If You Don't Ask...

Marketing can indeed help your firm build its brand and establish its reputation, but if you are expecting these efforts to drive new business you need to take one more step. It is essential that you ASK for it! During today's CBS news report by Joe Connolly of the Wall Street Journal, Joe said that savvy professionals are no longer ending their seminars and presentations with the typical: "Do you have any questions?" Instead they are finishing with, "Is there anything I can do to help you?" They are literally taking the conversation to the next level by asking for business rather than leaving it to chance.

How many times have you met with a referral source or prospect - had a great discussion - only to leave the meeting without a plan for the next step? All too often if you are anything like most CPAs. Try a new approach next time. Before you leave the table, ask, "How will we follow up today's meeting?" Then quickly review the progress you made, the items you have talked about, the areas you have agreed upon. Finally lay out a brief plan for the next series of action items you can embark on together.

It could be as simple as, "May I call you next week to discuss your company's needs in more detail?" Whatever it is, be prepared to present a structured approach and to find specific areas where you can be a solution or a resource to the challenges raised.

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Sally Glick, CMO, Principal, Marketer of the Year in 2003 and AAM Hall of Famer in 2007, will lead a lively discussion of the constantly expanding roles of marketing and the professional marketers that drive this initiative in accounting firms of all sizes.

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