Learn How to Drive Better Accounting Sales & Get Customers
Looking to transform your CPA firm, tax business or accounting practice from low-paying, transactional customers to a much more consultative, pro-active retainer based business model? That's exactly what I'm going to cover here. I have over 1.5 Million Youtube Views and I cover this extensively on my Youtoube Channel. The Bottom of this page has some of my most popular Accounting Practice Youtube Videos at the footer of this article.
What are the best marketing ideas for CPA, Tax and Accounting firms?
How can tax firms and accountants get more business customers?
How can CPA firms get new customers using their website, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Linkedin Ads and more?
What are the best marketing ideas for CPA and Accounting Firms?
What's the key to getting retainer clients in a Tax and Accounting business?
How can CPA's close more sales and build their client base?
How can Tax Professionals increase their billable hours?
Sales & Marketing Best Practices for CPA Tax and Accounting Firms.
If you're a CPA, Accountant or bookkeeping company, you should check out what it means to move from the more transactional business model, to what I coined as being an "Outsourced Accountant".
I'm going to share with you how I dominated the local Certified Public Accounting firms in Minneapolis when I grew our little firm to nearly $1 Million in RECURRING revenue, by having about 100 companies paying us retainers at average of $800/month to do perform this outsourced accounting model.
4 Ways to Dominate as a CPA Tax and Accounting Firm:
A Little Back Story
Price wasn’t an issue with our clients.
Nick was the CPA, and I was the consultant and sales rep.
Nick did the taxes, bookkeeping and accounting. I helped prospect, run the meetings, build our value proposition and conveyed the value we would provide.
In the first 2 years I probably connected with 300 business owners, and I learned a ton.
We hit about 150 small business clients in the 3rd year, and I got it to a point where I was able to bring in high paying retainer clients faster than they could onboard them.
Each of these new customers were with another accounting firm or tax person before coming to us, and they were running eagerly into our loving arms, usually to pay 2-3 times more for our services.
Business owners were GENUINELY eager to hand extra money over to us, and leave their other accountant.
It wasn’t fair to the competition for a number of reasons, but in short, we simply outgunned them in 4 critical areas.
I remember in the second year I took a call from a business owner that said they were tired of their tax person because they were paying way too much – which was about $1,500 a year for tax returns. By the time they were done with us, they were paying over $800 a month and are still great clients at the old firm.
This isn’t juicy sales copy, this isn’t an attempt to pressure you into buying my outsourced accountant course; it’s to help you know that there’s a better way.
You can do what I did, and I’m here to help you understand exactly how to do this.
Lets unbox the three things that gave me an advantage over my competitors.
Feedbackwrench Helps Tax & Accounting Firms!
We help accountants, CPA’s, Bookkeepers and Tax Professionals build what we call an “Outsourced Accounting Firm”. I’ve put together a video course that shows exactly how to do this, and we build fast, high-ranking websites for firms including small individuals to larger companies. Also, we love to help CPA's and accountants of any size setup Paid Search ads that dominate the local area and drive sales, as well as helping with Small Business Search Engine Optimization.
Keep reading to learn more about how to grow a tax and accounting firm.
1 – A Superior Value Proposition
Tax returns & bookkeeping are a commoditized service, and every business owner hates that they have to perform these duties, let alone pay someone to do it.
Taxes are government theft, and the only good thing about bookkeeping, is that we can run our businesses better because of the financial insights we gain from it.
You must create a better value proposition.
Accountants SUCK at identifying, conveying and understanding value.
They often think in terms of costs, not value.
It’s literally part of their job to account for the costs of things, and they’re often hard-wired against believing the excuse given for the value of and expense in a business.
If you want a successful business, you need to start building a more valuable service. You need to craft messaging and presentations about this value, and then put into practice these valuable services.
What do business owners value?
What valuable advice, strategy and tactic can you advise and implement for a customer?
What service is the most valuable to their efficiency and operations?
I’m not going to drone on here, this is meant to be VERY helpful and to the point.
Business owners want the following:
Protection against the government
I’m only kind of kidding here.
Business owners have a desire to keep more of their hard-earned money and invest it into their own endeavors rather than the next government program, war, or bailout.
They desire mitigated taxes, but we also need to remember that just like icky medicine, sometimes things we don’t like in the moment are actually good for us.
