Motivation is the fundamental driving force behind successful marketing. Motivation is fueled by the desire to grow, and the belief that you can engage larger clients and provide them with the services they require. This desire and confidence is the root of the marketing mentality.
Many accountants these days pay lip service to marketing, since very few seem to have the energy for aggressive marketing. And yet it is the firms that market aggressively that are the most successful. Partners in aggressive firms openly seek new business. This may sound obvious, but it is surprising how many accountants simply expect referral sources to send business their way without them actually asking for it.
‘Why do we need to ask referral sources for business?’ they may ask, ‘They already know we want it.’
The truth of the matter is that the only thing a referral source knows for sure is that an accountant who asks for business, wants business. People tend to admire and trust firms that actively seek new business. They assume such firms are more organised and more client-focused, and believe they will receive better service from them. This trust is usually well founded because firms that market aggressively usually have the capacity to take on new clients and provide the service and personal attention they expect. They also regularly remind their clients how much they appreciate their business. It is quite often that the quality of the follow-up, partner accessibility and attention to client detail that distinguishes a successful marketing firm from more conventional firms.
Remember, the marketing activities of an aggressive firm are not just targeted at bringing in new clients, but equally, if not more, at bringing in new business from existing clients. The more services you can sell to a client, the more loyal that client is likely to be. It is one thing to consider changing accountants if all he or she does for you is your annual audit, but it is quite something else if he or she is also, a key business adviser, corporate finance consultant, or trustee.
The insurance industry has long recognised the importance of securing client loyalty by selling a broad range of services to clients. Thus in addition to insurance cover, they might also offer pension schemes, savings plans, medical cover, and so forth. There is a saying in that industry that if an adviser sells a client just on policy there is only a ten percent chance he will still have the client ten years down the road; but if he sells that client two policies the chances improve to sixty percent, and for three or more policies to ninety-five percent!