Comparing Accounting firm marketing & prospecting systems, it is vital to evaluate whether or not the system really HAS what it takes to get results consistently. Too little of the effective ingredients equals no Accountancy clients...

Finding potential clients for your Accounting firm

3. Correct estimation of effort to reach set objectives

Evaluating Accountancy Prospecting Systems

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3. Correct estimation of effort in what needs to be achieved and effected

The sordid history of traditional marketing of Accounting services finds BILLIONS worth of wasted income in the wake of its path on this planet. Every one of us has put money into those "miracle fixes" of marketing and sales of Accounting services.

"Just sign here, pay the money and you'll be on your way to lots of new clients!" is the oft-heard message of our times. Over again, new and wondrous marketing tricks pop up, tantalizing us with their witty approach.

"Well, maybe this is the one I've been looking for... might as well give it a go..." is exactly the thinking we're induced to follow.

You pay your money and you hope. And that's basically what we're paying for - that short by oh-so-sweet period of time that the hope lives on. Until it is launching time, until the expected results should start pouring in... and the cat is out of the bag.

Disappointments have become the unfortunate hallmark of the traditional marketing techniques since quite some years since.

It used to work - decades ago. But since then, it's become less and less APPLICABLE - giving directly WHAT TO DO to obtain results - and more and more theoretical.

Today, the failure of traditional marketing to produce tangible results has turned it into almost exclusively to mere THEORETICAL knowledge. And there's LOTS OF various theories. Lots and lots!

But practical application is conspicuous by its absence alone. There's very little on-the-job training of exactly how you GET those prospects and clients. Very few PRACTICAL tools.

And above all, it's almost always TOO LITTLE OF WHAT WORKS.


Too little to make it work

The correct estimation of effort - having enough of what it takes to ensure results come what may - is what is missing totally from any traditional marketing strategy that I've ever seen... and I've seen more than you might readily believe.

Dear me - so many great ideas and yet so lacking in SUFFICIENT ESTIMATION OF EFFORT to ENSURE results!

Masters of the traditional marketing give us ingenious morsels of intelligently planned marketing - always bits and pieces, always laden with theories and lacking practical application - that are immensely interesting... and produce absolutely no tangible results.

But it's not that there aren't ANY results. There are... costs and waste of our time, of course - all adding up to a state of disillusioned cynicism that is the end result of having tried and failed.

To get results, one needs to estimate correctly what it TAKES to achieve them.

In essence, it's not enough to just have some nifty trick to get clients.

Quick fixes may work once or twice but they won't turn into a continuously client-producing activity you can profitably and comfortably uphold from here to eternity.


Why we fall for quick fixes

What's the catch - why do we FALL for these things, then?

Because they're created to impress US, to fascinate and titillate OUR imagination - and not that of our target audiences.

But WE aren't going to buy our own services, are we?

What WE find interesting brings results in selling to US - and what our TARGET AUDIENCE finds interesting AND desirable is what gets THEM buying.

Now, which - you or a business owner in your area - do you think is quicker to understand Accounting? Which one of you is more familiar with the subject and needs no explaining to understand the benefits of Accounting service?

I'm not being purposefully impertinent with these questions. It isn't at all easy or simple to fully appreciate how indefinitely more extensive YOUR understanding of Accounting is compared to that of your average potential client.

That difference is light-years, megawatts and kilotons.

It's HUGE.

Thus, what computes to you, what makes sense and produces new realizations for you, rarely incurs the same train of thought for the average business owner.

And that pleasurable presentation, whose intention is to awaken a justified pride of ownership in your firm and achievements, does not create enthusiasm in the mind of potential clients.

PRICING of marketing services and knowhow is another issue that makes us go for inadequate solutions. That pricing is nothing short of preposterous. By splitting the marketing systems into "palatably priced pieces of good value" they achieve the apparency of cost-efficiency.


The hope lives on

It couldn't be done unless WE entertained the hope that a miracle cure indeed EXISTS. It's a very basic requirement to be able to ACTIVELY get new clients - to have some way of independently govern one's own future in terms of obtaining more business, income and clients.

