Marketing

A&A

Tips on Conducting a Successful Firm Summit

by L. Gary Boomer, CPA, Boomer Consulting, Inc.I am sure your first question is "why a firm summit and not a retreat?" Retreat gives the connotation of looking to the past and moving backwards. Summit sounds "grander" and should involve a broader base of participants. It also is the beginning of the process that will differentiate your firm from the competition. The purpose of a firm summit is to bring leaders and members of a firm together along with outside expertise and facilitation in order to create strategies for improving the firm.
Practice

How To Get Better Client-Centered Referrals

To get the best referrals, you need more than naturally occurring word-of-mouth. You need to have a program to actively elicit referrals from a number of services.You may think that clients will just give you referrals because they like you or your service. However, it doesn’t always happen this way. To have a top practice, you must do more than produce good work and wait for referrals to follow. Some clients are more likely to give referrals than are others. When you identify someone who is liberal with their referrals, cultivate them.
Community News

Practice Differentiator: Written Guarantee To Clients

Brown Smith Wallace, LLC, a locally-owned CPA and business consulting firm in Missouri, has completed a re-branding process, which includes issuing a written guarantee to reinforce the values, traditions, and commitment to their clients.

Keys to Successful Customer Service

Customer service skills are for retailers, not accountants, right? Wrong. Whether you sell shoes, surfboards or your skills or your firm's skills, your business depends on paying customers ... and the only way to keep customers is to provide them with friendly, helpful and professional service.If you remember only one customer service rule, make it the Golden Rule: treat your clients the way you would want to be treated yourself.
Practice

Life as a CPA: Business Development

By, Melinda Guillemette, Marketing ConsultantAfter all the business development buzzwords and tactics (web sites, brochures, seminars, articles, speeches, coaching, motivating, compensating and on and on) have dulled to a whisper, a few simple things remain. It boils down to a few fundamentals to understand about life as a public accountant, and a few outcomes that will result. Here are ten everyday realities about being a professional in a CPA firm:Know that being a good accountant means a lot more than understanding the technicalities.
Practice

Introducing a New Service: Putting the Cart Before The Horse?

If you work for a firm that is contemplating offering a new service, consider using the expertise of your marketing director from the beginning. While a new service may seem like a good idea, you may not have the market for it. It’s also a good idea to have a clear strategy as to how to get the market it once the new service is in place, and this is where your marketing director’s knowledge will become invaluable.Don’t surprise your marketing director with the news of, "We’re introducing this new service.
Community News

Make Your Marketing Brochure Worthwhile

Designing a brochure for marketing purposes is a delicate balance between creativity and a narration of what exactly your company does. Before you run the risk of turning out a brochure that has no direction make sure you have the right professionals in place to put your brochure together.A brochure is a great way to introduce a new service to clients (the service becomes a tangible in their minds when they can see it and read about it).
Practice Management

How to Use Referrals

Reprinted with Permission from By Kerry L. Johnson, Ph.D. It's Carl's sixteenth cold call. He's had fifteen rejections in a row. "There must be a better way," he says to himself. "I might as well be calling right out of the telephone book." As he dials, his secret hope is that he'll get either a busy signal or no answer. He wonders if there's a job that doesn't create so much emotional distress. There has to be a better way!If you're still making cold calls to get business, you undoubtedly don't enjoy it. There is a better way. Learn how to use referrals.
Community News

The Value of Proactive Service

Clients want a proactive accountant. They want you using your expertise to look out for their interests and bring them benefits that they didn’t know to ask for. By being proactive, you show your initiative and you create added value.Reactive service gives you fewer opportunities to thrill clients. You have to wait until they ask for something. When you reach out, you not only have more control, you get more credit for taking the initiative. Proactive service thrills clients.For instance, at the new Park Hyatt Hotel in Japan, many staff members have two-way radios.
A&A

E-Mail Marketing Help For Small Business

Press ReleaseThe U.S. Small Business Administration and Topica Inc., have announced a series of free, live online “webinars” about e-mail marketing strategies, entitled “E-mail Marketing for Small Business.” The first of the 60-minute webinars will be held September 3, at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).

