By Patrick McLoughlin
Trust is the key to prospective clients to instructing an accountant.
As Charles H. Green of Trusted Advisor Services puts it, “We are (usually) both seller and deliverer, and always the "expert." The buyer buys us as well as the service. Our services are expensive, have high risk / return ratios, and results aren't guaranteed. These factors are a recipe for complex psychodynamics.”
Trust is the key to accountancy marketing. If you can’t establish trust in your communications with potential new clients you are wasting your time marketing your services. Below are 15, short and actionable, steps to establish and build trust. No doubt, you will be familiar with some of the advice; but are you practicing it?
Accountancy Marketing: 15 Steps to Establish and Build Trust in your
1) Do your research about the business and the owner/s before you meet. Where appropriate drop that knowledge into your questions / conversations.
2) Always be on time and start meetings with a clear explanation of what the meeting will cover and what you hope to achieve.
3) Take a genuine interest in the concerns and goals explained to you. It’s vital that those you meet believe you have their best interests at heart. If they can’t see your concern, they will never trust you.
4) Under promise and Over deliver. Make lots of small promises and deliver on them. Reinforce the message in all your communications: “As promised, please find attached..”
5) Explain in detail what’s special about your firm and how you work. Be it your processes or your experience; relate it to how that benefits those you’re talking to.
6) Try to call people by their name more often in your conversations. It helps to focus and builds intimacy.
7) Build your profile locally and across your areas of expertise. Make sure all your marketing communications feature your name, not just the firm's. Write blogs, send articles to the local and relevant media. Let your personality come across and include a picture of yourself.
8) Find something you like or appreciate about those you meet and tell them.
9) Create Transparency in all your communications. Make everything as easy to understand as possible.
10) Listen with empathy and ask the all the questions you need to understand their concerns and issues.
11) Avoid the temptation to interrupt, correct or criticise. Focus on understanding what’s important to them.
12) Adapt your behaviour to mirror the people you meet. Use their terminology and repeat their words when asking for confirmation of your understanding.
13) Summarise and confirm your understanding again and again. “So from what you’re saying am I right in thinking ……” At the end of the meeting, summarise their key issues.
14) Think of where you have made the biggest difference in a client’s fortunes, the work you are most proud of. Write about it up in case studies or better still, film a short video testimonial with the client. Make sure prospective new clients have easy access to this information it will reduce their perception of the risk of working with you.
15) Change brings risk. But you can reduce the risk of working with you by offering a strong Guarantee. One of my most successful clients offers the guarantee “If you don’t value the work we do, don’t pay for it.” There is no small print; it’s as simple as that. The stronger the guarantee the more effective it will be.
You can find out more about A4G's accountants telemarketing services by clicking on the link below: