Accountants Marketing: To those Beyond Help
By Patrick McLoughlin
Incompetence comes in different shapes and sizes. If you asked me to prepare a set of accounts I wouldn't know where to start.
So why should an accountant know how to grow their practice? Unless you have had some experience or training in marketing, chances are you're going to struggle. But from my experience there's a hefty minority of accountants who think marketing is child's play.
This quote found on the 'About Us' page on a firm's website sums it up: 'unlike most accountants I am fortunate because marketing comes naturally to me.' If you know what you don't know you can always get help. But if you are unconsciously incompetent you're beyond help (To find out more about the 4 stages of competence click on the link).
Signs of the Unconsciously Incompetent
When you call in marketing expertise it's to carry out your plan, not to get help putting a plan together in the first place.
You don't need a copywriter for your website because you can write it just as well.
You believe anyone can pick up a telephone and call business owners to get you in front of prospective new clients.
You don't need training or help in presenting your services to prospective clients. "Just get me in front of the business owner and I can do the rest."
I've learnt from painful experience to avoid working with clients who don't listen; it's frustrating and joyless. And it's unethical to take their money when you don't believe in the direction they want to go.
Ultimately, if I can't convince a partner to change track I back off; it happens more often than you would think. When I talk to them later, after the campaign, the failure is usually blamed on the execution not the strategy.
At some stage in our lives we all unconsciously incompetent: I tried plastering a wall many years ago. The less said about that the better! The secret is recognising it and getting help.