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CPA - Accounting Firm Marketing Newsletter: How to communicate with prospects
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This CPA Marketing Tips Newsletter issue we take a look at what makes communication work for or against your objective of attracting qualified prospective clients to your firm and signing them onto your services.
This new approach has made significant difference in sales success and profits for practices round the globe... so it's something real and proven. Quite an eye-opener, if I say so!
CPA marketing communication: Creating that winning realization in the mind of the prospect
Marketing and sales are all about communication. Thus, the laws of communication have a lot to do with how successfully you can FIND new prospects and SIGN THEM ON as new clients.
Communication is not just "talking."
I can chew someone's ear off even if he doesn't hear or WANT to hear a word of what I'm telling him. I can tell him how great I am and how silly he would be not to make use of this opportunity that I am offering. It would still be communication but of course, it wouldn't get me anywhere.
It's only when you want your communication to cause a DESIRED EFFECT in your prospect that you need to PLAN your communication very wisely.
For like it or not, you always cause an effect with communication. In marketing, that effect is either FOR or AGAINST you.
To be RECEIVED, the communication has to be ACCEPTABLE for the receiver. This is where the traditional presentation -type marketing often goes awry.
Let me give you an example.
Let's say that I would want to interest accounting professionals to use my marketing consulting services. So, here's my sales pitch done the traditional way:
"Hello. My name is Harry Kafka. I have 25 years of experience in specialized marketing. I have serviced many multibillion corporations and even done a presidential campaign.
"I have received a lot of acknowledgment as a leading developer of new, effective marketing systems for industries that are commonly considered impossible to market inexpensively and with guaranteed results. I have worked with some two-thousand-plus accounting firms and practices.
"Now you have the opportunity to use my services to get an unfair competitive edge in your area and get new, year round clients every month with guaranteed 22% increase in your profits."
Now, if you would receive this kind of a message, how would YOU find it? IRRESISTIBLE?
Would you RUN to contact me, all eager to be helped by such an expert?
Right. Instead, you would dismiss it without a second glance.
I doubt you would even bother reading all of it.
I am TALKING ABOUT MYSELF all the time.
I'm aggrandizing myself, promoting my self-proclaimed excellence... boasting how great my expertise is and generally making an ass out of myself by asserting my own importance to you, the person who SHOULD be the most important one is this communication!
Thus, this violates the acceptability of my communication.
Once acceptability goes, there's absolutely NO hope of creating any INTEREST toward myself or my services.
And good manners went out the window from the word go...
Now, hand to heart... isn't this how the traditional doctrine of accountancy marketing TELLS you to do? They tell you to go out there and let everyone know how great you are, right?
And when you do... well, results speak for themselves.
All right, so is it wrong to make your achievements known, to attempt impressing prospective clients about the quality of your services and the level of your expertise.
No it isn't. That part is valid in any marketing doctrine.
It's only the way it's achieve where most go astray.
The successful way is NOT to say it, NOT to make any claims... but plan your communication so that your PROSPECT comes up with those ideas instead.
If that occurs then he WILL realise the high quality of your services and the unique expertise that you possess. Furthermore, he will TRUST those realisations (facts)... they were HIS ideas, after all, right?
CPA marketing communication: How to induce ideas to your prospective clients
So how do you achieve the seemingly impossible, have someone come up with the exact ideas you wanted him to realise?
Well, let's backtrack it. You need to figure out what you want your prospects to believe and then find out what information they need and what questions you must ask (and how do you create a circumstance in which this all is completely natural) so that what he ANSWERS is more or less the datum you wanted him to understand and associate with you.
Does this sound complicated? Well, it may be that way if you have to create the system... but it's really very simple once you HAVE the tool to do it. So simple in fact that almost anyone can use the tool and achieve the expected results!
But let's look at how to figure it out.
What interests your prospect most?
HIS OWN business, his own opportunities, his own problems... and above all, his own NEED OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT.
Like you, he has no desire to listen while I BRAG about my achievements.
Like you, he is not READY to accept HELP from anyone he doesn't know right on the first contact.
Like you, he will DISLIKE the fact that I, in my approach, actually TELL him that HE HAS A PROBLEM.
So you create a list of questions, ensuring they advance from an agreed-upon reality (HIS reality) on the subject matter to what he needs to realise to sign onto your services.
You would need to do some research first and interview a good number of decision-makers... and then create your tool and test that to find the correct sequence of questions and perfect each point of the interview so it takes the prospect onto the next level.. and so on.
Princples of CPA marketing communication
Prospects are valuable. We want to do all in our power to OBTAIN more qualified prospects and make a presentation that creates such a good impression that every prospect decides to sign on as a new client out of his or her own FREE WILL.
For that to occur, you need to work with some cunning in your advertising and presentation.
You cannot just SAY OUT LOUD those things that you want your prospect to believe and understand.
It doesn't work that way, like my little self-aggrandizing "message" in this issue shows. There's a sort of automatic rejection for information coming from another person, especially when we feel he has a vested interest in having us believe his data.
Thus, whatever you want to him to believe, DO NOT SAY IT OUT LOUD. I know it seems crazy but that's how it is.
To make him understand and BELIEVE that he should sign on, you need to say and ask something ELSE.
This something else has to be such that, once HE looks at it and answers the question, WILL RESULT IN A SELF-CREATED REALIZATION along the lines of what you want to convince him about.
You sort of "tickle" it out of him by being interested in his views and asking for his informed opinions and preferences on various aspects of accounting services, their usages, shortages, benefits and whatnots.
This is actually the insider secret of how some practices CLOSE 80 PERCENT OF THEIR PROSPECTS onto their accounting services at the FIRST MEETING with business owners.
I know you think it cannot be done. That's fine and I don't want to enforce any facts on you as it is vital that you evaluate things for yourself and trust your own instincts.
Yet whether or not you think it's possible, won't change the reality nor will it effect that huge closing rate of those practices.
The approach is gradual just the correct gradient, increasing interest as you go along.
The approach is innovative you only need to read out the ready questions and LET THE PROSPECT'S MIND DO THE REST: He will look at each of the subjects and form an opinion.
These opinions each BUILD on the previous ones... each in fact a small decision but so innocent that he won't even think of them as "decisions" but rather like realizations.
He will feel GOOD, in other words, quite clever and very comfortable... and so will YOU, of course, as things are going swimmingly!
This approach is COMFORTABLE for both for the accounting professional and the prospect. He will see it as receiving a very pleasant SERVICE from you instead of being sold to.
This the Client Requirements Interview in Part 4 of your Modern Accountancy Marketing Course and just one example of a multitude of ready-to-use tools for marketing communication.
You don't win clients by effort or might. All the money in the world won't guarantee success in signing on new clients.
But intelligent marketing communication tools will.
And if you venture to try these tools, you may find out how effortless it can be to let your PROSPECT do the talking, thinking and SELLING of your services!