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Report From The Association For Accounting Marketing Summit

13th Annual Association for Accounting Marketing Summit Attracts Over 300 Marketing ProfessionalsBy Lisa A.
Practice Management

Selective Selling: When Times Are Tough, Make Your Standards Tougher

By Dave Stein, The Stein AdvantageDon't take on just anyone as a client or customer. Consultant, trainer and author Dave Stein offers a wealth of insights on who to avoid . . . and why.If you're in the position of having to bring in new business, you might be feeling a bit desperate. We all know times are tough and money is tight. It may seem that now is the time to take on any business that comes your way. After all, you still have revenue targets to achieve, expenses to cover and stakeholders to whom you must account. Well, hold on to your hat.

Tips to Help You Become a Better Networker

In today's competitive business world, the more contacts you have..the more people who know about you, your firm and what we do, your talents and abilities...the more opportunities you will have. For some people, networking comes naturally. They actually have fun networking. However, for most of us, networking is a learned skill and one that needs practice in order to feel comfortable and be effective. Try these tips to give yourself a jump-start and enjoy the rewards of becoming a Master Networker. 1. Develop The Right ATTITUDEYou have to want to make the effort!

Selling Against Goliath: How to Take On the 'Big Guys' and Win

Consultant, trainer and author Dave Stein shares some trade secrets on qualification and strategic competitive selling. Are you a salesperson representing a smaller company that competes against the "big guys?" If so, you probably find yourself feeling like the underdog in the age-old tale of David and Goliath. And-the story's biblical outcome notwithstanding-you've probably noticed that in today's hyper-competitive business world it's usually Goliath who trounces David. Sigh. Am I fighting a losing battle? you wonder.

Infuse Your Marketing Plan With Measurable Activity

By Lisa Rhatigan, Vice President Operations and Consulting, The Whetstone Group, Inc.It happens in accounting firms everywhere – partners tell you they want a positive substantiated ROI from their marketing efforts, but then allocate the majority of their marketing budgets to activities that can’t be measured. From memberships dues and advertisements to event sponsorships and the traditional catchall category “client meals and entertainment,” marketing plans everywhere are full of activities that, while valuable, can rarely be substantiated.
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Dynamic Intuition: A Strategy for Business Success in the 21st Century

Submitted by J. RussellLooking for the next new business idea? It is a strategic process that works in a down economy, a stagnant economy and an up economy. It works in all economies because it concurrently focuses the company in two directions—inward (core competencies) and outward (marketplace definition) while empowering employees. When looking at the marketplace, it calls for the company to examine the future and look outside the norm.The status quo of business today is change. Accordingly, any modern business strategy must be dynamic and embrace change.
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17 Ways To 'Retool' For Successful 21st Century Selling

Consultant and executive coach Dave Stein shows how to master the art of selling in a book that is enjoyable to read and filled with practical advice. Selling no longer means what it once did. Quick communication and instant access to information-i.e., the Internet-have created a brave new world for sales professionals. This "infoglut" means they must take on the job of sorting, interpreting, and winnowing the facts and presenting what's relevant to a client's bottom line. And there have been other big changes in the world of selling. Competition is fierce. Hype is rampant.
Community News

Seinfeld on Marketing For Professional Services Firms

by Allan S. Boress, CPA, CFE"Hey -- Did you hear the one about the guy who set up his kids' educational trust funds as tax exempt corporations because he knew that if any college accepted his children as students it would be pure charity on their part?"It's no wonder that you won't see stand-up CPAs on HBO.

Are You Providing Your Clients With The 'Right Kind of Counsel'?

By IntuitAdvisorThere are almost 17 million small businesses in the United States, (U.S.

