I was speaking at a seminar last week to a bunch of accountants. A young chap approached me during the break and shared some of the concerns he had about his own firm.
“James – how do I get new clients?”, he opened up to me. “I’ve been working with my father in his accounting practice for the last few years and things are going fine with our current client base but I’m finding it really difficult to attract or get new clients. How do I do it?”
This young chap was sincere, enthusiastic and energetic. I could sense that he was frustrated with his efforts to date and I really wanted to help him out. In the little time we had, I wanted to know what his thinking was when he approached potential clients. I asked him how he started off the conversation with these people. “What I usually do James is to tell them about my firm and what we do”
Let’s stop right there. This young guy has fallen into the same trap that the majority of accountants (and other professional advisers for that matter) can’t seem to help falling into.
Does it make sense to tell the person you are meeting with that you are an accountant and you provide the following A, B, C & D services? Is it safe to assume that the person you are meeting with already knows that you’re an accountant? I would think yes. So why oh why do most accountants in meetings with potential clients, in their marketing material and websites spend an inordinate amount of time & effort telling the world who they are and what they do? We’ll unpack this question later in this series of posts.
Let’s go back a step. Why is the person meeting with you in the first place? Is it a referral, a favour to a friend or perhaps the outcome of a successful cold call?
Hmmm – lots of questions. Over the next few posts I’m going to share with you how you can get clients. The strategy & tactics I will outline will help you differentiate your practice from the rest of the market – or at least those who don’t read this blog 🙂
Bye for now,