Trade Shows Can Be a Gold Mine!

What if someone told you there was a room full of prospective accounting clients waiting for you? Would you be interested? Would you make every effort to get there? I know I would (and have).

Trade shows are occurring almost daily in every major metropolitan area in the world. These shows are full of eager businesses trying to sell their wares or services. To the marketing conscious accounting freelancer, it can be a gold mine.

But, before you assume I’m going to recommend you pay for a pricey booth as an exhibitor, read on. You certainly could become an exhibitor — I have. However, this is for the more experienced and those that have deeper pockets. Besides it ties you down, when you can be more productive out walking the aisles.

Here’s a few ideas how you can make that hour or two at the trade show well spent:

  • Every time you go to a trade show, or other gathering of business people pickup whatever materials you can from those businesses that appear to fit into your client target. Try to keep the company’s materials together so that you can review them later.
  • Talk to exhibitors about what they do and how they do it. Ask them what makes them different from their competitors. Don’t be shy. It’s amazing how much you can learn when you let them talk about their business. Besides, that’s what they’ve come here to do.
  • Tell them that you are an accountant, then ask them how they could best help you. Usually they’ll have some angle that can help your business. Whether they do, or not, you’ve opened the door to telling them more about yourself.
  • Look for opportunities to help them or their customers through some type of affiliation. For example, they may be a loan officer and their clients need help developing a loan package. Or, a general contractor might know of sub-contractors that need help with their books. The list is only limited by your imagination. NOTE: don’t ask them if you can do their books because they’re usually the sales people.
  • At the end of the discussion leave them a business card or two and thank them for their time.
  • Back at the office, study the brochures and business cards you picked up at the trade show. Write memories of the discussions on the materials while still fresh in your mind. Then, prepare a letter to each of those whom you talked with. Address it to them personally and start out, “It was a pleasure meeting you at the trade show. I know you met lots of different people. I was the one that _____________________.” Remind the reader what services you perform, and restate your desire to help them or their customers. Include another card in case they misplaced the first one you gave them. Send these letters within 24 hours of the trade show for greatest impact.

Other Articles about starting your business:

Selling:

Selling the benefits of your bookkeeping service

Make your first impression count

Five Tips to Strengthen Your Client Presentations

Outsourcing your bookkeeping

Marketing:

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!

Get Started Marketing Your Business

Getting Started

Often when getting your Accounting and Bookkeeping business started, marketing is the toughest part. You know about the Accounting process and have all of the skills that you need to do the work, but how do you convince others? For many of us with Accounting skills, we just don’t know where to get started getting clients.

An Accountant’s training is in doing books and reports, not necessarily in sales. If you want to stay in business, your excellent qualifications won’t get you there by themselves. You need cash flow. We can help.

As part of Universal Accounting®’s Professional Bookkeeper™ program, after teaching you the skills that you will need to succeed in servicing small-business clients, we teach you what may be the most important thing . . .  how to get clients in the first place.

There are literally hundreds of books out there on how to market, but very few deal with specifically how to market an Accounting and Bookkeeping business. Module 4 of the Professional Bookkeeper™ program teaches you the specifics of marketing an Accounting and Bookkeeping business to small businesses, and the techniques that it will teach you are mostly ideas that you can implement on any budget.

Click HERE to Learn How Module 4 of the Professional Bookkeeper™ program can teach you how to market your Accounting and Bookkeeping business.

You Can Do This!

If you have the courage to take the first step to start an Accounting and Bookkeeping business, we will give you the tools, support, and training to start your own profitable Accounting and Bookkeeping service.

Get Started Now!

PB - Professional Bookkeeper Program

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Call us today at 877-833-7909 to get started.

We will customize a program for you based on your career goals, experience level, and budget.

Click to verify BBB accreditation and to see a BBB report. Phone Enroll or Ask Questions by Phone 1-877-833-7909
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I was amazed how practical this course was, and surprised how much I learned. Having an accounting degree and over 17 years experience in accounting, I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know. This is well worth the time and money, and you will be benefited from this class for years to come.
—Philip Lufkin

Greatly enjoyed this course. While I am a college graduate with an accounting degree, I enjoyed doing the course work and being exposed to the different business practice sets. I can honestly refer people to this course at any time.
—Jerry Schultz

I highly recommend Universal Accounting®. The accounting classes are so knowledgeable and complete. I have been doing bookkeeping functions for several years now but I have learned so much with all of the hands-on exercises.
—Phyllis Calton

Want answers? Let’s explore the perfect training solution and business plan just for you. We can keep you updated on special course offers. Also, you’ll get our free introductory video about the benefits and methods of starting your own practice.

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Make first impressions count

This article includes a few key tips for selling your accounting and bookkeeping services to business clients.

You’re probably familiar with this common phrase: “You never have a second chance to make a good first impression.” This is particularly true when meeting with prospective accounting clients.

You are judged in the first 15 to 20 seconds of meeting anyone new. People judge you, good or bad, first on your appearance including the way you walk and the body language you use. Then they judge you on how you speak. This includes your intonation, any accent you may have, your diction, the extent of your vocabulary, and any slang terms that you drop into the conversation.

