Selling Accountancy Services: Is this the Reason so Many Firms Fail?

By Patrick McLoughlin

I’ve been reading a great book on marketing professional services that I want to share with you.  It’s called ‘Professional Services Marketing: How the Best Firms Build Premier Brands, Thriving Lead Generation Engines, and Cultures of Business Development Success’ it’s written by Mike Schultz and John Doerr. One paragraph pretty much sums up the Number One issue preventing firms from achieving consistent growth.  Have a read: ‘It's common for firms to throw down the gauntlet with a big, hairy, audacious goal (BHAG) for revenue growth.  But while they might have the eyes for growth, in the end many don't have the stomach. Serious growth usually requires serious investment in both marketing budget and time.   Even with proper investment, growth does not happen overnight.  The truth about marketing for professional services firms is that success requires patience and persistence to give the investment time to pan out. In the last six months, I’ve had more enquiries than ever from accountants marketing their services.  It reflects the growing number of firms, used to steady year on year growth, who now find income falling.  Naturally, the majority want growth quickly, and they don’t want to spend too much time or money getting it.  Sadly, that's very rarely possible. Selling accountancy Services pic            Few firms invest the time or money to allow their marketing to deliver. Over the 15-years I’ve spent in accountancy marketing I have worked with just a handful of ambitious firms prepared to pay the price for high growth.  The partners have a very different mindset to the other firms I’ve worked with. The Mindset of High Growth Firms They don’t play at marketing they dedicate themselves to it. They understand that it’s their marketing, not technical ability that will determine their personal wealth.  They invest in their future and improve their performance through training and lifelong learning. They accept, that if they want to substantially increase their future income, they have to pay in advance. The partners of the highest growth firm I’ve worked with, understood that they needed to find the investment to fund growth.  Some decided the only way this could happen was to reduce their income from the business.  Because they carefully measured the return of every pound invested and understood their clients lifetime value, they could see their future earnings rising. They avoid ‘Shiny Object Syndrom’ SOS Successful firms are guided by their ‘Return On Marking Investment’.  They measure the ‘ROMI’ on every marketing activity they try.  They focus on activity that produces the best ‘ROMI’. They don’t hop from one marketing fad to another, never investing the time or effort to deliver success. There are a host of tools available to win new business: telemarketing for accountants, online lead generations, seminars, and the list goes on.  The golden rule is to focus on activity that delivers the best return for you. If you have found this blog of interest, can you help me out? Please tell me below what return, per pound invested, you target from your marketing?  Do you base this return on 1st year fees or lifetime value?

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