|Spring Marketing – Part 3You don’t build a house with a shovel
The successful completion of almost any job requires the right training and the right tools. You wouldn’t spend thousands of dollars training a builder in the sciences of structural engineering and construction and then send him to the construction site with a shovel. The right combination of tools, skills, and knowledge make almost any task achievable. Missing any of these can make something much harder than it needs to be.
Yet what seems like common sense is frequently ignored when it comes to selling accounting services. Firms spend countless dollars for consultants and seminars for professionals who don’t have the basic tools they need to do the job. A firm with subpar marketing materials or an ineffective website, is like a consultant standing on a lift at a construction site with elaborate blue prints in their hands talking to a bunch of guys holding shovels and garden rakes. All of the knowledge in the world isn’t going to help them build that house without the right set of tools.
Unfortunately, too many firms send their professionals to the job site with nothing in their hands but a shovel. They might know how to sell, they might have a great product to sell, but their effectiveness is being undermined by their image and their materials. In sales, perception is often more important than substance, yet too many firms assume perception will naturally line up with reality.
Steve Brunson is the managing director at Catalyst CPA Marketing. He is an experienced tax practitioner with real-world experience selling services side by side with CPA firms across the country. At Catalyst, he leads a team of skilled marketers dedicated to providing client firms with the tools they need to promote and grow their firm.
As you accelerate out of tax season and into the strategic part of the year for CPA firms, it’s a great time to take stock of your tools. Are your image, message, and materials building up the professional profile of your firm and staff? Are they creating and supporting opportunities for business development? Or are they undermining your business developers and making their job more difficult? Are you asking your professionals to build a house with a shovel?
You might have a pretty good idea of the answer to these questions already. If you don’t like the answers, now is the time to change them. Here are a just a few areas to consider when evaluating your marketing tools.
- Communications – Are you consistently communicating with your clients? Really communicating, not sending out canned, irrelevant content? Clients want to feel like you are thinking about them. A newsletter is not just an item on a checklist.
- Image – Do your clients view you as a proactive resource? Are your marketing efforts ensuring that your clients are receiving value-added ideas? If they aren’t, you’re leaving the door cracked for your competition.
- Online presence – Do you feel that your website is an accurate reflection of your firm? Does it effectively deliver messages and content which promote your people and services? If a qualified prospect is looking for help, will they find you before they find a competitor? If you think that your website doesn’t really help you sell your services, you might just be correct. While a well managed website can certainly create and support business development, some actually have a negative effect. You can download our CPA firm website best practices whitepaper here.
- Materials – Do your professionals feel good about the materials they have available? If they are going on sales calls without collateral, the answer is a resounding no. If you are asking them to sell services with nothing to leave behind with the client, you are sending them to a gunfight with a knife.
If you don’t like the answers you gave to any of these questions, don’t despair. The good news is that none of these problems are overly difficult to fix. Recognizing the problem is half the battle. The next half is finding a partner that has the tools to help you fix the problem. Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive and ineffective. It might seem that way based on past experience, but getting the right help will demystify the process and amplify the results.
If there’s an area of weakness in your marketing efforts, we would be more than happy to speak with you. We won’t overcomplicate things and we won’t charge you for advice or a conversation. We’ll help you find the best solutions for your firm. And we’ll stand behind the results of our work. You can contact Catalyst to discuss your marketing tools, strategy, or initiatives anytime by emailing or calling 317-564-5010