The key to making the best first impression is being prepared for a wide variety of situations and responding appropriately to each. Here are four tips to help you:

  1. Smile. People react strongly and instantaneously to the image you portray. If you look stressed out, that image will reflect off them and back at you. So think helpful thoughts and smile.
  2. Look people in the eye. There’s an old myth that if you won’t look at me, I can’t trust you. Are you aware of the eye contact you make? You might be sending the wrong message.
  3. Work the person’s name into your conversation. Once you are introduced, repeat the person’s name a few times in your mind so that you won’t forget it. Then use the name early in your conversation.
  4. Master the handshake. Grasp the whole hand and give it a brief, but solid squeeze. A firm handshake can say as much about your confidence as your appearance.

Other Articles about starting your business:

Selling:

Selling the benefits of your bookkeeping service

Make your first impression count

Five Tips to Strengthen Your Client Presentations

Outsourcing your bookkeeping

Marketing:

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!

If You Don’t Like Doing Something, Pay Someone Else

So you think you’re introverted. I bet I’ve got you beat. When I was in high school, a friend of mine and I went to a church party / dance. On the way to the men’s room, I ran into a girl I knew from one of my classes. She had a friend with her I’d never met and I had with me a friend she’d never met. She introduced her friend, and I nervously placed my hand out in the universal "shake-my-hand gesture", but apparently her friend didn’t notice.

I, however, was too nervous to do anything, so I left my hand in that awkward pose for the next several minutes as she talked. Of course, I didn’t introduce my friend because I was so petrified of being in the presence of another human that I forgot the customs of human interaction. I didn’t really have much to say, or at least I couldn’t get my mouth to do anything. Finally after what seemed like hours, the moment had passed and we made it to the men’s room. My face was bright red; my palms were sweating, and I thought I was having a stroke!

The point is that although I’ve overcome much of this shyness, I’m still very introverted by nature. We at Universal Accounting® work with accountants on a daily basis. We know that often the personality type who loves accounting isn’t necessarily the personality type who loves going out and meeting with people and trying to recruit new clients. However, I dare say that most of you reading this are not as shy as I was. I’m not going to attempt to change you from introverts to extroverts. First of all, the world needs people like us. We’re the thinkers and the analyzers. Besides, who would do the books for all the extroverts?

What I will do, however, is give you a “bypass” route for your shyness. You can be a talented bookkeeper, but if you don’t have any clients, what good does it do you. Here’s my motto, “if you don’t like doing something, pay someone else to do it.” How do you think I get my son to take out the trash! Just as your client, the plumber, knows everything about plumbing, but precious little about bookkeeping (that’s why he needs you), you know everything about bookkeeping, but not as much about getting clients or selling. Although one of our major focuses for students is to teach you low-key, effective ways to get clients, why not pay an expert instead?

That’s sounds great, but how do you do it? Here’s the basic idea in three steps.

  1. Find someone who knows how to sell or is naturally in a position to meet a lot of people
  2. Get him/her to tell people about your business
  3. Pay him/her

This is simply networking. Some enjoy frequent intereaction with others, but if you’re not one of them, you’re not alone. Many very successful businesspeople do not excel at marketing. So how do their businesses succeed? They surround themselves with very bright people that fill in what gaps they have personally. You don’t have to know it all; you just have to know how to find those that do.

Let’s take a look at each of the three steps in more detail:

Find someone who knows how to sell or is naturally in a position to meet a lot of people:

So just who are these people? Of course there are sales people who sell for a living. What about someone like your mailman who sees people all the time, or maybe someone you know who drives a delivery truck, your barber or hair stylist? Think of those you know and ask yourself, “Who do I know that just knows lots of people?”

You can also just run an inexpensive classified ad in the paper to find someone like this. That may not be necessary because, if you’re like most people, and most people are, you know someone who is a great salesperson and would love to help you out. They will charge a small fee, of course. But if you decided to run a small ad in the classified section, would it be worth the $50 you’d spend on it to even find one client. Once upon on a time, I used to repair computers for a living, and I ran a $35 ad in the paper that simply said:

 

That’s it. I got more business from that ad than I could handle, so why not run an ad that says something like:

Get Paid to Find Me Clients
Your Name, Your Number

 

I’m by no means an expert at writing newspaper ads, but with a little creativity, you’ll be able to find someone who would be willing to throw you some clients for a small fee.

Step two is easy; “Get him/her to tell people about your business.” Why should someone give you business? Because you’re paying them to do so. That’s as good a reason as any. The real question then becomes, how do you pay them and how much? So let’s look at step three:

Pay Him/Her:
A couple of questions should be considered when it comes to paying a marketer.

  • When do you pay?
  • How much do you pay?

The question of when is more about how often you pay them. In other words, are you going to pay them a one-time fee, or are you going to pay them a residual for each month that you have the client, or both? Remember, as students of our course will tell you, each client pays you about $400 per month, and it only takes you about 6-8 hours per month to service a client.

