of something the person said (the Internet is a great resource) and fax it to him or her with a note that says, “Thought you might be interested in this article.” For instance, I’m often asked about tax saving ideas, so I’ll find an article dealing with that topic.
Refer the person to another contact that could help him or her with a business challenge. People appreciate that.
Additional Marketing Skills
Networking is an essential marketing tool, but there are so many other low-cost ways to find clients. You just need to know how to find the potential clients all around you. Module 4 of the Professional Bookkeeper program teaches you the secrets to quickly find great-paying clients.
Learn How the Marketing Method Taught the Professional Bookkeeper Program Gets You Clients Fast!
"I already have business cards – what else do I need to know?"
That’s a good question. Most people know the basics about business cards. However, there may be some things you’re overlooking.
Business Card Basics
What should your business card include? Here’s a list of the basics:
Beyond the Basics
There are some optional considerations you may want to include if the budget permits:
There is no need to go for broke with raised printing on your business card as this can be an expensive exercise. The key to a good business card is that it will not only provide all the relevant details to facilitate contact with you but that it will also stand out from other cards and thus color and fonts become an issue.
The Back of the Card
This space need not be entirely wasted as you can include details of the services you offer, helpful hints or some positive quotations. Your business card will set you apart from others.
You’d be amazed how many people will recognize you when your business card incorporates your photo, and don’t worry if you are not a model. You just want them to be able to put a face with your name.
Marketing With Business Cards
How and when do you use your business card? As often as possible!
Your business card is the ideal tool for networking. Whenever you meet a new contact, be sure to give them your business card and ask them for their card. When you’re writing to someone for the first time always attach your business card. This will encourage them to file it away in their business card holder.
It’s appropriate to attach your business card to any newspaper or magazine articles your sending to clients or prospective clients.
The same applies to birthday, congratulations or anniversary and other cards sent to clients or prospective clients.
It’s worth considering attaching your business card when paying your bills – who knows where this could lead.
A legend in the world of realtors, Ralph Roberts, tells the story of tossing 1000 business cards from the stands at a World Series game and being contacted by prospective clients over a 10 year period seeking his assistance in selling their homes. It’s not necessary to go to these lengths to distribute your business card but, without doubt, you will discover your own creative methods to get your most effective personal marketing tool in the hands of the people you would like to be contacting you.
In summary, don’t be bashful about giving or sending your business card and always – but always ensure that you have a large supply of cards with you at all times. Not only will you look more professional, but you’ll feel more professional as well.
Other Marketing Methods that Work
Business card marketing is a great way to find clients. There are so many other low-cost ways to find them as well. You just need to know how to find the potential clients all around you. Module 4 of the Professional Bookkeeper™ program teaches you the secrets to quickly find great-paying clients.
Learn How the Marketing Method Taught the Professional Bookkeeper Program Gets You Clients Fast!