YOUR MARKETING & PROSPECTING TEN TIMES EASIER
In marketing, we tend to look only a week or month ahead, wanting fast
results and with no attention on anything but the ongoing short-term efforts
to obtain prospects and clients. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that,
However, there are some definite barriers and obstacles making short-term
marketing more challenging. And the funny thing is that these can best be
handled by a specific kind of LONG-TERM
marketing plan. Slow and with little apparent effects at first, a long-term
marketing plan will eventually make it SO much easier to obtain new
potential clients... and even to sign these onto your services.
Thus, there are very valid reasons for doing a bit of long-term marketing as
well. In fact, it can make your prospecting ten times easier and
Long-term marketing is basically an activity wherein you ENLIGHTEN your
target audience little by little. It can be done in many ways but among the
most usual is a newsletter of some kind. Whether printed or an e-mail-based
one, a newsletter would not directly aim at obtaining immediate results but,
give information about Accounting & Finance.
Now, the idea of educating your target audience might not seem very
appealing at first glance. Yet, ask yourself - what is the ultimate reason
behind the apparent lack of enthusiasm for Accounting services among small
to medium sized businesses?
There are a host of reasons, of course. But the mother of all of them is
LACK OF CORRECT INFORMATION. If business owners fully understood the
benefits available from Accounting services, if
they knew enough about it to evaluate and compare services... wouldn't it be
natural that they would be at least INTERESTED in your services?
And, provided you would be willing to offer more personal service, wouldn't
it make sense that they'd CHANGE over to you?
Yet, they appear NOT interested in the main. And, those that are interested,
seem unable to make that final DECISION TO CHANGE over to you, don't they? I
mean, if there's one thing we all have lots of experience on it's these two
sources of frustration,
But WHY it is this way? Surely the lack of interest and the inability to
make that decisive change are CONSEQUENCES of something, not the cause
itself, don't you think? I know that they are, simply because we've done so
many surveys and business owners DO want to do better and they DO recognize
Professionals as the experts on matters of finance!
I'm sure all of us have come up with a few plausible
explanations, some of which aren't directly flattering to our target
audiences. But the supreme test of such a cause would be simply "does
it open a way to SOLVE the problem?"
Obviously, the average business owner is missing some vital data. You and I
know that he would greatly benefit from changing over to your firm. Yet HE
seems unable to recognize this, or, incapable of making the decision.
(If you're wondering why I'm so convinced that YOUR services would indeed be
certain to interest business owners and, in essence, be BETTER than the
average Accounting services available out there, I'll let you in on a little
The telltale sign is simply the fact that you WANT more clients. You
subscribe to a newsletter that concerns wholly MARKETING and obtaining of
new clients. This identifies you as one INTERESTED
in servicing MORE clients. Whether you actively do something to get new
clients is NOT the decision point here. It is the INTENTION that is the
It is a well-known fact to practice management consultants that any
practising Accounting Professional who is open to new marketing ideas,
intent on getting MORE clients, has high quality
of service well within the top ten percentile and a willingness to develop
his skills as well as adapt his activities to what the target audience wants
and needs. So, if you're READING this, you're there already - like it or
Now, it isn't easy to EDUCATE someone in a sales situation. The
circumstances so obviously cast a shadow of doubt over any information
given. Anyone selling something is believed to have a vested interest and
thus his information might be biased.
And, of course, it is so. In a sales situation, it would be suicide to give
any kind of negative information about yourself. First impressions are so
important. Clients EXPECT to hear only positive things... but then won't
believe it! It's a bit of a Catch 22.
PREPARING THE SOIL FOR CONTINUOUS CROPS
It can be a very clever thing to AVOID having to explain everything in one
meeting to a potential client. With "everything" I mean not only
information about your firm and services, but also giving him the needed
understanding about Accounting & Finance in general so he can see the
On top of this, there's the issue of making you "known" to him -
upgrading yourself from a "stranger / unknown person" to a
"known / trusted expert." Without that, you cannot get him to sign
You can avoid it all by simply planning ahead. Start to
communicate to your target audience well BEFORE you would try to convince
them that you are the best Accounting Professional for them.
