& maintaining a constant marketing outflow and sales activity
- the practical implementation and maintenance of the activity
a marketing system you should be obtaining the blueprints
of an ACTIVITY.
With this I
mean that an information product on "How to start obtaining
new potential clients for your Accounting firm" should concentrate
on giving you a practical, tested, proven, successful, and easy-to-use
way to start getting those prospects.
it may seem, this isn't necessarily the case with the majority
of prospecting and/or marketing information sold to Accounting
Let me clarify
something here. When purchasing information, you don't get any
guarantees on the results simply because it is up to YOU to produce
You are the
instrument of the activity, if you wish - and the acquiring of
results depends on whether you USE the system and the tools...
and that's something only you can decide to do.
But by the
same token, the MEANS to produce results SHOULD be included
in the prospecting system.
information does not require that information to be used. Nobody
can obligate you to USE the system that you buy. If and when
you use it is wholly your decision.
It is quite
normal to buy information solely for the purpose of learning
more about marketing and prospecting. It is completely commonplace
to buy information simply for reading it to obtain the data.
in knowledge. Combining new information with your own experience
will always give you bright new realisations and ideas. Ideas
are the start of every successful business activity and project.
aren't obligated to use the information you purchase and,
reversely, the producer of the information has no right to suggest
or demand that you do use it.
You pick the
time for its usage. It may be now, it may be in six months, or
in two years - or it may be never. You may use the whole system
or select parts thereof. This is your absolute right.
But the organization
selling the information is definitely obligated to ensure
that IF (and when) you want to START a prospecting activity,
THE EXACT WAY TO DO IT EXISTS within the materials you bought.
THEY have no
right to omit that material.
And yet, more
often than not, they do!
One would assume
it would be obvious for every potential client to SEE if the
steps of practical application - the how to DO it - would be
missing from the information he purchases.
But it isn't
and we ALL fall for it. Believe it or not, the VENDORS can fall
for it too - they can totally MISS the fact that their "how
to get potential clients" -information product HAS NO WAY
TO GET those prospects!
Sleight of hand
- and how it's done
Let me first
clarify that I am definitely NOT accusing anyone of intentionally
deceiving Accounting Professionals. Quite the contrary. I've
had the privilege of rubbing elbows with quite a few of my colleagues
in the marketing information industry and I've seen nothing but
the purest of helpful intention towards Accounting Professionals.
But by the
same token, I've seen many marketing & prospecting information
products that fall short of the mark when it comes to actual
application - the establishing of a successful activity to obtain
a constant flow of potential clients for your Accounting firm.
And the way
it can happen is through TOO WIDE SCOPE of information.
With this I mean that the information product - be it seminar,
course, or manual - tries to cover EVERYTHING at once.
Too much information
on too many issues almost guarantees NO ACTION at the end of
it. There's just too much of it there.
The way to
hide a person is to put him in a large group of people. The way
to lose specific information is to insert it into a HUGE body
of unorganized data.
then, that if you get LOTS of interesting information that gives
birth all kinds of realisations and new ideas, you might NOT
NOTICE that something is actually MISSING.
It's the same
phenomenon that occurs when proofreading text (and do I know
this one well!). Our mind works to CORRECT mistakes, so it often
happens that we don't notice misspellings.
Our eye simply
corrects the mistake automatically, relaying the actual
and correct message to our mind instead of the wrong or incorrect
One reads to
get information and to understand - not to find errors. Thus,
we miss mistakes because we have an "automatic correction
system" in our way of thinking. (If you've had to proofread,
you'll know how difficult it can be to SEE all the typs and mistakes!)
when one receives a huge amount of bright new ideas and a wealth
of exciting information, one is prone to put attention on
what IS there - and not keep an eye on what is NOT there.
It's very human
to look at what IS - and not search for "what isn't but
should be there."
Maybe you are
an exception - but I confess that I belong to the majority that
fall for this. I just assume that it is ALL there. After all,
wasn't the presentation of it is SO interesting, spot-on and
exciting... these people seem to know exactly what my problem
is and how I think... of course their product includes all I
But, of course,
that's not how it goes.
What you buy
might not HAVE the instrumental parts of actually getting
the prospecting activity started on your own.
