If you cannot ‘complete the sale’ you’ll struggle to win new clients

By |2019-02-21T13:38:44+00:00June 12th, 2018|Accountants, Following up, Key Business skills, Marketing and promotion, Networking, Starting out|

In an ideal world, you would simply tell people that you are an accountant and your ideal prospects would then find you and ask to become your clients. Life isn’t like that. Even when these people do find out about your practice you need to have a process which brings them onboard

What’s the first thing you need to find out from a new client?

By |2018-05-28T10:29:23+00:00May 29th, 2018|Accountants, Business advice, Business messaging and branding, Starting out|

When you are approached by a prospective new client it is tempting to simply give them what they say they want. Most often this will be a fee quote to help them with their annual compliance obligations. As this area of work becomes more commoditised so you need to distinguish yourself from other accountants.

The 3 reasons you cannot rely on referrals if you want to grow your practice

By |2019-03-04T18:43:31+00:00March 27th, 2018|Accountants, Marketing and promotion, Referrals, Reputation, STANDING OUT|

Most established Accountants running their own firms claim to get most of their better new clients via referrals.  is this true or relevant to less established practices? Experienced accountants claim that no other activities and no marketing investment ever seems worth the effort. The following sentiment is typical of what I hear: "I get all

How to short-cut the Networking process

By |2018-05-22T23:06:51+00:00February 27th, 2018|Accountants, Networking, Reputation|

Networking is not for everyone. Whilst some accountants enjoy attending regular networking events, I regularly hear tales of woe from those who find it a frustrating waste of time.  There are also plenty of accountants who do not like the idea of chatting with strangers very appealing. You will rarely meet someone at a networking

Lessons for accountants from….. a childrens’ party entertainer

By |2018-07-23T16:42:08+00:00January 16th, 2018|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Dependability and trust, Experience and expertise, Marketing and promotion, Pricing|

As a teenager, before I started studying to become an accountant, I was a children's party entertainer - and I continued doing this for about 25 years. When I look back I realise that I quickly learned 2 lessons that now, many years later, inform my thinking and advice to accountants. Specialisation I was

Debunked: The one thing you must do….

By |2017-12-12T10:31:22+00:00December 12th, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Marketing and promotion, Sole practitioners|

A popular approach to getting your attention (and often your money) is to instruct you that there is 'one thing' you must do. What do they say? Many journalists, consultants and sales people assert that there is just 'one thing' you must do to remain in practice, to generate new clients, to increase your fees or

How can accountants use Linkedin for marketing purposes?

By |2017-12-05T09:06:51+00:00December 5th, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Linkedin, Social Media, Sole practitioners|

This was the headline to a question I was asked recently. I have summarised the question below and expanded on my reply and advice as this may help other accountants too. Question How can accountants use LinkedIn for marketing purpose? I have a company page, I have a profile, I am in some groups but

Has your practice plateaued?

By |2017-11-28T08:45:55+00:00November 28th, 2017|Accountants, Future, Marketing and promotion, Sole practitioners|

My conversations with sole practitioner accountants over the years suggest that many are happy enough once their business has plateaued. 'Happy enough' is hardly an enthusiastic summation of how things are going. It suggests a degree of reluctant acceptance. The underlying message perhaps is that things could be better but the accountant is used to

Cloud accounting – Do you lead your clients or let them lead you?

By |2017-11-22T11:38:12+00:00November 22nd, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Cloud accounting, Experience and expertise, Productivity, Servicing clients, Sole practitioners, Starting out|

This is the first of what I anticipate will become a series of cloud accounting related blog posts. Back in 2009 I disagreed with those commentators who were warning accountants about an urgent need to embrace cloud accounting technology. The alternative, warned these merchants of doom, was that accountants who failed to embrace the cloud

Do people see you as successful or struggling?

