The Cool/Care CPA: A Marketing Bonanza

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Cool sells. Just ask Prez Obama; helped him get elected.

What is cool, and how can you use it to make your marketing more effective?

Cool is different, it is new. It is something people want to associate with, versus boring. It is daring, cutting edge.  People pay big money to try to acquire it.

Apple almost defines cool in everything it does, from its unique products to its CEO who was the first big business exec I can remember who showed up to do keynotes wearing a black turtleneck and jeans.

But is it right for us CPAs? Don't we have some kind of image to maintain?

Cool helps separate us from the competition who sell a similarly perceived product that I call "air".

Cool shows you pay attention to what is going on in the real world, beyond the desk you seem attached to. This is important because clients need a huge leg up to stay afloat in the never-ending recession.

A local powerhouse Realtor made a wise investment in cool when she bought a SmartCar and had it wrapped in the logo and colors of her firm brand.  It's paid off in buzz, attention in the marketplace, and lots more new listings and sales.

When we saw the effect it had on her business, we decided to put our heads together and figure out how to put cool to work for us.

First, we engaged a client to redesign our office and workflow.  She came up with a whole new floor plan that makes our office appear more spacious and comfortable to clients and staff.  Her associate came up with an ultra-modern and rich-looking makeover which incorporates colors not usually seen in a CPA firm environment with rich carpeting and black crown molding (at a very reasonable price).

Our clients and guests are shocked at the re-do, and people are just stopping by to see it based on word of mouth.  Staff enjoys the new work environment, and we have started bumping up fees (without resistance) as humans perceive higher value the better your premises look.

That's cool.

Got an iPad as a gift and didn't know what to do with it as I don't even know how to text.  Figured I would sell it on eBay and make a few bucks, but first just started carrying the thing around to see what would happen.  I got more attention and comments than I could've got if I hired a personal publicist.

Unfortunately, cool isn't enough or we could just dress like Don Draper or the other folks on Mad Men and rake in the clients.

Nah - President Obama is proving via his diving ratings that people want to feel cared for, too.  Cool may help you get the client, but Care will keep them.

How can Cool make your marketing more fun, inclusive, attention-getting and effective?

By Allan S. Boress, CPA, author of "The I-Hate-Selling" series of books, CDs and DVDs on  Also, Allan is honored to be one of the co-author's of the AICPA's brand new blockbuster, Bull's-Eye!  The Ultimate Marketing and Sales Guide for CPAs (edited by Tracey Crevar Warren)

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