- Incorporate the points from above. These are basic client care issues.
Add in specialty services. This includes budgets, forecasts, valuations, succession and exit strategies, as well as general strategic growth needs.
Become the advisor to the CEO. If the prospect has a financial executive in place, you have to decide if that person is strong enough to be the relationship point for your firm or if you need to push for the CEO relationship.
- Address the items identified with the small and mid-size clients. The level of assistance needed will vary with each client's internal investment in support personnel. If they have specialist managing their interests, they may need less advisory direction from their accountant.
Position high-level assistance. Offer to help in areas such as mergers, acquisitions or divestiture strategies. Even if they have high-level support professionals in-house, your firm's experience with other clients may be valuable.
Become the advisor to the CFO. In a large prospect, the CFO should be your target because they normally are in a position of authority on financial matters. But its of great importance to realize that if you try to end run the CFO of a large company, they will do what they can to prevent you from getting in the door.
Examine the marketing cycle your firm should create. The Marketing Cycle graphic refers to ideas almost any firm should incorporate into their strategies. Each firm may have nuances, niches or hot topics that fall outside of the norm, but use this cycle as a guideline to build your firm's approach.
Bob Lewis is the founder of Visionary Marketing - a firm that helps CPA firms develop marketing strategies to target new clients, increase existing client revenues, and build referral partner networks. Visionary works with marketing directors, or becomes the marketing director for smaller firms. Mr. Lewis can be reached at 800.995.9186, blewis@ThinkVisionary.com or at www.ThinkVisionary.com.