Marketing

Newsletters - What does yours say about you?

The only reason to create a newsletter is to make money by selling goods or services. What's spent on producing literature must show a return. Otherwise, it's money flushed down the drain. If your readers wouldn’t call you when they miss an issue, chances are your marketing dollars are better spent somewhere else.Your newsletter can make your company appear professional, human and established. To do that, keep these ideas in mind:Write for your readers’ level. Don’t talk down to them and don’t technospeak above their head.

Holiday Gifts ARE What They're Wrapped up to be

The season of giving gifts continues. A story recently ran on AccountingWeb discussing the need to match the right gift to the right person.Thought needs to be given as well to how you present the present. For example, if you are sending perishable goods, you need to ensure the company sending the gift provides more than lip service when it comes to wrapping and shipping. Nothing's worse than sending a fruit basket just to find out the fruit arrived crushed.Here are some tips.

Thank Those Clients

‘Tis the season to be jolly! Once a year gifts can send a nice message to clients. They simply say, “We appreciate you and your business.” So, what should you send?You could send a card that is designed especially for you. The cost for this is minimal for design and the printing costs often are less than buying a commercial holiday card. Want to add a little something to your card? Make a donation on behalf of your clients and let them know the receiving organization in your card.

Are You Writing Well For The Web?

You’ve been to sites where the first page is text, text, text, right? Well, don’t be one of those sites. Writing for the web is different than writing for print. Think about your own web surfing habits. Do you read each line? Or do you skim and hop to the content for which you are looking?So what do you need to know? First, keep your writing personalized and interesting. If your reader doesn’t see something that grabs them, they will simply click onto something else. Let your firm’s style and personality show through your writing.

Keeping Score

If you play sports it’s very easy to know how you’re doing. Just check the score. In selling there is no program or scorecard. Sure, you can check your sales figures, but selling may take several calls. Unless we make a joint sales call, we have no one to ask., “How’d I do?” Until we get the order, how do we know how we’re doing? Let’s keep score in a different way.The 80/20 rule. You can tell the quality of the sales call by who is doing the talking. If your customer is doing 80% of the talking and you’re talking 20% give yourself some points.

Speed Skiing

I recently met an Olympic skier. He set the Canadian record for skiing in 1992. His feat was speeding down a mountain at 135 M.P.H. He went from amateur skier to Olympic skier in 5 years. If I make it sound easy, it wasn’t. His was the story of an ordinary skier who became an extraordinary one. The story of his training to replicate competitive skiing conditions and improve performance was incredible, amusing and harrowing.

Let Me Show You What I’m Worth

We all want to keep our competition out of our business, but we need to do more than wish to make it happen. Showing what we’re worth and getting it is a process that can keep your competition out. It’s like buying “customer insurance.” (If only we could!) You make it harder for your competitor to steal your business by raising the value bar and documenting what you do.

Sales Tips That Work

Here are a few tips that really work!After you’ve presented your proposal, overcome all the objections, and discussed possible solutions, an easy and friendly way to help the prospect make the deal is to ask, “Where do we go from here?” This question is non-threatening and will prompt the prospect.State a time limit when you make an appointment with a prospect. If you tell the prospect that you only need 15 minutes of their time, be sure to leave after 12 minutes unless the prospect invites you to stay longer.
Practice

The Right Client

You know who they are. They pay on time. They aren’t a hassle. You don’t want to hide under the desk when they call. They pay you for your time and don’t squabble about the fee (most of the time). They are called “A” clients.Do you know who your “A” clients are? Are you providing them with superior service and adding that little “extra” that will keep them coming back to you (for computer services, consulting and every other product you sell)? If you aren’t throwing added-value services their direction, it may be because you spend too much time with marginal clients.

