The Simple 7-Step Online Success Formula For Professional Service Firms
Fully 95 percent of my CPA firm clients desperately want their web sites to produce high quality business leads, but they simply don't know how to make it happen.
Most have tried expensive web designers, graphic artists, "geeks" of every type and Google Adwords. In the end . . . the conclusion is almost universally the same, "You can't sell professional services over the internet."
To this I say, "BULL!"
| All Aboard the High-Velocity 2006 FRx Express! FRx Software has the engine fired up again to travel nationwide with timely training and expert guidance! Microsoft FRx and Microsoft Forecaster users, potential users and resellers don’t miss this FREE*, half-day event!
Once you’re on board, the FRx Software experts will help you gain tremendous insight into Microsoft FRx and Microsoft Forecaster. You’ll have the opportunity to hear customer perspectives and network with prospects plus pack in useful tips, and see the features and benefits of FRx Software’s financial analytic applications. Register now!
Successful CPA firms have been selling sophisticated services via the internet for years now and it's not that they are smarter than you, have better computer programmers or bigger ad budgets than you. It's because they've discovered the simple formula that allows them to tightly focus on a select group of potential customers and approach them in such a way so as to generate piles of highly qualified leads and hence, mountains of cash.
This is not rocket science, but it is a sequence of seven simple steps, that when followed correctly, will richly reward you and your firm with endless leads and even greater new business opportunities.
Maybe that's why the most successful marketers on the internet can't even write one line of computer code or operate a simple graphics program.
Here is the fastest and simplest way to succeed on the internet:
- Decide on a specific niche for your services. This does not mean "tax services." Narrow your focus to the smallest group of prospects that you can serve uniquely and still make a handsome profit. To follow on the previous example, a better target would be: Tax planning services for widowed females over the age of 65, with one adult child and who have a net worth in excess of $5,000,000 and commercial real estate holdings in excess of $1,000,000."
Why are you doing this?
Simple. Once you know exactly the type of prospect you seek, it's much easier to design the rest of your strategy to drive the right kind of traffic to your web site.
- Give something of high perceived value away for free to your "tightly" defined target group. Within your narrow, narrow, narrow specialty create a special report, white paper or eBook that will demonstrate your expertise in this niche and that is also something your prospect will want to read (i.e. don't make it look and read like some sort of continuing legal education course.)
- Create a "Special Purpose" web site, along with a special purpose domain name. Instead of calling your site "BKGH Attorneys At Everything," create a specialty site and domain, something like "FemaleRealEstateInvestor.com." Make this site no more than 5-8 pages long. It'll cost you something like $15 bucks for the domain name. Now you have something unique for people to search.
Promote this new "mini site" everywhere and in everything you touch that your prospective client might be looking at in search of information. Use small display ads in targeted publications, postcard mailings to niche demographic and psychographics groups. Use Google Adwords (targeted locally)...speeches...the works.
Become the "best known" site for this niche specialty in your geographic area.
- On every page of your site (especially the first page), you must do two things without fail:
- Offer your eBook or Special Report with a nice compelling graphic and enticing bulleted description of the contents.
- To get your eBook or Special Report, the prospect must fill out a brief form giving you their email address, name and telephone number.
- Design a "DRIP" back end marketing system. Like Chinese water torture, you regularly follow up with your "house list" using a variety of stay in touch tools. You should consider eZines, more special reports, monthly "hot tips," teleseminar...anything that will add value to the prospect's experience with your firm.
- Keep piling on the valuable information. Actually give away your expertise. Don't worry...your prospects will not usually try to implement your solutions themselves. People, by nature, want things done for them (and they will pay handsomely for this) rather than take the time to develop the expertise sufficient to do it themselves.
Show your wisdom and your wit. Be personal. Drop the "jargon" and the five dollar words. Become a friend and trusted advisor.
Never, never, attempt to hard sell your services.
If you do have something to sell, direct your readers via a link in your newsletter to a special page on your web site with the "details" of what you're trying to sell. Keep your valuable free information as "valuable and free." Keep the sales "stuff" on the sales pages that your prospect can voluntarily choose to go to or not.
At this stage you are demonstrating that you are the "obvious and only" expert in your field.
People love doing business with the "obvious experts" and they love doing business with people that they know, trust and like! Someone just like the person you are now proving to be.
- Increase your sales results up to 700 percent by simply doing this.
Reach out and touch them!
Call them on the telephone (not to sell them something) and simply ask:
"Ms. Prospect, I note you've been receiving our materials on Real Estate Investing for the single woman...may I ask, "Are you enjoying them and finding them useful?"
Now you have a friendly "zero pressure" conversation going with your "ideal" prospect.
If you know your business and your field, you already know how to steer this conversation into a problem "seeking/solving" interview over the next 5 minutes or so.
Done right...you'll get more than 50 percent of these people to want to meet with you in person.
Of course you still need killer headlines, copy and ads...but at least now you have a blueprint to work with before you start assembling the "building" materials.
Think of this as an exchange for value. You give them free valuable information in exchange for their valuable contact information.
This automatically gives you permission and the ability to stay in touch with your niche market and thus build the largest hidden asset in your professional practice...your house list!
There you have it.
Simply repeat these 7 simple steps for each service offering that you have.
It works like a Swiss watch and it works every time!
About The Author:
Patrick McEvoy is a former Senior Executive with two of the "Big 4" consulting firms, a serial entrepreneur, and author of, "12 Secrets of Superstar Professional Service Firms." To get your free copy visit
Voice of the Editor
Which isn’t completely true. I mean, occasionally I drop by when I manage to sneak out of the nonstop frat party over at Going Concern, but I’m mostly a wallflower over there. I’m happy to say that I’ve been given express permission (or explicit orders, if you like) to wander over here to AccountingWEB more often.
Why is that, you might ask? My job is to replace the irreplaceable Gail Perry as Editor-in-Chief. What does that mean? I don’t really know! I think it’ll be fun getting a feel for things, throwing in my own thoughts here and there, and listening to the discussions you’re having about the accounting profession.