By |2017-11-14T09:29:10+00:00November 14th, 2017|Accountants, Appearance, Conversational impact, Marketing and promotion, Reputation|

Some accountants I know are proud of how efficiently they look after their own business affairs. Others though are embarrassed at their inefficiencies. And there are some who do not appear to give any thought as to how they are perceived. We all know the old adage that you never get a second chance to

A quick five point plan to secure more referrals for your accountancy practice

By |2019-03-04T18:43:42+00:00October 17th, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Marketing and promotion, Networking, Referrals|

So many accountants tell me that most of their new clients come from word of mouth and client referrals. In most cases however this seems to be a function of luck rather than planned in any way. Have you ever thought about how you could make it easier for your contacts to know who would

Why do accountants need to be enthusiastic?

By |2017-10-10T09:30:39+00:00October 10th, 2017|Accountants, Appearance, Business messaging and branding, Career development, Conversational impact, Dependability and trust, Experience and expertise, Following up, Giving, STANDING OUT|

Everyone who knows me recognises my enthusiastic nature. When I was younger I may even have been a touch too enthusiastic. I now recognise that it can unnerve those around you if you are evidently more enthusiastic than everyone else. That was an important lesson for me some years back. So now, older and wiser,

Don’t invest more time on social media until you have read this

By |2017-10-03T09:30:56+00:00October 3rd, 2017|Accountants, Facebook, Linkedin, Marketing and promotion, Social Media, Twitter|

Regular readers will know that I am both very active on social media and highly ranked for my online influence.* Equally you will also know that I do not routinely encourage accountants to use social media for promotional and marketing purposes. And I challenge the evidence and arguments of those who do advocate this -

Where do you want your promotional messages to be seen?

By |2017-09-26T09:30:16+00:00September 26th, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Facebook, Linkedin, Marketing and promotion, Social Media, Twitter|

I have referenced what I call the 3Ms of marketing an accountancy practice before. This blog post is related to the third M. That is, which Media should you use to get your chosen Messages to your chosen Market? The answer to the question depends on where you will find your chosen Market and target

When you CAN use social media effectively for promotional purposes

By |2017-09-19T11:25:19+00:00September 19th, 2017|Accountants, Facebook, Linkedin, Marketing and promotion, Social Media, Twitter|

The longer you spend on social media the more you realise that overt sales and marketing messages do not typically have much positive impact. Posting adverts on social media is a different topic and not the subject of this blog post. Before I explain how you CAN use social media effectively for promotional purposes, I should

Why do you want to promote your firm?

By |2017-09-12T06:50:48+00:00September 12th, 2017|Accountants, Social Media, STANDING OUT, Websites|

A recent conversation with an accountant I've not worked with before started as follows: Accountant:  Do I need to promote my firm better? Mark: Probably, but it depends on what you want to achieve. Accountant: What do you mean? Mark: Marketing and promotional activities work best for accountants when you have first identified clear objectives. Otherwise you're likely

WHO do you need to stand out from?

By |2017-09-05T09:30:57+00:00September 5th, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Experience and expertise, Social Media, Sole practitioners, STANDING OUT, Starting out|

One of my talks for accountants, and much of the advice I share generally, concerns WHY it's important to STAND OUT from your competitors - and HOW easy this is to do when you put your mind to it. A related question I've never really addressed in detail is WHO do you need to STAND

Do people see you as successful or struggling?

By |2017-08-15T09:15:12+00:00August 15th, 2017|Accountants, Dependability and trust, Experience and expertise, Reputation, Sole practitioners, Starting out|

Some accountants I know are proud of how efficiently they look after their own business affairs. Others though are embarrassed at their inefficiencies. And there are some who do not appear to give any thought as to how they are perceived. If clients or business associates become aware that you are not running your practice

“What tools do you recommend to help a sole practitioner stand out?”

By |2017-08-01T09:18:19+00:00August 1st, 2017|Accountants, Facebook, Linkedin, Reputation, Sole practitioners, STANDING OUT, Twitter|

This was another question I was asked during a recent interview. This post is drawn from the notes I made before giving my answer on air. Many accountants and bookkeepers reference their best source of new business as being referrals and recommendations. So let's deal with this first. Tools I would recommend here include: Linkedin