Holidays are for Growth
Think the holiday season is simply filled with lost production time? Think again. The holiday season is a great opportunity to network and create opportunities for growth. As we approach Thanksgiving and Christmas and your firm is likely in tax planning mode, here are four tips for holiday marketing for cpa firms to help you take advantage of all of the “face time” your team will have with clients and prospects before the end of the year.
Maximize Your Holiday Events
Many firms host holiday events of some kind. Some have events especially for clients, while others reach out to prospects and referral sources. If you are throwing a holiday party, be sure to maximize the opportunity for referrals and business development. Getting clients and prospects together is always a great idea. This gives clients a very easy and natural opportunity to talk about you and to make a referral. You may even encourage clients to bring guests with them to the event as well. It may cost a little more, but it will pay off in the long run.
Once you are at the event, take advantage of the opportunity to communicate with your clients. Be sure to thank them for allowing you to serve them in the past year. Share your successes with them and let them know that you are looking to grow and would love referrals! In a recent survey, the number one reason clients cited for why they did not make referrals to their CPA was that they didn’t know they wanted new clients! Be sure your clients know that you want and appreciate referrals.
Use Tax Planning to Your Advantage
As we approach the end of the year, you are probably entering the heart of your year-end tax planning season. Sitting down with clients and learning what happened to them throughout the year is not only a great time to help them plan for tax minimization, but also a great time to identify opportunities for value added consulting services. Before you get too far into planning, consider holding some brief internal training with all professionals who will be involved with the planning. Go through your consulting services again with the group, highlighting client pain points to look for that may indicate a need for service. Consider putting together checklists or cheat sheets to compliment your tax planning process that will help your team identify needs and present solutions. Some firms have had success with some friendly competition, where professionals who go above and beyond to find opportunities for service can win an extra special Christmas gift from the firm.
Prep Your Networking Army
The holiday season means networking opportunities for your entire staff. It’s a time when families, friends and acquaintances get together and catch up on what’s happened throughout the year. And it might be the time when your new staff accountant, Dave, has some eggnog with his uncle Chris who just happens to own significant real estate investments in four states and a chain of 58 fast food restaurants. Before you send your team out into the world for the holidays, take a few minutes to reiterate your firm’s mission, values and key differentiators. Make sure your team is comfortable and excited to talk about what they do and who they work for if anyone asks. Make sure your message is consistent and on point before your team heads out of the office and into your community. And when they get back, consider asking for some stories that will demonstrate effective networking.
Use Team Charity Work to Demonstrate Your Culture and Values
Many firms participate in charity activities together over the holiday season. Whether it’s a food drive around Thanksgiving or a toy drive for children at Christmas, don’t be afraid to share what your group is doing with your community. Demonstrating your value and your commitment to your community will resonate with clients, prospects, referral sources and recruits. If you can show a fun side to your group in the process, that can’t hurt either. Consider taking pictures and using them on your social media sites or compiling them into a short video for your website or YouTube channel.