Understandably, every Accounting Professional seeks to control his own creation - his own firm. Having some effective way to obtain clients at times you want them is what we all want. You want your firm under your own volitional control, obviously.

For those who market these solutions to us, it is simply a marketing process - a question of balancing our desire to control the demand of our services with our willingness to risk money to achieve that ability.

Paying £ 3,500 for a three-day seminar to receive a permanent solution to this problem is a good proposition. But if that fun-and-theory-filled week doesn't translate into a concrete meat-on-bones ongoing prospecting activity for your practice... if you cannot put these great ideas into USE in YOUR FIRM - you're not going to get the exchange you expected.

You did get what was DIRECTLY promised - an interesting week with many great new ideas and realizations - but not what YOU expected... not what you paid for.

You expected to get a SOLUTION to your prospecting, marketing and sales.

Such a solution would not come from theories or lectures. It can only come from something that you can immediately take into use, without having to figure out HOW to use it or even how to CREATE it... so you could THEN start figuring out how to use it!

Does this sound familiar? Do you have loads of manuals, books, ideas from seminars - but still no actual FUNCTION that produces potential clients at an acceptable rate?

If your answer is affirmative, you're like the rest of us. Very few firms DO have a continuous marketing activity that produces potential clients weekly - an established function that churns out those opportunities with reasonable accuracy of prediction.

And that's not all you need, is it?


Results aren't obtained by chance

This established prospecting activity has to link onto a whole set of proven and successful phases through which you take those potential clients found. Furthermore, it has to be INEXPENSIVE to maintain so that you CAN maintain it constantly, right?

"Inexpensive" means both "not requiring huge investments without any proof of results" and also "fast return of investment."

In other words, it should not cost an arm and a leg to start and keep up - and you should see RESULTS soon enough to have the REASON to keep it up, right?

We'll discuss the DOING of it - the actual practical application of it - in more detail later in this same article on the seven vital points of prospecting. But for now, let's just say that you need a system that PRODUCES results, exists and works.

And that's usually the one bit you don't get in many of the systems offered to Accounting Professionals. Nor do you get any laid-out, ready-to-use, part-by-part system and set of tools that could really ENSURE you get results.

"Too little" of what works is what ails most Accounting service marketing systems and, as a consequence, there aren't enough certainty and results in the marketing activities of Accounting firms.

It isn't a small thing to create a permanent solution for marketing Accounting services.

There's no magic pill, no shortcuts and no quick and easy fixes. It isn't something one fixes overnight or during an inspirational weekend.

It takes YEARS of research, testing, piloting and troubleshooting to create a system that brings clients. I stress that it is NOT a theoretical exercise or even predominantly a creative process. It is HARD WORK in the main - 90 percent perspiration and only 10 percent inspiration.

If the creators of the system haven't actually USED it to obtain clients for Accounting firms... if they've bypassed the TESTING AND PILOTING of it in real-life situations with existing Accounting firms... then it is an UNTRIED idea.

But here's the thing: Any marketing system consists of at least 10 major areas, all of which have minimally the same number of SUBCATEGORIES, consecutive sequences of smaller parts.

So an UNTRIED system isn't just AN idea - it's a set of more than 100 consecutive ideas, each with a definite purpose, each requiring a clear and easy-to-follow set of instructions, each phase dependent on successful application of the PREVIOUS step.

Planning and testing a successful marketing system requires more effort than generally imagined.

It is like a masterly game of chess where all the moves have to be planned and played against thousands of opponents before you achieve a list of consecutive moves that's guaranteed to result in a victory with more than half of the games.

That's the order of magnitude that you should get with a marketing system.

It must contain ALL THE NEEDED PARTS, with the whole set of effective components put into the correct order.


Is it based on research, testing, piloting and successful application - or just a bright idea?

It must be based on actual RESEARCH of what the target audience things, wants and needs - not subjective suppositions of it. It must build on what the target audience considers valuable - not what we think or would like them to buy.

A successful marketing system must be TESTED in real-life situations at some considerable length. That's because you have to weed out all the bugs and stops so that it FLOWS from one part to another successfully.

For that to be proven, it must be used by LOTS Accounting firms of varying sizes and locations, thus demonstrating that it really is UNIFORMLY applicable to the role of an Accounting Professional.

With this I mean that the system has to be successful with a wide variety of Accounting Professionals - not just those with a special knack for sales - so that it is established that producing RESULTS with it requires no INHERENT ability for salesmanship and / or prior experience of marketing.

In other words, ANY Accounting Professional must be able to USE IT SUCCESSFULLY and produce results without some prerequisite in sales skills or marketing knowledge.

(That's not to say it would in any way HURT to have such abilities or knowledge. It will FURTHER the obtaining of results - but the system HAS to start from a point where any Accounting Professional can use it.)

To achieve that, the system has to be based on ready-to-use TOOLS that INCLUDE the marketing & sales techniques required - and all you have to do is to USE the tools as instructed.

This is a VITAL point that traditional marketing seminars and systems so often forget:

The amount of applicability - how easily you can USE the system and obtain the expected results from it - is what truly measures the value of any marketing system.

Sure, it's very interesting to hear new theories and get realizations on how you could get more clients. It is downright therapeutic to recognise where and how you've perhaps been hitting your head into the wall without realising it and identify the exact thing that has been stopping you.

But without actual means to PUT IT TO USE, it isn't going to affect the tangible results, is it?

This is how we often end up fooling ourselves. The information itself delivers so many new realizations and ideas that we just forget about the HOW TO GET STARTED of it.

And a system that necessitates an immense PLANNING, TESTING & PILOTING operation isn't very likely to EVER get implemented fully simply because the resources it takes are usually far beyond the scope of a small-to-medium sized Accounting firm.

You've got the ability to do it, definitely. But do you have the time? Can you really spend a YEAR OR TWO in research, testing, piloting and debugging the system BEFORE you get the first results out of it?

Right. That's the difference of having tested tools that are ready to use - and EASY to use.


Comfortable to use WHILE producing results?

Further your system has to be COMFORTABLE to use WHILE effectively producing RESULTS.

Again, this is a very important point in evaluating the prospecting (and marketing) systems that you're offered.

See, it's not difficult to create a system that, if used, will definitely give you potential clients.

Here's one: Go personally into every firm in your area, walk into the owner's office, sit down and start talking with him. If you approach a few hundred businesses this way, you're BOUND to get prospects.

But how COMFORTABLE is it? Will you use this simple advice and "save thousands in marketing costs?"

Doesn't sound too inviting, does it?

Right. It would be SO uncomfortable and embarrassing that you just wouldn't even TRY it – or, if you did, you wouldn't KEEP IT UP.

Now, everyone has problems in contacting people who haven't asked to be contacted. This is well known and consequently, there are marketing systems offered that capitalise on this reluctance.

Thus, there are marketing systems that are comfortable all right - but won't produce RESULTS.

And that's what you have to watch out for. You have to evaluate whether or not the system balances the COMFORT of use with the likelihood of obtaining RESULTS. It's easy and comfortable to put in an ad in a newspaper - but it is also usually a total waste of money as it produces absolutely no results.

To ensure that the system GETS USED, it has to produce RESULTS on top of being reasonably comfortable to use.

And here's the secret of it: To deliver both comfortableness and efficiency, the system has to be based on your role as an Accounting Professional and NOT require that you turn into a salesman.

There's just no way around it.

Tell me that I'm wrong. I'll wage anything that you don't feel as comfortable being a salesman as you do in your own, natural role as an Accounting Professional!

It isn't only uncomfortable to use sales pitches and salesman antics. Due to the special nature of client-relationships in Accountancy, it can be directly HARMFUL for the future cooperation to have you act first as a salesperson and then, once the client has signed on, revert to the role of a consultant.

I'm sure you agree that it doesn't directly ENHANCE the trust required in your line of work. And having used direct sales techniques when selling your OWN SERVICES has a way of always coming back to BITE you later. Selling, you simply say things that will always stay in the mind of the client and work against your trustworthiness.

