Do you want clients streaming into your office rather than having to tracking them down? Yep, so do I.
Some of the best advice I’ve ever received, in terms of enhancing organic growth, is as follows: 1) Differentiate your firm and 2) Surpass client expectations. These tips truly go hand-in-hand. The best firms, those that have differentiated themselves from the pact, are those that are going above and beyond in terms of client service.
For those looking to enhance an already strong client service model, or if you need to do some major revamping, these tips will help:
- Become a non-traditional accounting firm — While you may provide traditional accounting and tax services, you become a non-traditional firm by providing those services within the “new” culture—one that is technology-driven, where firm leaders embrace creative marketing and understands how to promote a strong brand image. Clients tend to view CPAs as stuffy or boring. The profession gets a bad rap here because, fact is, there are many progressive firms out there. Be one of the new firms; be different; let your personality come out. And then allow your clients to see you and tell all their friends.
- Enhance your current offerings — If offer business tax preparation, rename it “business tax savings” service. If you offer annual compiled financial statements, promote it as an “annual financial checkup” service. Just by changing the name of the service and adding a simple step to the process, you are creating a lot more value for your clients, and have services different from your competitors.
- Talk about the personality of your firm — Everyone has a different personality, including your firm. What’s your team’s mantra? Theme? Rallying cry? Once you figure this out, talk about it in every possible channel: Facebook, Linkedin, blog, videos, and at association events. Your firm personality will make your firm stand out from the crowd when a potential client is looking for their CPA.
- Identify your three greatest-value services — And only do those three things. Whatever the solution is — whether its related to a particular type of client, a type of service, or a type of product – focus on those 3 things and don’t waiver from them. Don’t succumb to taking on just any client that comes through the door. That “anything work” can be done by “anyone.” Stick to the three services that you perform exceptionally well and build your client base around that work.
- Guarantee timeliness — I recall from my CPA exam days that financial information is useless unless it’s timely and reliable, so guarantee accurate, timely information for clients. Make sure you promote this aspect of service and how you and your staff stand by your work.
In differentiating your firm, you can speak in greater detail about the focused services you offer and the value of those solutions to clients. Furthermore, you no longer have to communicate to the masses, but rather can directly target to the businesses and people that you want to work with. From there, simply get your message out and let prospects know what separates you from the pact.
Adam Blitz, CPA, MA, has over 12 years of Accounting and Tax Experience, having received his CPA license in 2007 and worked in firms ranging from 8 to 150 people. Along with his experience consulting with clients on tax and accounting issues, Adam has a Masters in Leadership Studies and has authored a thesis entitled “The Leading CPA”. Adam has exposed the need to focus accountants on value rather than time. Over the last 5 years Adam has been regarded as a thought leader for the accounting profession in driving new technologies, business development imitatives, relationship management techniques, and process improvements into Accounting firms around the United States.
Adam has been featured in speaking events and articles with Accounting Today, AICPA, CALCPA, and AccountingWEB. hE HAS GUEST Blogged for several accounting firms and various companies looking to provide thought leadership for the accounting profession.
He currently sits on several professional boards including the AICPA Private Company Practice Services Forum and CALCPA Management of Accounting Practice Committee.