That being the case, you can choose to pay your marketing person a percentage each month or you can simply pay them an up-front fee. I personally like the up-front fee because it’s less to keep track of. Where do you get the up-front fee? It comes from your first month’s payment from your new client.

However, your marketer may be more interested in residuals than up-front payment. Maybe a combination of both is suitable; a smaller up-front fee, and then a small residual for the length of time you service the client or maybe for the first X number of months.

Secondly, you must answer the question of how much to pay. Of course, everything in this article is negotiable, and ultimately it’s up to you and your marketer. However, here are some guidelines:

Generally speaking, a commissioned sales person makes between 10% and 20% of the price of the sale, depending on the product and the price. Paying your marketing person 15% of the client’s fee for the first 12 months might be a reasonable offer. This would mean that your marketer would earn $45 per month per client from you. If he brought you 20 clients (which would keep you busy full-time) then he would be making $45 X 20 clients which is $900 per month. That’s a nice extra income for someone who is merely doing what (s)he already loves to do.

Don’t forget the most important part. You’re making the remaining $355 per month per client which is $7100 per month, and you didn’t have to find a single client yourself. What’s great about this is that at this point, you can hire someone, like one of your kids, at $10 per hour to do your data entry, and you’ll be able to take on 20 more clients.

  • You’ll end up paying a data entry person $1600 per month (4 weeks x 40 hours x $10).
  • You’re paying out $900 per month ($45 x 20 clients) to your marketer
  • You’re bringing in $8000 per month ($400 x 20 clients)

Put all of that together and your net income is: $8000 (client income) – $1600 (data entry person) – $900 (marketer) = $5500 per month.

You’re making $5500 per month to basically oversee the organization. Bring in 20 more clients and you’re bringing in another $5500 per month.

Try our Client Income Calculator

I’m always dabbling in different business ideas, and I’ve used these basic ideas to make quite a bit of money all on a referral basis. I currently have two service-related side businesses that are a fair portion of my livelihood, and every single client, without exception, has come to me from someone else.

These methods are good, sound principles that will allow you to grow your business as large or as quickly as you want. You are only limited by your imagination. And trust me, as an introvert myself, I know that your imagination is one of your strong suits!

Learn To Market Your Business With Low-Pressure Techniques

The fourth module of the Professional Bookkeeper™ program teaches you to find clients with little effort and even less out-of-pocket expense. You will learn to take advantage of your unique marketing advantages that you didn’t even know you had. With little effort on your part, you will quickly learn to find more paying clients than you can handle!

Learn More About the Step-By-Step Marketing Techniques Taught In the Professional Bookkeeper Course

 

More Marketing Tips

Learn More Ways to Market Your Accounting and Bookkeeping Skills

PB/UPB – Professional Bookkeeper/Universal Practice Builder Programs
PB/UPB - Professional Bookkeeper/Universal Practice Builder Programs

Product Description

Call us today at 877-833-7909 to get started.

We will customize a program for you based on your career goals, experience level, and budget.

Click to verify BBB accreditation and to see a BBB report. Phone Enroll or Ask Questions by Phone 1-877-833-7909
M-F 7:00am to 7:00pm MST. Current MST time is 10:49am. Or Ask Your Questions Online.
Visit with UAC in your Area! Accounting Seminars
Please see our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy for details.

Want answers? Let’s explore the perfect training solution and business plan just for you. We can keep you updated on special course offers. Also, you’ll get our free introductory video about the benefits and methods of starting your own practice.

Name:
E-mail:
Zip Code:
Phone:

Newsletters:
Accounting & Bookkeeping   QuickBooks Tips   Tax Tips

lock We value your privacy  

Sell the Sizzle, Not the Steak

This article discusses sales strategy for selling the benefits of accounting and booking services for prospective business clients.

To sell successfully, you must know your service and its features thoroughly, but that’s not enough. You must also be able to translate the features in to client benefits.

If you push service features instead of service benefits, you’ll break a basic selling rule: Sell the sizzle, not the steak.

Here’s a case in point: Janet Bell provides bookkeeping services. During a sales call, an office manager expressed her interest in Janet’s services. She also pointed out that Janet’s service was priced 15 percent higher than a competitor’s. “You both provide accounting services,” the office manager said.

“Yes, we do,” Janet responded. “But it’s how we do it that separates our service from theirs. We provide full data-entry services so that you can spend your time working with customers rather than entering information into a computer. That means greater sales for you.”

Before calling on prospects, review the charts below.

Three key features of bookkeeping services.

  1. Tax planning
  2. Cash flow management
  3. Management controls

Three benefits the features offer.

  1. Reduce tax liabilities
  2. Peace of mind
  3. Higher profits

Get Started with the Professional Bookkeeper™ Program

For more information on the basis behind these three features, see our article on 3 good reasons to start an accounting and bookkeeping business.

Other Articles about starting your business:

Selling:

Selling the benefits of your bookkeeping service

Make your first impression count

Five Tips to Strengthen Your Client Presentations

Outsourcing your bookkeeping

Marketing:

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!

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