But if you can BYPASS the salesman antics, circumvent all those sales arguments and sign the client on being a consulting Accounting Professional... it's both more comfortable AND lays a better foundation for the future cooperation.

That's how it is set up in the Modern Accountancy Marketing & Sales Course!


Cost-efficiency, extent of investment, and return of investment

Any prospecting system takes SOME time to start producing results. Any system is basically intended to be used continually so that you get a CONSTANT flow of new prospects.

No matter how much you believe in the system, it hasn't proven itself to YOU before it starts producing those uniform results.

Therefore, beware of systems that require a sizeable upfront investment before you have any chance of verifying whether or not it actually produces something that YOU can bank. The expenditures you know - but whether or not there'll be any INCOME from it... that remains to be seen.

Thus, try to find a system that is INEXPENSIVE to start with and low-cost to keep up.

In the beginning, there's bound to be SOME problems with ANY system. After all, it's all new to you and it takes time to get it grooved in and learn to use it correctly.

The less expensive the system is, the more likely you are to get to the point where it WILL produce results.

It costs thousands of pounds and demands more and more investment without any tangible results... well, it becomes a gamble.

Your system of choice has to offer a wide "AFFORDABLE margin of error" - in other words, it has to be so inexpensive to obtain, use and maintain that you can keep it up even with quite a few mistakes made on the way... and still get results.

If it requires huge investments, the game gets very serious very fast. You cannot afford to make any mistakes - and it becomes a poker game with very high stakes.

The cost simply regulates the risk (or, minimally, the feeling of risking too much) and the more expensive it is, the more likely you are to pull out before you get results.

Similarly, the system has to be calculated with correct cost-efficiency. There are many ways of obtaining potential clients. Some cost little or nothing, others just TOO MUCH to ever repay the investment even when you DO get results.

The return of investment - regardless of how much you invest - has to be SHORT ENOUGH. I'm talking weeks or maximally a couple of months, pound for pound. Don't go for systems that have several months or even years as the estimated return of investment. And forget about systems that don't even discuss the issue!

All in all, there's a lot that goes into a successful prospecting system - and any system you choose must include the sufficient estimation of what it REALLY takes to get results.

Essentially, it takes the ability to PRODUCE results - and experience thereof - to KNOW what the correct estimation of effort actually IS.

With the Modern Accountancy Marketing Technology, you don't have to go into all the trouble of developing a system with sufficient estimation of effort of what needs to be achieved and effected to get results.... because you get the tested and proven system to use straight away!

CLICK HERE to get back to the main article on the seven-point prospecting system analysis.


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CLICK HERE to learn how to evaluate your needs for an Accounting service marketing system!

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CLICK HERE to learn the secret of ready-to-use marketing & sales tools used by the most successful Accounting firms today!

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CLICK HERE to learn the biggest trap stopping accountancy client acquisition... and how to guarantee it won't stop you from obtaining accounting clients at will!

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CLICK HERE to read an amazing article on different types of prospects and what you need to find and sign these onto your services successfully!

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Sometimes the idea of increasing the number of clients isn't appealing for obvious reasons. Not everyone wants to expand through a vast clientele and take on the hassles of employing many people. A sole practitioner who's been in practice for a while usually has TOO many clients already... and too much hassle. The old 80/20 rule (20% of clients cause 80% of the hassle but not of the income) can be beaten but it takes a bit of cunning.

CLICK HERE to read how to start changing the profile of your clientele so that you get more of those profitable and cooperative Accounting clients and can replace the bad ones!

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CLICK HERE to learn the six factors governing the flow of referrals for Accounting services!

-Accounting Firm Prospecting System Evaluation Points-

Does it have correct Approach in Prospecting for Accounting clients?

Does the prospecting system have a planned and tested route
from contact to sign-on to follow?

Does the prospecting system have ENOUGH of what it takes
to really GET results?

Does the prospecting system include a systematised method
with TOOLS that require no training to use?

Does the prospecting system allow for constant marketing outflow
& sales activity of practical nature?

Does the marketing system include a way to monitor results
and troubleshoot problems?

Does the marketing system put you in control and give full
independence to obtain new Accounting clients wherever you want?

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