Comparing prospecting & marketing systems available for Accounting firms, ensure that the system includes systematised tools in an easy-to-use format. Otherwise, you'll spend weeks just learning it - and again when teaching others..

Finding potential clients for your Accounting firm

4. A systematised method to obtain Accounting clients without training

Evaluating Accountancy Prospecting Systems

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4. A systematised, phased-out system with TOOLS that can be used within days without specific training.

The more your system relies on personal ability, competence and skill, the less likely it is ever to produce reliably - and the less likely it is to CONTINUE working for long... and there's no hope of ever getting anyone else to do it.

Skilful salespersons that can handle people and any situation that arise are one in a thousand. If you're one of them then let me congratulate you for that - and commiserate the lifelong entrapment it will bring you unless you realise this point:

Any ACTIVITY (as in doing things successfully day in day out), to reach any degree of PERMANENCE, must be STANDARDIZED into tools that are SO easy to use that it well meets with the existing skill-level of 95 percent of people.

Am I saying that "most people are dumb?" Well, no.

But I am saying that able, competent people like you are often too generous in their assumption of the general aptitude, ability and competence of the rest of the population.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that whatever YOU find easy is easy for others. Don't think that your powers of evaluation and estimation are shared by everyone. There's a reason why YOU started the firm and/or run it - and it isn't because "you're just like anyone else."

YOU probably find it easy to absorb and digest large quantities of information. Not so with the majority of population. YOU might find it interesting to study new methods until you know everything about them. Again... that's not the case with the bulk of people.

For you, it might not take long to get the gist of some system - but on the average person, it will take very much longer. You can take in huge amounts of information, organise each datum in its correct category and come out with much improved understanding of the how and what to DO.

Unfortunately, the ability to handle lots of data in this manner is not very common among us. For you, it might be an interesting undertaking leading to positive and productive action after you've studied all the material. But for the majority of people it will be too much, resulting in utter confusion with NO production at the other end of it.

So, don't be misled to assume that what you find easy will be easy for others. MAKE IT EASY enough for anyone to get those results that you can achieve with your natural abilities and skills.

The way to that is through ready-to-use tools.

 

What kind of tools?

In the context of marketing, the concept of tools is not all that clear. The principle itself is the same as with any physical tools. A hammer "knows" how to enforce a downward force onto the nail, driving it inwards into the wall. An electric drill "knows" how to make a hole in the wall.

The purpose for which each tool is developed decides the set of rules and necessities for its planning. Some bright ideas are needed to realise there's a NEED for a tool. Certain experience and aptitude are required to develop feasible prototypes that could become that specific tool: It is simply much easier for an expert with familiarity and experience to develop it as he or she will start from a much more evolved level as he already KNOWS the subject.

But no tools can be sold before they're TESTED and PILOTED extensively. For it is the END USER that has to find them useful, it is HE who must be able to use the tool without extensive learning process.

Obviously, the tool has to WORK - it has to produce the expected RESULTS uniformly in the hands of its users - and it has to be so easy to use that almost ANYONE can use it within few minutes.

Complicated tools that necessitate a high level of skill as a prerequisite find very few users. Tools that require long and arduous study to be used, rarely achieve popularity and thus, are not used.

People have the right to choose their own intellectual challenges and it isn't very clever to enforce such a dare when creating tools. A can opener that requires an hour of training won't find many users.

To create a tool that can be used widely and successfully, it has to be easy to use - and it has to be TESTED so that the MAJORITY of people will be able to produce the expected results with it without fail.

A tremendous amount of work goes into the creation of any tool - albeit invisible to the end users. But it is that research, planning, testing prototypes and developing of the tool which ultimately bring about an instrument that can be used universally by almost anyone with a good success ratio.

It isn't easy to create a functional physical tool. And it is even harder to create one that works within nonphysical subjects such as prospecting.

Once we enter the sphere of "intangible walls and nails," the number of uncertainties and arbitrary factors increases markedly. You cannot see the immediate result in a prospecting system the way that a physical tool allows.

Hit a nail dead-on and it will give you the feel of having hit it - and you see that the nail penetrates deeper into the wall.

Ask a question from a business owner and you cannot always immediately tell the effect of it. What is he thinking? Did he arrive at a positive opinion on the subject you asked him about?

Also, obtaining a potential client is a much more involved action than driving a nail into a wall. In terms of nails and walls, it would be better compared with erecting the frame of the wall rather than just driving in one nail.

Thus, it takes quite a few actions to start actually seeing the shape of what you're doing.

