3. Correct estimation
of effort in what needs to be achieved and effected
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.
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.
maybe this is the one I've been looking for... might as
well give it a go..." is exactly the thinking we're induced
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.
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!
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
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!
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.
it's not enough to just have some nifty trick to get clients.
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
catch - why do we FALL for these things, then?
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.
- 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.
is light-years, megawatts and kilotons.
computes to you, what makes sense and produces new realizations
for you, rarely incurs the same train of thought for the average
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.
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
The hope lives
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.
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
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.
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.
not all you need, is it?
obtained by chance
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?
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?
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
testing a successful marketing system requires more effort than
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
the difference of having tested tools that are ready to use -
and EASY to use.
to use WHILE producing results?
system has to be COMFORTABLE to use WHILE effectively producing
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.
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?"
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.
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.
are marketing systems that are comfortable all right - but won't
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.
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.
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
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
it is set up in the Modern Accountancy Marketing & Sales
extent of investment, and return of investment
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
HERE to get back to the main article on the seven-point prospecting