Frustrations of a Rainmaker - There’s More Than One Way to Make a Splash!

By, Gale Crosley, CPAIf you’re like most rainmakers, you are happiest when the skies open up and opportunities pour down faster than you can reach out and grab them. And you are most frustrated when you see others seemingly unable to do what’s relatively effortless for you. Understanding why this occurs is the first step to eliminating frustration. But you also may wish to consider a paradigm shift that involves changing your perception of "who can make rain," breaking business-building into component parts that can be championed by many.
Practice

Networking Made Simple - Develop New Business Opportunities

Networking is an important way to develop new business opportunities, yet for many professionals it's their least favorite marketing activity. These pointers can help you network better and get results. Listen, don't talk. Don't drink. This is business. Choose your opportunities. Hunt where the ducks are. Don't be generic. Rehearse a 30 second pat statement that reveals some details about who you are as a person, what you do for a living, and what your firm specializes in. Target only one person at each event and get to know them well.

Words, Words, Words, Diluting Value – One Cliche at a Time

By Bruce Marcus, author of The Marcus LetterIt’s amazing how quickly important words become jargon, and how soon after that their meanings become diluted and distorted. Marketing -- particularly professional services marketing – seems to cherish words and phrases that originally had substantive value and meaning, but have now been diluted and turned to mush. Their value as describers of sound marketing practice has been completely diminished.
Community News

Building Name Recognition to Attract New Business

Fundamentally, there are two ways to sell services.You can go to the market and try to influence companies to buy your services. Or, you can get the market to come to you and ask for help, which is usually preferable to non-professional sales people.The big question is: With all the competitors in the marketplace, how do I get companies to seek out my firm?Building your firm’s name recognition is the key. The market can’t come to you if it doesn’t know you.There are four stages name recognition.
Practice

How to Differentiate Your Services

When potential clients are shopping around, how can your services stand out? Try these top 10 tips to increase your sales.Begin by differentiating your services or products by who you and your company are.What differentiates you? More training, more experience, better methods, a better team?
A&A

How To Build Unique Referrals

To get more and better business leads, network with those clients you already have a relationship with. Create a referral form.A fill-in-the-blank referral form that is distributed quarterly to the names on your database is guaranteed to land leads. To help customers zero in on appropriate prospects, ask questions that relate to your niche: "Whom do you know who's retiring in five years? Who just bought a new home? Who's launched a business?" Send a thank you note to everyone who sends you a referral.
A&A

Reality TV Meets Small Businesses Later This Month

While many Americans continue to feast on the likes of American Idol, The Bachelor, Fear Factor and the other new "reality" television shows, one show will try to make its way by following the challenges of a small business owner as he tries to accomplish his dream of running a family restaurant.The Restaurant is a six-episode series, debuting July 20, that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the life and struggles of real life chef Rocco DiSpirito as he creates, launches
Community News

Strategies For Communicating With Your Clients

By Sandra L. Wiley, Boomer Consulting, Inc.Congratulations! You accomplished the first step towards success in your company, you have clients! So… now what?Everyone knows that retaining current clients is MUCH easier than finding new ones, or is it? Have you put some serious thought into how you are going to keep those clients you worked so hard to get? Retention requires attention! You will only keep clients if you continually provide them with ongoing value that not only satisfies them, but bonds them to your company!
Community News

Two Accounting Industry Veterans Inducted Into Marketing Hall of Fame

Two accounting veterans who made landmark contributions as business partners in the "early days" of accounting marketing, and then individually for the past ten years, were again paired up as this year's inductees into the accounting marketing Hall of Fame.August Aquila and Allan Koltin were named to the Hall of Fame at the Association of Accounting Marketing Conference in Boston last week.August Aquila became the first accounting firm marketing director in the United States t

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