Now, there are a few successful ways to obtain potential clients for Accounting services. I'm not claiming that the Modern Accountancy Marketing & Sales Course has the ONLY way. (In fact, the course itself contains SEVERAL methods of prospecting.) All I'm claiming is that this way has been tested and proven - and it is put into easy-to-use tools in its entirety, leaving NOTHING to chance in obtaining those expected results.

Be that as it may, the fact remains that there are only a few ways of SUCCESSFULLY obtaining potential clients for Accounting firms.

And there are MILLIONS of ways to do it unsuccessfully.

A successful prospecting system has a set of tools that each incorporate all the needed actions in a way that requires the user only to READ through the tool he is using to effect the results with an acceptable success ratio.

If it is a direct mailing letter, then it needs to have several SETS of letters with successful approach to create interest - and there must be clear, step-by-step instruction on the whole chain of actions that are required to get the letters out and get results.

If it is a package giving you the way to set up your own telemarketing activity inexpensively, then the set must include EVERYTHING: A successful, proven interview, instructions on how to get someone to use the interview so he or she succeeds more than fails (and it is easy and comfortable to use), how to establish the activity and ensure it runs smoothly and produces the expected results in form of several potential clients found weekly.

If you get a load of theories and then "simple instructions" like "Develop a great method of obtaining prospects," and "Next, use it daily," you won't get there. There's just too much missing in between and you're basically paying for being told to do something about your marketing!

Unfortunately, that's the general theme in what traditional marketing of Accounting services offers. You are give great ideas but never a tested set of tools to SELL THEM EFFECTIVELY.

 

Lack of tools - the ailment of traditional marketing strategy

Traditional marketing of Accounting services often aims at developing new additional services. The majority of these ideas are, quite frankly, very good.

But here's the thing: They give you loads of clever ideas on how to deliver great services - but no effective way to interest anyone about the services, let alone a planned-out (and tested) set of tools to present and SELL them successfully!

You pay thousands of pounds, get highly motivated to expand your firm, get absolutely dazzling new services to deliver, and then... WHAT?

All dressed up and no place to go?

Where is the MEAT? Where's the START of that rainbow, how do you MAKE IT HAPPEN?

See - no applicable tools!

All those superb ideas of additional services, all those carefully prepared plans of delivery... all just sitting there without any effective way of getting them sold so you could deliver them - that's the way it usually is with traditional marketing strategies!

The weakest link is prospecting and selling of the services.

But, unlike in the famous television quiz, the vendors of these marketing techniques aren't the ones getting embarrassed with an indifferent "goodbye." It's YOU who gets ignored by business owners!

Obviously, there's a problem here that the traditional marketing strategy hasn't solved. They come up with great new services - and absolutely NO effective, tested or proven set of tools to SELL IT EFFECTIVELY.

And that's a gaping hole, a major omission that creates a huge problem.

And here's how Modern Marketing of Accounting services solves it:

You get ONE simple service that ensures constant contact with you and the client. You then build the service on the one need that the target audience most identifies with so as to achieve WIDE DESIRABILITY for this service.

You create, test and pilot a reliable, successful and inexpensive way to get prospects for this service and to successfully sign most of your prospects onto this service.

Now, you have lots of new clients that confer with you monthly on the problems they face in their businesses. Now, they trust you and take your advice.

And only NOW you can actually get those more involved additional services sold with ease. Not only that, but you will KNOW when the client needs it - and the groundwork of building TRUST has been done so he will believe when you tell him he needs it!

Thus, the monthly consulting service that the Modern Accountancy Marketing & Sales Course includes is ITSELF a tool, albeit a very large one, to get those ADDITIONAL services sold in abundance.

 

The importance of success in prospecting

Theoretically, any prospecting is better than nothing. Mathematically, the principle is that if you try, you maintain the possibility of succeeding - whereas if you give up and cease trying, there are absolutely NO possibilities of success.

Mathematics and practice are different because when you have to DO it, the element of human nature enters the equation.

The important factor is that success and failure directly regulate our willingness to do something.

If a person mostly FAILS in something, he won't keep it up for long. IF he SUCCEEDS in it more than he fails, he will be pleased to continue it.

And that's why, in practice, "any prospecting is better than no prospecting" doesn't actually work.

The success ratio of your prospecting system is of utmost importance in ensuring that it will be used sufficiently to GET potential clients - to say nothing of using the system continuously, of course.

Now, obviously it is impossible to create any single approach that would result in getting more prospects than refusals. If it were possible, nobody would have any problems in obtaining new clients.

