What’s the best way for an accountant to win new clients?

Many of the accountants I speak with ask me the same question. How can they best attract new clients?

I will rarely offer advice however until I have found out enough about the accountant, their firm, their services, their likes and dislikes and what they have tried previously.

The simple reason is that the best answer for you may not be the best answer for someone else. And you can’t realistically do EVERYTHING. You need to focus on what’s best for you.

There are no magic wands I can wave. There are no ‘guaranteed’ solutions that work for everyone. You will be both disappointed and out of pocket if you believe otherwise.

Where to start
The absolute starting point is always to clarify who would make a good client for you? Please be a bit more specific than an SME or OMB anywhere in the UK!

When you know who you want to influence you then need to clarify why they should choose you to be their accountant. And who is the competition? It is never ‘all other accountants’. And it’s rarely even ‘all the local firms’. The more you know about your target clients, the more easily you can formulate messages that will help them want to choose you.

More prep work
I am assuming that you don’t ‘just’ want to pick up (more) low fee, ungrateful and problematic clients. In any event, you need to do more than simply announce you are open for business and hope that ideal clients will find you and agree to appoint you as their accountant.

On the plus side you don’t need to start blogging, paying for SEO work, social media campaigns or a flashy new website. At least there is little point in doing any of these things until and unless you have done enough preparatory work.

5 stages

  1. You will need to raise awareness with your target audience of who YOU are and what value you can deliver as distinct from other accountants. You will get better results faster if your efforts here are targeted on the right people. Typically that will be specific to your local area or to a specific niche market place.
  2. You will need to be able to give your target audience the confidence that you can help with them with their specific issues, challenges or problems. This may mean playing a long game. It means referencing your past successes and experiences that are relevant to the people you are targeting.
  3. You will need to spend enough time with prospective clients to find out about their issues, challenges and problems. Only then can you quote fees that will seem good value for the service and solutions you will provide. Learning how to structure such conversations and meetings is key. If you can’t convert new business there’s no point in generating new prospects.
  4. You will also need to be able to discuss your fees with confidence so as to be able to ‘close the sale’ with the prospects you WANT as clients. This is key as there’s little point in spending time with prospects only to find out later that they don’t feel you offer value for money.
  5. You will also need to develop systems and processes to bring the new clients on board and start providing the services they need in such a way that they tell other people about you too. You’ll have to work even harderI if you can’t keep new clients happy such that they want to stay with you and recommend you to family and friends.

Tactics

Only now should you start thinking about spending time, effort and money on specific marketing tactics. If you do this without addressing the 5 stages above you may make the mistake of thinking that a specific tactic doesn’t work for you. You may be right. But the reason the tactic doesn’t work for you, could equally be because you didn’t do enough prep work.

This is often why attending business networking doesn’t work, websites seems to be a waste of time and social media just takes lots of time without providing any real reward.  They are all tactics that work for some accountants. Principally only those who have done their prep work and concluded that specific tactics could work for them.

If you would like to have a chat to identify what might be the best way for you to attract new clients, please book a call, without any obligation, by picking a time slot here >>>  

About the Author:

Mark Lee FCA is an accountancy focused futurist, influencer, speaker, mentor, author and debunker.

One Comment

  1. Emily Thomas 25th October 2018 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    The best way to win clients is to know who you want those new clients to be. Also check that from what industries the clients are coming from, what kinds of services you offer them will be good for them or not.

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