It might not
include the tools and steps to go through with each potential
client to ensure a high success ratio in signing prospects onto
And if it isn't
there, your chances of actually establishing an ongoing prospecting
ACTIVITY are very slim. In essence, you'll have to create
it on your own.
Thus, the first
thing that you would want to check for is whether or not the
information you buy is ORGANIZED into sequential phases that
more or less follow the structure of a marketing campaign from
prospecting all the way to signing on the new client.
If it isn't
categorized this way, chances are it won't contain the needed
elements to actually implement the system.
thing to check for is "Does your system include specific,
ready-to-use TOOLS for each part of the practical part?"
In other words,
are there exact tools to use in each part of prospecting (and
presentation & sales of your services)?
If you don't
check for it, you won't necessarily awaken to the LACK of it
until it's too late. It's not an intended conjuring trick on
anyone's part - but since you're the one PAYING for it, it is
wise to check that those essential parts ARE included in the
Has the prospecting
system been actually USED and piloted?
The next item
on the list isn't a pleasant one. But it needs to be said regardless.
There can be
a very natural reason why a prospecting and/or marketing system
would lack the "exactly HOW" of establishing the activity
itself. This reason would also result in there being very few
ready-to-use TOOLS for prospecting.
of the information product might never have actually DONE it
If they have
no experience in how to obtain potential clients for Accounting
firms, then how could they have tested and proven tools to do
nature of information industry is such that it is too easy to
confuse INTERESTING INFORMATION with concrete EXPERIENCE of obtaining
potential clients for Accounting firms.
can happen to anyone. In fact, it can easily happen to anyone
producing such information to Accounting firms.
always includes the element of entertainment. Professional public
speakers know that you have to create enjoyable seminars, keeping
the atmosphere positive and interesting. That, in its turn, requires
jokes and funny anecdotes... a floorshow of kinds, if you wish.
If it is interesting,
entertaining and awakes new thoughts and ideas then the audience
will LIKE it very much. It sells, it is advertised by word-of-mouth
and becomes popular. Remember, information is sold "as is"
- and it doesn't necessitate that you DO anything with it.
To make it
in the information industry, all you really need is the ability
to perform on the "stage" of your chosen media (be
it writing or public speaking or whatever), some knowledge and
experience about your chosen subject, some creativity, and a
strong purpose to help others.
information products on marketing Accounting services, you don't
really need to have personally DONE what you are advising others
In other words,
there's no licence or permit or exam that would require you have
actually personally MARKETED Accounting services, got your hands
dirty in obtaining a few hundred potential clients for Accounting
firms and helped Accountants to sign a good number of them onto
While you cannot
just DECIDE that you ARE a Chartered Accountant - but you can
certainly appoint yourself as an expert in marketing the services
of Chartered Accountants!
If you DO have
experience, if you HAVE done it first hand in great numbers -
well, then you will also know exactly how to set it up,
if someone hasn't actually ever done the work he teaches
others to do, he wouldn't know - and his information product
wouldn't include any tested and proven tools, either.
or seminar wouldn't include a step-by-step check sheet on how
to establish a successful prospecting function.
nothing wrong with seminars. They greatly increase the participants'
general awareness on the subject.
All I'm saying
is that IF you're looking for a way to GET a constant flow
of potential clients, make sure that the system you buy into
It has to have
the means to START the prospecting activity, it has to have the
tools to GET prospect - and it even has to have somewhere to
TAKE those potential clients found so that you get a good number
of them signed onto your services!
If you want
to buy a system, you need to ensure it contains the exact plans
and blueprint of how to find potential clients in a successful
way. It has to have the TOOLS to use for that. It has to be tested,
piloted and proven system that other Accounting Professionals
have used successfully.
Here's a simple
way of checking up on whether the producer of the information
really has experience on obtaining prospects:
many potential clients have you personally obtained for an Accounting
many different Accounting firms have you personally obtained
else, it'll produce some interesting responses - or, in some
cases, a long silence!
In all my years
of offering information products to Accounting firms, with contacts
to tens of thousands of firms, only ONE Accounting Professional
has asked me this. I was happy I could tell him I've personally
serviced about 50 Accounting firms and obtained thousands of
potential clients to Accounting firms.
Due to the
nature of information and its enlightening effects on us, you
don't really do all that much with references. Whether or not
another Accounting Professional is satisfied an information product
will not tell you if it actually includes the means to establish
and maintain a prospecting activity.
