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Jun 5, 2024 3 min read

5 Tips to Attract Clients

Facing challenges in attracting clients? Learn how to stand out in the competitive accounting industry and communicate your unique value effectively to drive business growth.

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5 Tips to Attract Clients

Accounting and bookkeeping practice owners are facing two major challenges when it comes to attracting clients to their practice:

Challenge #1: There's a lot of competition.

Challenge #2: Most clients don't know the difference between a good accountant and a bad one.

Because of these two challenges, it's really difficult to build a profitable accounting/bookkeeping business (read: one that doesn't feel like a low-paying and high-demanding job).

At the core of both of these challenges is a single issue: clients see all firms as a commodity, each offering the same services for a similar price. This is, obviously, untrue. The reality is there’s a canyon separating good firms from bad ones, but most clients can’t see the difference. 

So, it’s up to the firm owner – you – to show them how you’re different from all the rest, which means you've got to communicate in a way that attracts clients to you.

Tip #1: Be different.

Most accountants/bookkeepers communicate to the world that they are a better/faster/cheaper solution. No wonder it's difficult to get clients. When a potential client views you as a commodity, it's going to be an uphill battle to attract clients.

Your messaging needs to separate you from the pack. Niching will immediately mark you as something different: a professional who can speak directly to the unique pain points of a certain business. But offering additional services, something beyond the scope of traditional accounting, will differentiate you not only from most firms but even those who also occupy your niche.

Tip #2: Do not confuse.

Many accountants have trouble growing their practice because they, unintentionally, confuse prospects. Many accountants forget that they are speaking in a language that most people simply do not understand. And, when someone is confused, they will not take action.

Something that many accountants don’t understand is that they must also be a translator. You need to interpret the financials in the language that the business owner speaks – and in a way that is actionable. If your client asks why they have $10,000 less in profit than expected, don’t spout numbers from the P&L; instead, you need to explain how all the different elements come together to negatively impact their cash flow, and what they can do to fix it. 

Tip #3: Give them a "treat". Not "medicine".

Like most humans (and every dog that I've met), people love getting treats way more than medicine. Unfortunately, when most business owners interact with an accountant, it feels as painful as taking medicine, because, well, most business owners do not like discussing accounting/bookkeeping.

Instead, each time you interact with a prospect, you've got to make the experience so enjoyable that it feels like a treat. If a business owner views you as someone that "gives value" each time they meet, the chances of them working with you increase dramatically.

For instance, business owners might not enjoy talking about accounting, but they love talking about their business, which is something you know a lot about once you get to review their financials. The Medicine here is a basic financial assessment. The treat is a discussion on what the assessment means for the business going forward. 

Tip #4: Tell stories.

People buy on emotion and justify, later, with logic. And nothing stirs emotion as much as telling stories of how you've helped other business owners (just like them) overcome the odds and have a growing and successful business.

By telling stories, you're communicating to your prospect two things. One, that you are a "down to earth" accountant/bookkeeper. And two, that you are going to help them have a growing and successful business.

Tip #5: Get systems that work.

All the above is contingent on having scalable systems to find prospective leads, convert those leads to paying clients, and then retain them by offering the services they want. 

And what is it your clients really want? Advice, help, someone they trust to tell them what to do to have a growing and successful business.  An advisory system allows you to be different from your competition, to give “treats” to your clients, and not confuse them with just numbers. 

At The CFO Project, we have spent many years perfecting systems to communicate and attract clients to our practices. And, we'll teach it to you step-by-step inside of our membership program.

If you'd like to learn more about joining The CFO Projectclick here to have a chat with us.

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Adam Lean is a former accountant turned 2-time entrepreneur who built, scaled, and sold two businesses. While helping other business owners, he realized his passion was teaching and providing tools to business owners to help them make more money and have a peace-of-mind. He currently runs The CFO Project - a training company that trains financial professionals on how to offer an outsourced CFO and business advisory service.

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