Thus, you need to DIVIDE the prospecting itself into several parts. You set each up with a goal in a manner that makes a success ratio of 51% or more possible.

I don't want to go too deep into this as it's not really within the sphere of this article, but let me give you an example of this anyhow.

Let's say you set up your own telemarketing activity to obtain potential clients weekly. You have ready-to-use tools that almost anyone can use - it doesn't have to be an Accounting Professional, it doesn't have to be someone with telemarketing experience, and so on.

You would need a system that would allow for contacting business owners without creating that immediate rejection that a sales-oriented prospecting method does. So, let's say you contact them to survey their opinions about Accounting services in general - and take it from there.

First target - make 20-40 calls to business owners on a list.

Second target - reach the owner / decision-maker in more than half of these businesses

Third target - get more than half of those you reach to agree to participate in the interview

Fourth target - get more than half of those participating to continue until the end of the interview

Fifth target - determine which ones appreciate your services naturally and are interested in doing something about their finances

Sixth target - get more than half of these to agree to a telephone appointment with the Accountant.

These six phases each have their own end products defined. Now, as the above comes from an existing, tested, piloted and proven prospecting system - instead of being just a great idea never put into a test - I can tell you that it is quite easy to reach a success ratio far above 50% on each of these targets.

But you do need to have ALL of it in the tools - see? It has to be EASY TO USE and it has to leave little to the imagination of the user so as to keep it standard (keep him or her from changing it) and to make practically anyone able to produce those results.

Some people say that all it takes is self-discipline to keep up just about anything. Well - that's true enough... but it isn't the way to an enjoyable life.

Without getting into a philosophical discussion about disciplines, let me just state my own observation: A person who continuously forces himself to do things he doesn't enjoy, won't like what he does.

Idiotically simple, isn't it?

But here's the thing: One of your goals should be to ENJOY your work.

Once you do, you will also find it much easier to expand the business. Similarly, the best thing you could ever do for a marketing-or-sales-employee is to plan the tools so that he or she continuously succeeds more than fails.

Success and pleasure go hand in hand. Succeed more and you will enjoy life itself more. Conversely, failure brings always something that is NOT pleasurable.

Certainly, a stiff upper lip will be needed in a workaday life. Self-discipline must be used to keep industrious and productive simply because most of us are prone to enjoy pleasure a bit too much. But it shouldn't have to be used in doing something that is utterly repulsive to the person.

It is a disfavour to your own quality of life. The long-term effects of it can only LESSEN the true productivity because it so destroys the overall motivation and morale of a person. The spirit of play dies out and in its stead, the game becomes too serious with little or no fun.

Whether or not you agree with that, I'm sure you agree that it is more fun to succeed than to fail. Logically, one would attempt to find a system that allows for more success (and makes for fewer failures) whichever one's personal belief on this might be.

With prospecting tools, it is vital to have that higher-than-average success ratio. Otherwise, there won't BE a prospecting activity at all!

 

Keeping it simple will increase the likelihood of results

The easier and simpler it is to effectively get potential clients, the more likely you are to obtain those results - and the more probable it becomes that the prospecting system becomes a part of the routines in your firm.

Prospecting is just one step of a marketing system. To get results, it must be SIMPLE in its layout and structure in terms of applicability. With this I mean that USING it must be made as easy as possible.

Now, the mistake traditional marketing makes is to be simple in CONTENT - to get right down to business and approach the target audience with a sales-related message.

That doesn't work. That's not the type of simplicity I'm talking about.

To achieve results, your prospecting system has to contain ENOUGH parts and pieces to really create interest. It has to be an evolved approach that has nothing to do with sales - and it has to consist of sufficient substance of primary interest for the majority of business owners.

The contents of the approach and tools cannot be reduced.

But you make its USE simple and easy by incorporating it all into tools that anyone can use.

The person only has to be able to READ - and then he or she just follows the instructions in the tool.

It doesn't matter WHO is going to use the tools - having easy-to-use tools with step-by-step instructions that can be put to use within minutes makes sense regardless of whom uses them.

If it's you who use them, then I'm sure you don't want to spend days or weeks studying yet another system, figuring out how to actually implement it and put it to use, do you?

If it's a staff member that uses them, you probably don't want to spend days or weeks training him or her before there's a chance of getting results, do you?

 

The huge bonus of ready-to-use tools is your future freedom!

There are many points speaking for having all your marketing systems set into ready tools. A good system prepares for a better, easier running of your marketing activity in the future.