Business owners, after you spend some time discussing things with them, will value the following:
Mitigating their taxes – pay their fair share and not a penny more
Build financial momentum – help them get rich and earn a great ROI
Avoid hiring unnecessary staff – if hiring you means they don’t hire 2 additional staff, they’re usually up for that
Increase staff efficiency – staff efficiency and saving their time is the most valuable thing you can provide
Mitigate risks – business owners don’t want to get screwed when they draw the short stick. When they see their business owner friend get sued and not have liability insurance, or they get a disability and cannot do what they did before, this is incredibly bad.
Keep them Compliant – when the government comes knocking, they want things to have been done properly so they don’t lose everything
I like these value propositions, and our clients really liked these value propositions.
These are the value propositions that I was able to create for my clients, and it stemmed from my time as a financial planner.
One of the things our Outsourced Accountant courses will reveal is how to uncover stupid amounts of value and portray them well to the client.
2 – Superior Sales Funnel Approach
Another way that I was able to help our little accounting firm dominate was that I understood the math of a sales pipeline.
10 interactions = 1 connect meeting
10 connect meetings = 2 interested
10 interested = 3 customers
I didn’t even do this very well, but it was something that I learned in the financial planning and insurance markets.
Front End Activity is a Precursor to Sales Success.
You have to get lots of front-end activity in order to drive enough meetings and fill your sales funnel, it’s all about front end activity to hit your sales goal.
After you start to realize this, it really becomes a little bit of a numbers game.
In a lot of ways, it just turns into a game of baseball. You’re going to have to swing the bat at 10 different balls, and you’re probably going to hit between one and three of them. If you hit 1 to 3 of them, you’re gonna be able to get on base a handful of times, and after that, you’ll be able to actually make it home a fraction of those times.
Essentially, you start to realize that front end activity is what will fuel your business.
We had the opportunity to really embrace this idea because I spent all of my time either calling on new people, networking with business owners, or creating online content that served as a virtual meeting.
It’s really hard for anyone to be able to prospect and get enough from an activity to have success at sales, and it’s even harder for somebody who isn’t necessarily excited about prospecting, sales or even being an extrovert. You’re going to have to be careful and not let your propensity for accounting work get in the way of the activity that will actually lead to success.
How to Prospect:
Create a list of everyone you know that might be a good prospect
Join BNI and start to get to know them
Hit up every real estate brokerage in town and run lunch and learns
Call business owners and ask them if they would like to grab coffee
Join an association for trades, like the landscapers association, the electricians, plumbers etc, and then intersect and advertise with them a great deal
Run advertising to have “virtual” conversations
We’ll dive more into how to do digital marketing and expand this, but for now, I’ll just tell you that you need to interact with people, share what you do, find ways to ask for meetings and make phone calls to people to see if they’d be interested.
DO NOT FEAR REJECTION
Know that if you ask 10 people, 1 will be interested. Once you get 10 interested and run those meetings, 2-3 will want to move forward. I hate this attitude, but it’s true, that just getting through the no’s will lead to a yes.
That probably made you sick to your stomach just thinking about it, but let me share something with you. NOBODY DOES THIS, and if you do this, you’ll be able to completely dominate the local markets.
If you prospect and call, outreach and network enough to get 1 new prospecting meeting on the books each day, then 2, you’ll have a successful practice before you know it.
3 – Superior in Person Salesmanship.
I’m gonna talk a little bit about what it means to be a great sales person, but I want you to know that we were chomping at the bit to get the opportunity to perform analysis for our customers.
I was chomping at the bit to analyze and find S-Corp Opportunities.
The reason why we were so excited to perform this analysis, was because it fueled us every time we were able to find tax savings that hadn’t been realized yet, financial habits that needed to be molded, and business in-efficiencies that could be conquered by our services.
We couldn’t wait to walk in and find people that should be S Corps, that didn't have retirement plans open, that were wasting time and staff doing mediocre accounting stuff. We knew that we would be able to find value and help them out, which would inevitably lead to them handing over their hard earned money for us to make their lives better.
Seriously, you should be ITCHING to get into people’s finances so you can add a ton of value, help them reduce their taxes and help them build more financial momentum.
The S-Corp, Real Estate and Retirement Plans alone can make you invaluable to anyone.
When you bump into that business owner that’s been a schedule C for decades, and you realize that they’ve been overpaying 7k a year in Self Employment taxes, you’ll quickly realize that these people DESERVE BETTER SERVICE.
Get excited about sales because the competition SUCKS and they’re really ripping off their clients by not helping them with good pro-active advice and life-giving services.
