I recently interviewed two accounting firms to work with me on my taxes. One of them bombed the sales process, and the other one knocked it out of the park. I see a lot of businesses -- sometimes even myself -- making some of the sales mistakes of the first CPA. Find out five ways you can improve your business from what I learned about sales and marketing from an Accountant in today’s Ramblin Roundup.
My old CPA generally did a good job, but they didn’t seem to share my goal of paying less in taxes and they didn’t really understand my business. I wanted to work with a new accountant more regularly on strategy, planning, and to have someone in my corner when it comes to taxes.
I met with a CPA that was interviewed on one of my favorite podcasts and who came recommended by one of my business coaches. Unfortunately, despite reviewing my financial statements, they had a surprisingly non-financial justification for proposing to increase the cost of my accounting by $30,000 a year. Their proposal was a huge list of accounting jargon that I didn’t want to think of, with no mention of benefit to me or Ramblin Jackson.
This is a mistake I think we’ve all made in sales. We get so excited about the STUFF we want to do that we forget to communicate it in a way that addresses our customer’s pains, problems, and goals.
The second was somebody I found through the Profit First Professionals directory. Profit First is a book by Mike Michalowicz about How To Transform Your Business From A Cash-Eating Monster To A Money-Making Machine, but more importantly: Profit First is a methodology and philosophy -- a way of managing your business to create more profit and more freedom.
Everything -- from the first email that mentioned “stiffing the IRS as much as legally possible”, to their website text, and videos -- answered the question: what’s in it for me?
It was NOT a list of accounting stuff. Accounting is the least fun part of business for me -- but they made it exciting! In our first call, my new CPA gave me a tax idea that more than paid for a whole year of their service - which is still significantly more than I was paying in the past. But paying more is worth it when you’re getting more value and better service.
Here’s what I learned about marketing from my CPA. This sale reinforced what we coach our clients to do at Ramblin Jackson -- and made me think about how we offer digital marketing services to our clients, who probably aren’t as excited about SEO stuff as we are.
Here’s what Incite Tax did well that you should do if you want to exceed in sales in 2018:
- Have an excellent website that answers your clients’ biggest pains, fears, and challenges. Remember, your website is for your customers, not for you.
- Have excellent online reviews. Incite Tax has 84 reviews with a 5-star average. Not surprisingly, the CPA who wasted my time didn’t have any reviews, and my old CPA has a negative review average. Next! Additionally, Incite Tax provided a reference from someone in my industry, where the first CPA refused to do so.
- Make it easy to schedule with your company online through tools like Calendly.
- Show up on time, ask great questions, and follow through.
- Words Matter. All the words you use matter, from your emails, to your proposals, to your videos and everything. One of the CPAs we didn’t even interview because they brushed us off to a junior CPA in a way that implied: I don’t care about you and you’re not important, whereas Incite Tax’s owner introduced us to his associate in a way that was helpful to us.
Remember, when you’re creating marketing and selling to clients, always think about what’s in it for them.
If you’d like for us to review your marketing with you to get a professional perspective on how your customers would respond to it -- reach out to us for a Marketing Strategy Meeting and we’ll help more of your best customer find you.
Have an excellent holiday. We’ll see you next year.