And that's where easy-to-use tools become vitally important.

With them, you can easily hand over the prospecting, marketing and sales functions (and even delivery of the monthly consulting!) to OTHERS.

It is easy and fast to get others to produce results in very short time. All they have to do is to use the tools - and keep on adhering to them. If something goes wrong and results stop emerging, you just find the spot in the tools that they've stopped using or changed.

Reinstall the missing or changed bit (or delete the added, inapplicable bit they may have included) and the system will again produce as expected!

This, practically, means FREEDOM to you in the future. YOU won't have to do everything any more. YOU won't have to service every client personally anymore.

And you won't have to spend weeks or months in training a junior into the task.

The difference in training of personnel with tools and without them is immense. It is much easier, faster, economical and effective to train people to use tools.

Compare these two tasks given to a normal person:

A. Compose a symphony.

B. Pluck the strings on a guitar in correct order, starting from the lowest.

Which of these tasks would you get executed by a normal person with sufficient willingness to work for you?

Right. Now, here's another set of tasks, now put into the framework of marketing & sales:

C. Find me clients every month.

D. Call 20 business owners a day and interview them using exactly the text that's on this paper (giving him/her a tool that has in it all the person has to speak).

And therein is the difference.

If you have a systematized marketing programme with specific tools for each part - tools that have EVERYTHING in them, all the knowledge and techniques incorporated in so LITTLE PERSONAL SKILL IS REQUIRED - then you have something that will get done, will continue, will produce results... and won't require YOU to do everything.

Given an order "Find me clients" a person would have to have IMMENSE knowledge, skills and ability - to say nothing of competence, fortitude and tenacity to keep at something SO complicated and strenuous DAY AFTER DAY.

As professional of finance you know that the groundwork for a good fiscal year cannot rely mainly on heroics or exceptional luck. Instead, one needs systems in place, ROUTINELY producing results of expected quantity and quality - or surpassing even that.

Superhuman feats have their time and place in life, but if the viability of a business activity is dependent on constantly correcting catastrophes...

Not exactly ideal circumstance to create predictable growth, continuity or risk-free enterprising, is it? And THAT is what the traditional marketing strategy basically TELLS us to do. Well, that's what it RESULTS in, anyhow!

Prospecting is the subject of discussion in this article, but you would have specific tools of this kind for ALL the phases, such as...

-handling of the found prospects
-presenting your Accounting service
-defining the potential client's exact needs
-creating a quote,
-closing him / signing him onto your services

...and even DELIVERING OF THE SERVICE itself!

Now, the traditional way of training people for their tasks is to basically teach them ALL there is to know about the specific marketing task and then have them figure out how to use these data in order to get results.

With tools, the approach is totally different. No study of marketing is required. No challenge of creating a clever way to use the data is needed.

When the tool incorporate all the active components of the specific activity in exactly the correct sequence, the person using it only needs to FOLLOW the clear road the tool lays out for him or her.

That's as in "read and start" - and that's it!

This enables the person to obtain results without actually knowing why the tool works, which components make it work, or how it works.

And that makes it possible to get people producing practically immediately.

Thus, you get results FIRST and then expand their knowledge afterwards bit by bit, once questions or problems pop up.

Do the math and you'll see what a world of difference it makes. Instant income, minimized risk - and a lot less time and effort required on your part!

All in all, a prospecting system of your choice should be based on ready-to-use tools so that you can totally bypass the phase of planning and training and just start the activity and get results!

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

 

Practice Management Articles

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Getting advanced added-value Accounting services sold

Many Accounting Professionals have superb additional services to offer to their clients. But why are those added-value Accounting services, special consulting, valuation and other such excellent services so difficult to sell?

There's a very simple and logical reason for it - and once you know what the barrier is, you can effectively open the door to increase the sale of these additional services.

CLICK HERE to read the full article on solving the riddle of getting advanced Accounting services sold.

How to sell Accounting services: Getting your hourly rates accepted by prospective clients

Majority of business owners seek for low-cost Accounting services. Justifying reasonable hourly rates is a constant pain and source of disagreements.

There is a simple way to help your prospects and clients accept your fees...

CLICK HERE to read on pricing of Accounting services and achieving acceptance the fees.

Do you want to get a lot more REFERRALS for accounting services?

Referrals are the cream of all potential clients for an Accounting firm. They're easy to deal with and you can close almost all of them onto your services.

But why are they so hard to find? And how do you INCREASE the flow of referrals?

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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