In an Internet discussion group a while ago, one person asked how they could most effectively convert a Help Wanted ad into a client. I trust she won’t mind me sharing a few of the suggestions.
Show Employers They Need an Accountant, Not Necessarily an Employee
Companies listing Accounting or Bookkeeping job listings already know that they need help managing their money. They have likely never considered the benefits of having an outside agency do it for them. That’s where you come in. You have a golden opportunity to show them how you can provide the service they need at a discount to them compared to what they are used to paying. Employers pay health benefits, additional taxes, and other costs to an employee that they don’t pay you. Handled with a little finesse, your client will thank you for showing them a better way to get the work done.
How To Convert an Employer Into a Client
First point: Approach the job seeker initially with your resume and a cover letter explaining your interest in talking with him/her about the accounting position they are advertising in the newspaper. In most cases it’s best to avoid discussing freelancing until the interview or when they follow up on the resume. They’ll be much more inclined to consider it if they have met you.
Second point: Charge a standard retainer fee, rather than an hourly wage. Make sure that your monthly fee will be enough that it will provide you with a reasonable hourly pay. You’ll find that small businesses, as a general rule, are much more comfortable knowing what the full charge is going to be. Furthermore, you won’t get into a bidding war against prospective employees.
You Get a Great Hourly Income and the Employer Still Saves Money
Besides, for some companies you can do their entire books for less than they are currently paying in hourly wages, and still be making $30 to $60 per hour. This is particularly true if they have hired an untrained data entry clerk, and then paying a CPA $100+ per hour to pull it together. If you know how to do the entire process they will almost always prefer having one person do it than deal with two.
Case in point (just one of many): A friend of mine was paying an in-house accountant $4,000/month and he was not happy with the results. The accountant was arrogant, didn’t meet deadlines, and spent a lot of time chasing the stock market. A friend recommended a contract bookkeeper which quoted him $2,000 per month. I happen to know the bookkeeper is currently only spending 5-7 hours per week on his account.
Show the Client They Have No Risk
Third Point: Offer to guarantee your work. If they’re not happy with it, they don’t need to pay (try to find an employee that will do that!). You’ll be taking a risk, but if you’re confident you can do good work, it’s worth it.
The Professional Bookkeeper™ Program Teaches You How to Get Top Dollar For Your Services
Most businesses think in terms of employees. They are often unaware that having their books done by an outside agency will save them money. The Professional Bookkeeper program teaches you how to charge for your services and make $300 per client per month, which takes only 6-8 hours of your time to do. Many small business owners do their own books. Because it takes time away from the business of earning money, they are happy to pay you $300 per month instead.
Learn How to Start a Successful Accounting Service and Make $80,000+ per year!