How do you increase Sales in an Accounting firm?
Sales! The scariest word in an Accountant’s dictionary. Are you content with the 5-10% increase every year through word of mouth? Why not try and implement some professional sales techniques to try and improve revenue grow.
As one of the directors at Archimedia Accounts In Nottingham it become almost an obsession of mine to figure out what are the best ways for an accountancy practice to generate new business. I decided to throw myself into it 100% and dig deep into the ins and outs of how a successful accountancy practice in the modern world grows and attracts new clients and what methods they are using to win new business.
One thing I noticed was, as accountants, we try to improve the profit of our clients, but why don’t we try this on ourselves? The saying comes to mind “A carpenters house creeks and a plumbers house leaks” and in this case, accountancy practices are great at helping their clients make business growth decisions but not so great at growing their own practices.
To improve profits, we need to increase sales, reduce our cost base, and improve efficiency. In this article I am going to discuss the first, how to improve sales.
- Scope Creep
You may need to review fees quarterly with some clients if this becoming a big problem with some of them.
If you keep giving work away for free your clients won’t value your time, they’ll “expect” you to do extra work, and this is how we train our clients to be bad clients.
Send new proposals out regularly to clients for extra work. Use your Practice Management System to record scope creep.
There are a few options to choose from: Fixed fee, menu, value pricing, packages.
Price services on value and communicate this value to clients in a simple way. How will this help them?
- Explain what other services you provide
Create client case-studies and events so you communicate what other services you provide. Unless the client is educated on what you can do for them then they won’t even know their Accountant does these things.
- Expand you service offering
- R&D tax credit claims
- Financial advisory services e.g. forecasts, budgets, what-if scenarios
- Specialist tax projects
Often these can have much higher profit margins for us, and our clients need them.
- Charge for everything
If you have agreed on a pricing package where your doing payroll for 10 staff and the client hires another staff member, charge more for this! If you don’t it’s like going to Pizza Hut, ordering a side salad and expecting to get it for free!
List all your services with your team and add them into your pricing system.
- Sell More to your clients
Find out what your clients need and provide them with it.
Get your team to check-in with the clients to listen to their changing situation and find out if they need any additional services. You can’t find out what a business needs unless you talk to the owner/management. This has got to be a relationship, don’t just talk about your services, but the client’s needs.
- Draw in clients before they sign on
Business improvement managers should find a way to propel the brand constantly —even before working with a customer.
Your brand or image is more often than not fundamental to a customer’s decision, it determines the relationship, explains who you are, and starts education the client from day 1 as to how valuable you will be to their business.
A few different ways top Accountancy firms can dazzle their clients with great customer experience:
Automated arrangement booking (meetings).
Send an email or video with a photograph of their Accountant manager, welcoming them to the practice. Send free gifts to your new clients and take you’re A-class clients out to golf games or fancy restaurants. All this may seem like it will increase costs and so reduce profitability, but it will actually wow clients and get them buying a lot more from you.
- Know your clients, both the business and the individual
Learn about their likes and dislikes, learn about their hates. All this will allow you to create a better relationship with the client and so increase the chances of you getting to know their needs a lot more and so increase the chances of you selling solutions to these needs.
The other great thing about learning the psychology of the clients in this way is that it allows you to fully understand types of client persona. This means that in your marketing you can identify characteristics in potential customers and talk to them in a way that addresses their needs, desires and fears.
Don’t be afraid to implement these strategies, put a healthy amount of pressure on yourself! If you are not moving forward, then you are moving backwards. Unless you implement some of these strategies then you will not improve your revenues, not grow your Accounting practice and not be able to live the life you want.