I have lost track of the number of accountants who tell me that they don’t get good quality leads from their website.
They generally either say that their website is a waste of space or that the people who come via their website are just looking for a low price. This then leads the same accountants to claim that most of their better new clients come through recommendations and referrals.
Let’s examine these observations briefly:
- If your website seems to be a waste of space this could either be because it doesn’t attract the right people or because it doesn’t engage them and encourage them to get in touch.
- If the only people who come to you via your website are just looking for a low fee quote, then perhaps your website needs to be clearer as to the sort of new clients you want.
- It would be a mistake to think that having a website is a waste of space simply because you don’t get the sort of business you want through it. Indeed a badly out of date and non mobile friendly website can be problematic as it may also be working against you. As well as not attracting the new clients you want it could be putting off just the people who you DO want as new clients. Would you even know how often clients have recommended you to someone who then checks out your website and chooses NOT to get in touch as they don’t like what they see?
The reason you get good recommendations and referrals is because of the service you provide, because of your style and approach and because clients believe you are doing a good enough (maybe even a brilliant) job for them. They talk about you. Not your practice. You. They talk about YOU.
Does your website seek to give the same impression as clients provide when they recommend you? Does it say enough about YOU and what clients think about you?
Also remember that your clients may not know how you compute your fees but they know what they are paying. And often they will tell people. This means that many of the referrals who get in touch already have some idea as to what you charge. If they thought your fees are high (and they find this a turn-off) they probably don’t even get in touch.
Put all this together and what can we see? Well, in brief, my conclusions are:
- If your website is disappointing you in terms of new business, you need to review and update the site.
- Your website should make clear the sort of new clients you hope to attract and those you’re not able to help too. If it’s only very generic (just like all the others) it’s no wonder you get low value enquiries.
- You can discourage prospects who are looking for the cheapest accountant they can find, by referencing your minimum fees (eg: “We are not the cheapest accountants around. Our clients typically pay between £800 and £5,800 per year. Some pay a lot more than this. As of 2017 our minimum fee for new business clients is now £500”)
- Your website should profile you as a person – just as clients do when they recommend you.
The fees I have used in the above example are based on those discussed at a meeting of The Inner Circle which comprises London based accountants. Your figures may be lower than this. The key point is that you will want to make clear the sort of fees you look to earn – which should be higher than your minimum. You may include more clarification elsewhere on your website but do not focus too much on fees there unless you really are going for those people who are looking for the cheapest accountant around.
Please don’t assume that everyone looks for the cheapest accountant. They don’t – any more than everyone looks for the cheapest car or smartphone. If that was true then higher priced models wouldn’t sell. But they do. And plenty of accountants who have learned to promote themselves more effectively secure higher than average fees. If you are keen to do this, pick one of these ways to learn more >>>