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.
- Find someone who knows how to sell or is naturally in a position to meet a lot of people
- Get him/her to tell people about your business
- 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:
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.
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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!
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