It's really a nurturing process - if you want crops, you must work the land
and put something back into the soil before you can harvest again.
Accounting and finance are quite expansive and demanding sciences. Many
laymen CLAIM to understand these subjects. Yet that's not to say they do -
it's more of a face-saver than actual
truth of the matter, really.
Well, this way or that, the fact remains that business owners aren't very
familiar with Accounting and finance.
And that's precisely the reason STOPPING them from CHANGING Accountants. Put
more accurately, it is the cause for not APPRECIATING Accounting services -
what you cannot evaluate you cannot truly appreciate either. With art, you
can... but not with
Now, of course, you want the business owner to decide to CHANGE Accountants
- but right after that, you need to get him to APPRECIATE Accounting
services on a whole new level. It is only
after that he can start appreciating YOUR services in particular. And to
achieve that, you simply MUST increase his UNDERSTANDING of the subject in
general. One cannot exist without the other.
THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF ENLIGHTENING THE TARGET
Quite obviously, if the business owner cannot evaluate Accounting services,
if he cannot define his own requirements personally and have some way to
choose an Accounting firm that would give HIM a
certainty of doing the right thing... he isn't going to change Accountants.
The only way to get him to CHANGE something is to enlighten and educate him
on the subject of Accounting.
Needless to say, it has to be a very different method of education than
traditional schooling. You're not going to get business owners into a class
room and they're not going to bother participating in lectures on the
technical aspects of Accounting.
Not only would it be much too demanding - it would also mean admitting that
they DON'T KNOW.
Instead, you must use a very casual approach that "assumes" they
know but nevertheless goes through the information in a very understandable
way. You need to give that face-saver to each and every business owner. It's
a game of allowing them to "steal" new information without
admitting to NOT having known it.
This "educational angle" of marketing is proven to bring results
as it constantly CREATES "needs" for your services - the more
people realize how much you can help them to achieve, the bigger
the demand for your services becomes.
In explaining things your target audience may claim to know already, you
would use various techniques of "excusing yourself" for giving
them the information regardless.
The first part is always telling them you KNOW that they know - and possibly
even APOLOGIZING for telling them something they probably already know.
The second part is the REASONING that you give for telling them something
they probably already know. This would include concepts such as...
- I just want to ensure we all have the SAME definition for this thing...
- I only explain it to
describe the exact angle from which we're looking at this...
- it's our policy to go over
everything as many of our clients are by far less experienced and
knowledgeable than you...
... and so on. You just EXCUSE telling it - but be very sure you
TELL it in simple terms.
Well, it can be a host of things. Among these, you would enlighten your
- the precise definitions of various Accounting terms (when using them)
- little known insider tips on
how to get more benefits out of Accounting
- how to make financial
decisions easier and more accurate
- what things cause problems
- what the business owner
could immediately profit from knowing...
... and so on.
CREATING THE POSITION OF TRUST
If you just start communicating to your target audience this way on regular
basis - without any apparent motive of asking for their business - it will
have quite an impact. Within months, you will become well known in your area
as an expert. Furthermore,
you will automatically create an image of someone who is easy to approach
and willing to help your clients... someone whom one can ask anything
without having to worry losing face.
It's a very strong position - and one that will work wonders simply because
so few OTHER Accounting Professionals bother doing anything like this. Many
business owners WILL see the difference
and you can expect quite a few contacts later on!
The simplest way of starting such an "educational program" is to
create an e-mail-based newsletter. But it can also be done with printed
issues mailed to a select target group every month.
A long-term "educational" nurturing process like this can
eventually make your weekly / monthly prospecting totally effortless!
The article makes it sound
easy doesn't it. Like most things, it can be. For help in setting up your
marketing program, contact Lindy Asimus now on 0403 365855 or email
Or Get Help by completing the business survey form here
and we'll contact you shortly.