You Do More Than Taxes?

One of the biggest struggles for CPAs when it comes to winning new business is how best to promote their services. Many accountants feel uncomfortable when talking to new clients and prospects about what they do. They fear coming across as pushy or arrogant or so boring that their audience will just tune them out.

How can you naturally convey your expertise to clients in a way that will be heard?

The reality is that there is often a big gap between what clients think you do and what you can actually do for them. Herein lies the crux of the issue.

Many of your potential clients may be reluctant to hire you even though they really need an accountant with your expertise—especially when they don’t know how you can benefit them.  Most people, and some business owners, don't really know what accountants do or why they charge so much for their work. Even if you give your prospects a detailed list of the services you provide, they may not know what these actions and processes are nor why they and their business need them.

What your clients do want, however, is a solution to a pressing problem such as lack of time, a lack of understanding of complex tax rules and regulations, or the fear of a possible audit from the IRS. They want peace of mind.

If you want to successfully promote your practice, the first rule to keep in mind is that the focus of your message is not really about you- even when you are talking about your services and expertise. Your goal is to help your target audience care about what you do by making the whole interaction about them- how you can help them solve their problems. You are selling solutions.

Once you make that mental shift then everything will start to fall into place. You'll feel more comfortable and confident, too.

But how do you get there?

First, you have to consider the situation from your clients' perspective. You have to ask questions and understand their real problems so you can identify the solutions to provide them.

Then frame what you do around what they want and need. This means talking about your services, client experience and your background in terms of the benefits your clients receive. In other words, how you help others. 

You help them save time.  You make their financial position easier to understand, digest, and analyze. You help them operate more efficiently. You find ways to increase the bottom line.

The best thing about taking a benefit-driven approach is that it works whether you are engaging a prospect one-on-one or conducting a full-scale marketing campaign targeting many potential clients. Plus, it forces you to really get to know your ideal clients and be on top of any shifts in client preferences or demand.

By taking this approach not only will your promotional efforts be more compelling, it will also help you to develop your business down the road and that's no small thing. 

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Christine Nietzke