He might not
have tried it. He might not have WANT to start prospecting -
or he may not have evaluated it that way. As a competitor, he
might not want to help you - and he certainly couldn't legally
give you information about the contents of a copyrighted information
you have to do your own evaluation on it.
& sales -related information products that I have seen pertain
to other things than actual practical knowhow on how to get potential
There are many
added-value services or "products" created and sold
to Accounting Professionals at considerable price. But, usually,
these packages contain NO tested and proven way to SELL these
There are many
motivational seminars with basic traditional marketing strategies
explained in length. Very few are actually tailored for Accounting
firms exclusively. Even fewer have a tested and piloted system
to directly to SELL Accounting services. Again, little or no
tools to actually GET RESULTS.
To get results,
you need a tested and proven system used continuously
firm as a reservoir of clients and the income they bring. If
you have 30 clients with an average annual billing of £4,000
then your reservoir contains a £120,000 value of annual
To ensure it
STAYS at that level, you must counteract for "evaporation"
and other natural causes of economical life by ADDING to it a
few clients every year. This way, you can be relatively certain
your annual billing won't DROP. If everything goes well, it will
no way to keep it LEVEL without being dependent on outside effects.
Clients are companies and they sometimes go out of business.
Or, the decision-maker changes and he chooses his own Accounting
firm to replace you. Or whatever.
way of looking at it is to consider that your "reservoir"
LEAKS a little continuously. In real life, those "leaks"
- loss of clients or income - come in bigger lumps than a "continuous
small leakage" but it is easier to prepare for such events
by using the idea of steady seepage.
this drainage, you must FILL the reservoir just a little bit
That, in essence,
means getting new clients on constant basis. How many a month
or quarter - that's totally up to you.
But to get
ONE client, one must have several OPPORTUNITIES of getting a
client. And potential clients ARE those opportunities. The only
way to get a new client for CERTAIN is to first obtain several
the more reliable and results-producing your system for obtaining
prospects is, the easier it will be to ensure you succeed in
getting several potential clients every month (or quarter).
Just as plainly
it is easy to see that the more proven and effective system you
have for handling those potential clients, the easier it is to
get new clients signed onto your services.
Once you HAVE
a system to get new clients comfortably, effectively and at make-sense
cost, obtaining new clients becomes very similar to saving money.
impacts, huge ad campaigns, massive and sudden effects.
think about trying to get 10 clients right now - not if your
firm is small.
What you want
is CONSTANT growth, a continuous small trickle of prospects
that result in a new client every now and then.
The lack of
practical way to effectively establish a prospecting activity
and keep it producing those potential clients constantly IS the
reason why we FEEL it is necessary to create some huge, immediate
and super-size solution for our firm's marketing.
just the effect of getting your appetite whetted and your interest
stimulated to DO something about getting new clients - and not
getting a practical way of actually DOING IT.
we seek for HUGE packages and answers. That's why we expect MIRACLES
to occur with every service or information product that we purchase.
But the real
and true miracle of Accounting firm prospecting, marketing and
sales is this:
continuous flow of potential clients week to week, month to month,
each handled with proven, comfortable and easy-to-use tools that
result in new clients signed on continuously.
miracle - no sudden changes, no heroics. Just a system that is
comfortable and reliable, producing a trickle that just continues
month after month, year after year.
Sure, at first,
you'll be thrilled at the success. But once you continue
it and continue it... well, let's just say it WILL become
If you want
entertainment and interesting theories, go for it. There's a
lot to be said for widening one's horizons and getting a chance
to look at your own firm from an exterior viewpoint. Most of
my clients HAVE done one or several of these seminars. There's
absolutely nothing wrong with that.
you want RESULTS, you have to ensure you get the blueprints of
how to establish and maintain a continuous prospecting activity.
won't be all that interesting after a while.
But the outcome
will eventually create some considerable enthusiasm. Little by
little, just like saving money - put £10 aside every day
and it won't kill you... but after a year, you'll have your holiday
money together without fail.
how it works with prospecting and marketing of Accounting services
- only the accumulation of income at the bottom line will be
at a totally different order of magnitude.
week, month after month - year after year.
After a few
months, the results will absolutely amaze you!
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