Be Relevant

Common sense would say that the more frequently you can match your services with your clients' needs, the easier it will be for you to establish your expertise, enhance communication, build loyalty, and cross-sell effectively.  Understanding your clients' real world situation makes you a better advisor and enables more efficient marketing.

One area that impacts all clients is employee fraud.  The smaller the organization, the harder it is for them to absorb the losses, but they are targets just the same as the larger companies.  With that in ind, be sure to alert your clients of the findings of the Association of Certified Fraud examiners' (ACFE) regarding asset misappropriation, corruption or financial statement fraud.  Help them understand the importance of internal controls that will help to protect the company and discourage employees from committing fraud.

Vigilance can go a long way - and you can help your clients by reminding them of the red flags to watch for, and the importance of separation of duties. The more involved in the operations the owner is, the less likely the employees are to take advantage - and  fewer opportunities will present themselves with good oversight.

Just keep in mind that "marketing" does not need to equate to a hard "sell."  You can "market" to your clients by communicating important and relevant information that provides solutions for them. You can introduce them to services you offer by delivering information and resources that add real value.  Advising them on options for keeping their business safe and free from fraud is a great "marketing" tool. Consider other relevant messages as well - targeting various areas over time, perhaps including a discussiion on exit strategies, estate planning, philanthropy, leadership training, or other ideas they may need.

This blog

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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