Permission Marketing

As a marketing director, I’ve been practicing “permission marketing” for years now. I just didn’t have a name for it. Enter Seth Godin, author of Permission Marketing and vice president of direct marketing for Yahoo!. While I thought I was being polite, what I was really doing was asking my prospects for permission to market to them (I’ve never been the pushy type).
Technology

Why Web Sites Fail

Now that your firm has an online presence, you may think it’s time to sit back and watch the prospects roll in. Think again. Your marketing efforts are more important than ever.According to the Ecom Advisors, the biggest problem with web sites is unrealistic expectations. They say that businesses think if they spend $100, they will earn $150 the next quarter. They caution owners that it doesn’t work that way; you may not see results for 12 to 24 months.The reason sites fail is equally as simple.

Objects In The Mirror Are Closer Than They Seem

We all know that sales success depends on keeping our prospecting funnel filled with qualified buyers. Sometimes, we get in our own way, or at least our call reluctance does. Our call reluctance is a result of our perceptions. It is like our car mirrors on the passenger side which give us a distorted view of the road. We need the distortion to improve our driving visibility. Unlike the mirror, call reluctance doesn’t help our selling. We can deal with call reluctance by changing our perception and our behavior.

Marketing Tips – Are you talking benefits?

When you present your proposal (and you need to present your proposal as opposed to faxing or couriering it so you can overcome objections), is your prospect talking price? Yes? Then you need to start talking benefits. The benefit of working with your firm over another firm is why your prospect wants to work with you. Did you ask him or her what was important when you made the initial contact call? Do you know why he/she is interviewing accounting firms?
Practice Management

The Product We Sell

If someone asked you what you sell, what would you say? Oil, chemicals, whatever product you sell, right? We really sell something so much bigger than the products and services our customers pay us for. In small dollar sales the customer is less conscious of value. With larger sales, the product and the resulting relationship with the buyer are harder to separate…so you are selling yourself.What makes up a relationship that adds value to your products? Our credibility, reliability, and anticipation of customer needs are the keys to a successful relationship.
Practice Management

Banner Ads are Five Years Old: Are They Already Dead?

Believe it or not, the banner ad you see on many popular Web sites is five years old ... but have the candles all blown out on this advertising medium, once touted as the newest way to reach mass audiences?Experts at the eretailing '99, a conference sponsored by shop.org, believe there are better ways to reach consumers and steer traffic to the Web.
Practice

Customer Service is a Core Value, not a Core Chore

Take Marketing 101 and the textbook will tell you that good customer service is one of the primary components of any operation, but what about customer service within CPA firms or CPA-owned businesses?It shouldn't be any different.
Practice Management

CPA Firm Marketing Done Through E-mail Newsletters

Sometimes, the most inexpensive marketing techniques make the most impact, like the e-mail newsletter. Sure, all of us get some form of news bulletins via e-mail, so how do you make your newsletter different … and really stand out from the crowd?The trick is customizing your content and truly making the newsletter seem personal rather than spam mail.
Practice

The Biggest Myth In Sales

Did you hear the one about great salespeople being great talkers? They have the gift of gab and they dazzle their customers into buying anything. Some salespeople even believe it. It’s the biggest myth in sales. Here’s how it got started and why it is a myth.News travels fast. The poor salesman seems to leave a more lasting impression on the customer than the great salesperson, who makes selling look easy. Poor salespeople get remembered for their excessive talking and the word gets around.
Practice

PR Strategies

A strong public relations program can help your firm in many ways. It helps extend your advertising efforts, it lends credibility, and it helps brand your firm’s image in the marketplace. PR also can inspire your employees and reassure clients they are working with a world-class firm.Here are a few strategies to boost your PR program.Press ReleasesSet a goal of writing one press release a month. You can write about product changes and improvements; new employees, service awards, board of director nominations; and more.

Newsletters – To Have Or Not To Have

Newsletters are not inexpensive to produce or buy. A typical newsletter will cost a firm thousands of dollars per year to produce and mail. Make sure you are getting the most bang out of your newsletter buck!Why have one?If you have signed onto the newsletter bandwagon because your competitor had one, step back and analyze whether your newsletter is getting results. Do you hear from your customers more after an issue hits the mail? Do you have a fax-back from that allows your clients to easily reply to an article or other non-urgent subject?

Pages