Are you charging less than you deserve? Are vampire clients draining your resources? Then your firm may be lacking in the ideal client department.
Getting an accounting firm off the ground is not always an easy task. It’s even harder if you don’t focus on attracting the right clients. And choosing clients carefully is important, even at the earliest stages.
I recently talked to an accountant in New Zealand who’s still in the dream-up stage. He wants to get his firm off the ground. His list of clients is relatively small and most of them are friends and acquaintances.
Needless to say, this doesn’t allow him to make much money. For example, to please his clients, he sliced his prices in half. Giving someone a family-and-friends discount is nice. But you can’t do that if all your clients are friends and family.
Although this accountant’s firm isn’t even a startup yet, this is not a good way to start. In a way, he’s building a small clientele. But this method of client acquisition promotes bad habits. It produces a mindset that might stop him from going after higher-value clients later on.
Getting in the right mindset doesn’t come naturally to everyone who starts a side business. But it’s still important. In this client’s case, one thing became clear after our conversation.
Even though he sells £100 services at £50 or less, he still offers £100 value. And it’s tough to keep offering VITAL services at such a cheap cost. It will be even harder to raise prices. Those types of clients often decide to jump ship when they have to pay more.
So what’s the biggest takeaway here?
It’s very easy to undervalue yourself. It’s easy to think that you don’t have what it takes to attract the best clients.
Luckily, these five steps can help you avoid the same mistakes. And help you land high-value clients for your firm.
Step #1 – Make the Decision to Go After High Value Clients (And Get Clear on Who That Is)
You can’t go after high-value clients if you decide to sell yourself short. It’s essential to determine, from the beginning, that you want ideal clients. Refuse to take just anyone.
At the same time, you should avoid selling your services at bottom-feeder prices. There’s something about cheap accounting services that doesn’t inspire confidence. It also shows that you’re content with competing on price.
And with any service, price is a good indicator of value. So if you know that you provide VITAL accounting services, why not value them as such?
Your ideal clients don’t mind paying a premium for high-end services. The money is not a big issue for them. Especially if you’re able to prove that you can deliver on your promises.
At this stage, you have to decide on who your ideal clients are. What is a valuable target for you? Is it a business that can pay at least £500? Or maybe £1,000? Or £2,000? Or more?
Identify your high-value targets before proceeding to the next step.
Step #2 – Go Hunting
You can’t get clients if you don’t go hunting for them.
Once you know who your ideal clients are, you have to pursue them.
It’s best if you identify more than their money situation. For example, decide what kind of traits you want in your clients. Or what type of business they run. It’s not all about the turnover.
To get clients to come to you, it’s also essential to find their pain points. Understand what their problems are and how you can fix them. All prospects want quick gratification. So keep that in mind when you explain what you can solve. Present a unique solution to their unique problem. That’s one of the ways you can show that your services are valuable.
If you do this, you can position your firm accordingly. You can build trust and establish your firm as an expert and authority figure.
To succeed, it’s crucial to find the right clients and use specific language in front of them. Some prospects won’t understand how they’ll be better off doing business with you. You’ll have to explain that to them.
Step #3 – Position Yourself as VITAL
Here’s where things start to get interesting. Why does it matter so much to position your firm as VITAL?
Remember how high-value prospects concentrate on results, not money?
As a VITAL accounting firm, you become essential. And prospects stop questioning your asking price. You have something that they desperately need – and they’re willing to pay for it.
Being essential to someone’s business means that you understand it. It means that your firm is the one that can help them reach their goals. You’re aware of their dreams. And you can help make those dreams happen.
That’s why it’s so crucial to understand your ideal clients’ different pain points.
None of this means that prospects won’t check out other firms. That’s what everyone is trained to do – compare what’s available.
But at some point, your firm’s VITAL services become more important than anything else.
Step #4 – Ask for a Conversation
After positioning your firm, it’s time to put in the work and do some convincing. And you can’t do that unless you ask for a conversation.
Many accounting firms rely too much on inbound marketing. It’s a great form of passive marketing for attracting high-value clients. But it’s also slow to pick up momentum.
While blogs and videos do help, there’s a faster way to get started.
Try using direct marketing instead. That’s where you actually communicate one-on-one with your prospects. You can do it over the phone or with video conferencing.
This method gives you two things that are beneficial to growing your business. Firstly, it allows you to communicate directly with clients. This makes it easier to get your point across and differentiate your firm.
Secondly, it pushes prospects to take action and contact you.
In their mind, they already want to know more about what you offer. They make a conscious decision to book a call or an in-person meeting. This means you have a better start and an easier path towards a conversion. Conversations help to build trust. And trust establishes strong partnerships.
Step #5 – Make Sure You’re Providing the Right Solution
All accounting firms want to attract the best clients, even those that haven’t identified their high-value prospects yet. No one aspires to get vampire clients who drain your resources.
But remember this… Ask yourself if your firm is also ideal for your ideal clients.
To get those high-value clients on your side, you need to provide the best solutions. It’s not enough to say that you can do something. You have to be sure that you can do it.
In the four steps to attracting clients, you learn to understand what they need. So before you make your final move, ensure that you offer the ideal solution. If you only do compliance work, for example, that may not be the best fit. Unless you can attract a big client.
One of the best ways to go about this is to provide advisory services. Many high-value clients are after transformational services. They want you to get them to a point where their business thrives under your guidance.
To get the highest-paying clients, you need to be able to tackle huge problems. Not only that, you also need to offer the best solutions.
Here is where it pays off to have unique or signature solutions. To get ahead of the competition, you can offer something new that no one else in your market provides.
This doesn’t have to be hugely difficult. In fact, it can be easy once you’ve unpacked your intellectual property and packaged it up into a one-of-a-kind service. Unpacking your IP is so powerful we call it a marketing and sales Superpower.
At the same time, make sure you offer the right solution. If not, the client may not see the value in your service, compared to its cost. You might also drain your resources trying to come up with a fix outside your area of expertise.
Take a Proactive Approach to Clients
These are the five steps to landing your firm’s ideal clients. It all starts with identifying those clients and their needs. Then you have to adopt a proactive approach and go after them.
If you position your firm as VITAL, you can generate excitement and interest. At the same time, you can add value that backs up your prices. It’s also crucial to develop your signature solutions.
Many firms fail because they don’t offer anything better than their competition. Once you can do that, you have your separator. You have your hook that attracts high-value clients.
Come up with a uniquely ideal solution and your chances of growing skyrocket. And you can do this as you transform your client’s business and your own.
P.S. When you are ready to have more TIME, increase your PROFITS and catapult your IMPACT here is how you can get help and increase your superpowers:
1. Join The Community
Our best training happens inside our FREE Facebook group Superpowers for Accountants & Bookkeepers. Click Here.
2. Connect With Me On LinkedIn
Send me a message and say hi, I would love to find out more about you and what kind of support you may need.
3. Want To Find Out About Our Programmes?
Let’s jump on the phone for a quick call, and brainstorm any challenges and if we can possibly help. This quick ten minute call is there to help you get clarity and a plan… Click Here