5 easy ways to increase new business during busy season
By Christine Nelson, Ingenuity Marketing Group, LLC
You reviewed and updated your firm’s strategic plan for the year — and hopefully the marketing to align with it. Then, naturally, you get busy with clients.
It’s an age-old story, but let’s flip the switch. Your clients are right in front of you during busy season and at various times throughout the year. You can build marketing and business development into those conversations for cross-servicing and referrals. Here are five tips to make it easy.
1. Add consulting into your engagement process
As you wrap up a tax engagement and confirm final items with your clients, put on your consulting hat and identify one or two things that can help them save money and time next year.
We get that clients aren’t always happy to pay for tax reporting and filing, but we have also interviewed many accounting clients who see the value in their fees because their CPA is saving them hundreds or thousands of dollars through R&D tax credits, accelerated depreciation and other tax planning. Identify the value you can add to each engagement with other services and share it with clients when they are in front of you.
2. Thank them and ask for a referral
Clients are focused on their own business, and they aren’t always thinking about enhancing yours. When they are pleased with your services, tell them that you are always looking for other great clients like them. Describe the client size, budget and services that you want to grow. Help them give you a great referral.
Asking a great client for help is a sign that you value the relationship. They might surprise you with their ideas and connections. But you must ask for the business.
3. Send them to your Google business listing
If you haven’t claimed your free Google business listing online yet, it’s a missed opportunity. This listing shows up anytime someone uses Google and searches for directions to your firm or when a potential new client searches for a new accountant. It shows up on the sidebar of a search for your firm, either on a laptop or mobile device.
Claim your listing, and then ask your happy clients to write a quick review for you on Google. All they have to do is click a button on your listing and write a few comments. Ramping up your Google business listing with 4 and 5 stars is an easy way to stand out when potential clients are searching for you.
4. Do an SEO audit
As much as public accounting is a relationship business and firms still get most new business through referrals, your online presence is still an indicator to potential clients that you’re a great choice.
Plus, outdated websites can have issues with error messages, difficulty being easily seen on a mobile device and being out of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. While the accountants are busy, marketers should review web analytics and keywords for ways to increase visibility in the service areas you want to grow. Organic searches do bring in new business. SEO updates keep your firm visible.
5. Ask for testimonials or case studies
In public accounting, you can ask your clients for stories and comments about how you make a real difference. Ask them for a testimonials when you’ve just saved them on taxes or provided them with a clean audit process. Ask them right after a transaction is finalized successfully or when you’ve solved a huge problem.
Again, most busy clients won’t think to do it themselves or offer it. But a quick interview with your best clients can result in amazing endorsements of your team and services. These stories not only provide third-party validation, but they also make your team feel great about working there.
These easy marketing activities during — and after — busy season can keep your firm humming all year long with new potential business and opportunities to close more deals. If you don’t have in-house marketing professionals, outsource the work and get growing.
Christine Nelson is a senior communications consultant with Ingenuity Marketing Group. You may reach her at 651-690-3358 or email@example.com.