What can we learn from the ubiquitous presence of accounting software providers? For sure there are some very deep pockets funding the extensive advertising and media presence of the major vendors, yet there are lessons that apply to each and every professional accountant or bookkeeper looking to ‘catch’ new customers.

Providing customers with excellent support is far and away the most important area when supplying business software or accounting services, particularly when cloud-based solutions have simplified life for the bookkeeper or accountant.

Some marketing gurus also add that there are two additional features that can offer lessons to professionals. They are:
• Offering a demo or free trial to the user and
• Offering a money-back guarantee for anyone who is unhappy in anyway.

The question for professionals is; are you doing enough to stand apart from the crowd to attract new customers? Just as competition is fierce in the accounting software space so too is it fierce in the war to win clients.

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’
• ‘You live life; we do the numbers’
• ‘Your books done online, anytime, anywhere’

Assess for yourself which mantra from the first list or second list, a business owner searching the internet will be tempted to click through to or pick up the phone and call.

Future-proofing your firm against the relentless march of the digital economy means making each part of your service offering compelling and visible.