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ARTICLES - Accountants


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, of course.

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 almost effortless!

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, rather, just
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 Accounting
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 secret.

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 telltale characteristic.

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 not!)

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.


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 benefits available.

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 on,

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
a science.

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.


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.

Tell what?

Well, it can be a host of things. Among these, you would enlighten your audience on...

- 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 in finance

- what the business owner could immediately profit from knowing...

... and so on.


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!

Harry Kafka


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 


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