Ten Steps to Branding Your Firm

by Terri M. Sommella, Sommella Market StrategiesStudies show that 75% of firms are either in the process of a branding campaign or are considering one. Why? Succinctly put, branding creates differentiation and client loyalty. It is the purposeful development of a personal relationship between the client and the product or service. A brand is not all consuming but rather, represents a piece of the whole, one aspect of the firm.
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Consulting Spin-Offs Bring Ad Campaigns and Salary Cuts

As several Big Five firms prepare to spin off their consulting units, a pattern of belt tightening seems to be emerging to accommodate the huge investments in advertising and public relations needed to choose new names and create new brands.
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Selling to Your Existing Clients

by Allan S. Boress, CPA, CFEOne of the biggest problems most professional firms have in selling is that they wait for their clients to approach them about additional service needs, rather than seeking them out proactively. This is especially sad, as there are so many more ways you can help your clients than ever before.
Community News

Create a Compelling Mission Statement For Your Firm

Most individual or corporate mission statements contain industry buzzwords, are so complex that no one can recite them, and do nothing to inspire. The more elaborate it is, the less likely it is understood and remembered. Having a clear and concise mission statement for yourself and your Company becomes your guiding compass as you journey through life.Your mission is larger than a job.Ideally your job will align with your mission. For example, you could be employed as a teacher while your mission is education.
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Marketing Tip - An Opportunity You Can’t Afford to Miss!

With the recent Enron scandal and the industry eager to restore public confidence, big changes are likely ahead for firms that provide financial reporting services to public companies. Just recently, the AICPA Board of Directors approved a resolution to support prohibitions on auditors of public companies from also providing financial systems design, implementation and internal audit outsourcing.

Pennsylvania CPAs Promote Services Past April 15

The Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs (PICPA) recently rolled out an innovative program designed to help accountants promote their services beyond the April 15th deadline for personal income tax returns. As part of the program, PICPA makes available on its website a simple quiz on personal finance that was used in a Harris poll for the National Council of Economic Education.
Community News

Your Sales Prescription: The 'I Hate Selling' Action Plan

Excerpted from: The "I HATE Selling" Book, by Allan S. Boress, CPA, CFEEven with your busy schedule, you must create the time to sell new business by meeting clients, prospective clients, and referral sources for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Set appointments today for the next four weeks. Do not be afraid to set these kinds of appointments for far in the future - your most precious asset is time and you need to plan these meetings.Technical skills are not enough anymore; to succeed in the long run, you have to bring in new business.

Stop Looking - Start Listening For Your Next Selling Opportunity

Selling is the most advanced form of communication. It requires the utilization of all of our senses. Although you may feel the greatest barriers to your selling performance may be attributed to having the wrong product, closing techniques, presentation tools or even the wrong prospects, consider that the foundation of successful selling is based on how well you listen. The ability to actively listen has been proven to dramatically improve the capabilities of a professional salesperson. Ironically, listening is the least developed skill amongst salespeople.

Ten Characteristics of Successful Firms

"Well done is better than well said." -- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) Leadership - in the profession and in treatment of co-workersCommitment - to meaningful values and to successProfit sharing - people who own something work to make it succeedCelebration - small milestones and victories should be cheered, tooClear vision - know where you want to go and when you want to get thereAppreciation of effort - a pat on the back often means more than moneyPositive work environment - applaud
Community News

Make Marketing An Investment…Not Overhead

If your firm has more than five partners, the likelihood is that you have an administrative person serving in the role of marketing coordinator or marketing director. Marketing is an investment activity, not a bottom line profit center, and hiring a good marketing director is part of a long term investment strategy. Well managed investments increase firm value and partner income.
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Leveraging busy season discussions to nurture relationships

By: Terri M. Sommella, President, Sommella Market StrategiesThis time of year, accountants spend many hours a day talking to clients, prospects and referral sources. Did you know that busy season discussions can be leveraged to enhance your effectiveness as an advisor and nurture existing relationships? By incorporating a few open-ended questions into busy season conversations, you can elevate the value of the dialog. Open-ended questions usually begin with newspaper reporter's questions: Who, what, when, where, and why.


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