Many accountants recoil when they hear the word “prospecting,” it’s not something they typically do. So where are you going to find those new clients you need?
Let’s face it, you aren’t going to advertise at bus stops or supermarket shopping carts and you most certainly aren’t going to cold call. What will you do to get new business?
Here are five simple tips to get prospects coming through your door without losing your dignity:
Almost everyone involved in sales agrees the best way to get a new client is for a satisfied, happy client to send along one of their friends. Unfortunately, your clients don’t wake up thinking “Who am I going to refer today?” unless they belong to a networking group where it’s the price of admission. You need to get them thinking about it.
How: Start by letting clients know you are open to accepting referrals. A lawn sign “Now accepting referrals” is too obvious. Logically, you approach clients with complicated situations where you add value. You also approach executive clients, people who are comfortable bringing in consultants when they don’t have the specialized knowledge or the time required to get certain jobs done.
What’s next: Let clients know you expand your practice by a few clients each year. Some walk through the door, others hear about you, but the majority come from satisfied clients who know someone you can help. Be as specific as possible. “Someone just like you, running a consulting business in addition to being a college professor.” or “Someone who has recently started a business.” Align it to the type of people they would likely know.
Tact: People want to help other people solve problems. You are a resource.
2. Professional Associations