Engaging potential clients in conversation is a more effective marketing strategy for your accounting firm than just slapping an ad on the side of a bus and getting listed in the local business phone directory. You can use avenues such as email and social media, in addition to face-to-face interactions, to start and maintain active conversations with clients. Active conversations are not just idle chat; they have purpose, and they’re ongoing. They develop relationships and cement strong personal connections between you and your clients. By design, these conversations help to grow your business.
Speak to Clients Through Social Media
In the digital age, people are used to getting information from a variety of sources at any time of the day or night. Clients demand convenience. When you demonstrate a strong social media presence, you get noticed – and you meet that convenience requirement. Demonstrate your expertise in estate planning by writing a blog, or share your tax smarts by sending out an email newsletter with brief tips about tax deductions. Use the connecting tools on LinkedIn and Facebook to increase your visibility and generate more views of your profile page. Whether you post informative blogs, tweet financial deadlines, or ask for feedback on Facebook, make it relevant and keep it current.
Chat About Referrals
Your clients are your clients because they like you and the services you provide. It’s possible that they’ve already recommended you to their peers. An estimated 80% of your new clients are referrals, so this is a resource that has to be tapped. Don’t be shy about discussing the value of referrals with your customers. If a client sends business your way, be sure to offer your thanks. A low-cost coffee card goes a long way towards customer relations. It may even be something for your client to tweet about.
Network for Success
Networking can give you a huge boost when you’re building a business. You get your name out there on a really big stage, and you can make connections with a variety of business professionals. Talking with networking professionals lets you promote your own services and can create leads in other areas, such as savings on office equipment and supplies. Proactively asking clients how you can help them may give you the opportunity to recommend one of your trusted networking contacts. You could build a lot of goodwill when your recommendation results in a beautiful redesign of your client’s office space.
Listen to Your Clients
When you know what your clients want, you can develop and market a complete service package. Ask questions, take surveys, leave a comment box in the waiting room, and encourage honest communication. If client suggestions make sense, make them part of your process. You get double value from this: Your business becomes more efficient, and you show that you’re receptive and responsive to client wants and needs.
Maybe you’re in a niche market, and you want your specialty to shine like a beacon – or maybe you want to keep a spotlight on your general accounting practice. Either way, you can make your business visible and inviting to potential clients by keeping the conversation going.