As the world begins to recover from the pandemic, you are likely to find that many new opportunities are coming your way as an accountant, bookkeeper or outsourced CFO. Business owners are in pain and need help and guidance to navigate this brave new world. However, all too often I see you guys missing out on valuable opportunities by allowing leads to slip through the cracks.
When building a freedom practice, control is of the utmost importance; in fact, it’s one of my core values. It’s important to be in control of lead creation so that you are able to maximise every opportunity that comes your way.
There are three key ways in which I see you missing out on leads:
- You get enquiries but you’re so busy already that you miss them.
- You see the enquiry but you put it at the bottom of your to-do list and wait too long before taking action.
- You follow up once or twice, but nothing comes of it so you give up.
So what should you do? How do you maximise every lead so that you get the biggest opportunity from each?
Let’s take a look at three simple ways.
Step 1: Speed
First of all, you need to understand that when someone enquires about working with your accounting, bookkeeping or outsourced CFO practice, their proactivity is driven by pain. They need help and they need it now. If you do not move quickly, they are going to pick up the phone and speak to another practice.
Let’s say I’ve just moved to a new town and am suffering from a toothache. I google nearby dentists and phone the first one on the list to see if they have any availability. If I get the answering machine, I don’t wait for them to call me back. I simply pick up the phone and try the next practice and the next one until I can make an appointment.
Business owners are the same, so speed really is of the essence.
Being fast to respond will also help you land high quality clients. The truth is, you want to be working with clients who are proactive and take initiative. You will achieve great results by
working with this type of client because they will put your advice into action and communicate well with you. Therefore, it’s really worth your while to respond as quickly as possible to enquiries rather than waiting for several days.
Step 2: Persistence
Often, you will follow up with an enquiry only to find that the prospective client is now too busy to call you back. When this happens, don’t sit around and wait for them to call because this allows them to forget about you.
If you follow up but have to leave a voicemail message, don’t just leave one and be done with it. Contact them across other channels, such as email, LinkedIn or Facebook and continue to reach out every day until they get back to you.
You may feel pushy doing this, but selling is not invasive when you are genuinely able to help this prospect and relieve their pain. Life gets in the way sometimes and your persistence is actually helpful when it pushes prospects to take action to transform their business.
I am always persistent with following up and I have lost count of the number of times clients have thanked me for doing so because it sparked action.
Step 3: Have a Process and a Plan
When you have a lot of enquiries and a practice to run, it can be difficult to stay on top of it all. It’s vital that you put a clear process in place to take your prospects from their first enquiry to becoming a paying client.
You need to monitor leads, track their progress and diarise your follow ups and conversations. Whether you use Trello, a spreadsheet or a piece of paper, you need to have a system in place to ensure that you know the status of every single lead at any given moment. In order to stop prospects from slipping through the net, you need to be able to see the net.
If you want to have a freedom practice filled with good clients, you need to be great at taking them from prospect to sale and ensuring that they don’t slip through the net. No amount of marketing will help you if you do not take purposeful action when it comes to following up on leads.
However, when you put a process in place that allows you to follow up quickly and persistently with every single lead, you will find yourself well on your way to building a lucrative freedom practice that really makes an impact on the world.