Don’t be passive, get excited and start to prospect.
What makes a superior salesperson? Great open-ended questions.
I almost hate saying that it’s really all about great questions, because great questions are just a tool to create a connection and dialogue that’s fruitful, open, helpful and authentic.
You’ll want to develop the ability to probe, engage and perform a number of things in a meeting.
Skills You Should Develop:
Frame up a question with a short presentation (10-60 seconds)
Probe and ask open ended questions that draw out of them
Listen really well, and document it (taking notes)
Reiterate that you understand what they’re saying
Send engaging non-verbals, look them in the eyes, listen with notes, ask deeper followup questions, probe!
Rather than telling them a problem they SHOULD have, share that “some people struggle with paying in their taxes throughout the year so they end the year without owing anything or getting a refund, have you ever had that happen to you? Would you like to have that kind of benefit?”
Great sales starts with showing genuine curiosity about the person and their world.
Identify what they value outside of work: family, social life, hobbies, dislikes, affinities etc. If they golf, hunt, work out, lift weights, watch a sports team, go to church, or any other activities. Find out what makes this person tick so you can more deeply understand what they value.
Great Probing Lines of Questions:
Discover the story of the business
Discover what’s really causing them trouble in their day and their business
Guide them through problems usually faced by folks in their shoes, but not leading them or pushing
Discover what they dream of, what they’re shooting for, and what success would look like for their wealth, family, life and business over the next 1, 5, 10 years and beyond
Properly map the accounting, payroll and bookkeeping process; how many staff, how many hours, how much tension there is behind the situation
What problems are you facing?
I know some problems often faced by business owners, are you facing them as well?
Have you been getting pro-active tax mitigation advice throughout the year or is it mainly just year end taxes?
How confident are you that you’re paying only your fair share in taxes, and you’re not leaving anything on the table?
How confident are you that your salary vs. distribution decision within your S-Corp is being done properly, while still optimizing for tax mitigation?
How confident are you that you’re not overpaying in fees in your investment accounts?
I’ve often said that the best value I ever provided to my old business partners was teaching them how to run an effective sales meeting, and prospecting in such a way that built our clientele up.
You need to work twice as hard as I ever did to build your abilities in sales and you’ll see that your business will flourish if you simply prospect and get really good at identifying what’s valuable to a client and serving as their guide to improve their lives.
4 – Superior Digital Marketing
The last thing that I was able to provide to Nuance financial is that I help them implement a superior digital marketing strategy.
You should check out our outsourced accounting course where you can learn exactly how to do digital marketing for your CPA firm, but here’s a couple of tidbits to help you today.
Digital Marketing Tips for Accountants:
Set yourself apart from the typical firm! Use video on landing pages to do this.
Build up more reviews than your competitors
Build an amazing website built to convert
Build a services page structure so you rank for the keywords that matter
Run paid search ads in a 20 mile circle to get business
Attach your Google reviews to those ads with a location extension to show your reviews
Use a small re-marketing campaign to show facebook ads to people who’ve been to your website before
Use video to convey subject matter in a meaningful manner so that people can easily digest complex ideas
You can optimize your website and your online presence to send trust signals and showcase all of the trust that you’ve earned, and you can definitely gain market share with paid search advertising with google ads and Bing ads.
What more CPA's don’t understand, is that if they commit to a monthly budget, and pour some money into buying leads, they can quickly drive results in their local areas.
CPA and Accounting Firm Digital Marketing #1
Get more Reviews than your competitors.
You're gonna want to try and get as many Google and Facebook reviews as possible because almost everything you do in your local area is going to trigger the Google my business and Bing places map. It sounds kind of funny, but Windows machines will use Microsoft Bing right out of the gate, and a less sophisticated user won't even know that they are not using Google because they have worked hard to make sure the Bing looks almost identical to the Google search engine results pages.
Setup Google My Business
Setup Bing Places
Get More Reviews than your competitors
What benefits are associated with having the most Google Reviews?
You'll Rank Higher on Google Local Map Pack, Google will eventually favor you and help you show up more often and higher in the results
People searching competitors will see your reviews underneath their GMB profile, and you'll "steal clicks"
You'll close more sales, because you'll be sending better trust signals, and people trust reviews much like they would a referral from a friend
Google Ads can drastically improve by attaching a location extension, which will put your Google reviews in your ad.
Here's how Nuance Financial Stands Out on Google Maps by having the most reviews.
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