The ‘silver bullet’ for any professional services firm is a regular flow of leads. Few accounting and bookkeeping firms take an ‘active’ role in generating leads; most rely on referrals and organic clientele coming through the door. Unfortunately this is a passive role. With your potential clients using the internet to search for a bookkeeper, passivity will be the slippery slope towards declining fees. If you are not receiving a regular flow of leads, you will find yourself discounting your fee rate and allowing scope creep to further undermine your income.
Identify your prospects
Let’s say you have worked for several tradespeople, for example a plumbing contractor or roofing contractor. You already have a level of expertise that is marketable and that can meet the challenge of automation head on. If you know which type of businesses you should pursue, it’s much easier to talk in a language they understand. Because you understand their business.
Prospects however will not jump ship because you called them, but a good price and valuable service may well ‘sell’ your services.
A point of difference
There’s a massive paradox present in the professional market: look around at bookkeeper and accountant websites or directory listings and what do you notice? Sameness is the answer. The fact is most bookkeeping and accounting firms tend to look the same. And because most firms do not have the budget to stand out from the crowd and compete with larger firms who buy space on Google, there is a real disconnect between wanting to attract new clients and actually attracting a client who may be searching for a bookkeeper just like you.
Typically, a firm will offer a roll-call of services:
- Bookkeeping services
- BAS Agent services
- Friendly and honest
Still awake? It’s the sameness that is stupefying. Too few professionals spend any time investing in building a profile that can act like a magnet and one that genuinely presents a point of difference. Consider each of these examples as a mantra for the service provider:
- ‘We help business be more in control of their finances’
- ‘We help business owners grow their bottom line’
Automation and the ascendency of accounting software vendors can be challenged, but it requires a direct ‘pitch’ from the bookkeeper who understands the special needs of the prospect’s business.