“How can I win new clients?”
This is a common query by many CPA firms.
Because clients are the lifeblood of any CPA firm.
- Without clients, your business can’t grow
- Without clients, your business can’t keep afloat
- Without clients, your business can’t exist
So how can CPA firms gain new clients? Certainly, there is no magic bullet. There is nothing like do “X” and you will get businesses knocking down your door. Growing client base for small firms is easier said than done.
As the accounting industry continues to change and progress, so are the ways to acquire new clients. If you’re not staying on top of things and constantly tweaking your marketing strategies, your sales funnel can start to feel a bit light.
Here are five actionable ways to get new clients for a CPA firm.
1. Ask for referrals, don’t wait for them
Referral is one of the most important ways to acquire clients and new business – more than social media, email or online research. According to the Wharton School of Business, referred clients cost a lot less and have a higher potential for retention. In fact, referred clients have a 16% higher lifetime value than non-referred clients.
Most CPAs wait for referrals to come to them assuming that clients will pass along good word-of-mouth for their work. However, you can take proactive steps to get referrals through an email, in-person, online or even at the bottom of your invoice. It’s not awkward or pushy if you’ve earned it.
2. Tap into your clients’ network
Networking events are important if you know how to make the most of them. There are numerous opportunities to get your business noticed for free. In-person events allow you to get potential clients’ attention, which isn’t easy in the virtual environment. Make sure that you are prepared before attending a networking event.
Find out information about other attendees and speakers. It’s not always about getting as many business cards as you can, following up is important.
A thumb rule for networking is to consider any opportunity you get as an opportunity to schmooze. The more people who know about you, the faster your business will grow. Be patient and consistent.
3. Keep your marketing consistent
Effective marketing strategy implies executing a program which is running and consistent. It is important as you may not know which companies exist in the market for a new CPA firm and you would aim to be there at the right time.
Include an attractive and client-oriented newsletter in your marketing strategy and ensure that everyone on your potential client list receives a newsletter every time it is published.
4. CPAs are good – Trusted Advisors are better
According to the latest survey by Wasp Barcode of small business, respondents note things which bother them about their accountants:
- lack of guidance and advice offered
- not being pro-active
- failure to educate the company owner
Businesses consider accountants and CPAs more than someone who can crunch numbers. In the existing business landscape, where SMBs face many challenges like – ATO debt restrictions, government rules & regulations for access to credit – your firm should consider these as great opportunities to add value to their business.
Because of their knowledge, experience, and integrity, CPAs are perceived as trusted advisers and it is proven an effective way to acquire new clients.
5. Find businesses with the same approach to technology
Cloud isn’t a buzzword or a passing fad. Many companies have made a transition to cloud in the past few years. If your CPA firm is making use of cloud technology and there is a digital collaboration with the clients, you are already placed well to work with similar clients.
Market your services by emphasizing your love for the latest technology to the potential clients. Send them links to relevant tech stories. Invite them to innovation and tech conferences, which shows them that you understand their world. Make sure that you don’t spam their email boxes. Less is more.