Today, many accounting firms set themselves apart from the competition by focusing on a few niche markets or services, gaining a deep understanding of their ideal client, and becoming trusted advisors and consultants for that niche. In an ideal world, once you select your niche, your target clients would pop up and come to you. But in reality, you need to go to them.
As a Solutions Advisor for Boomer Consulting, prospecting to our niche clients is a major part of my role. So today, I thought I’d share the steps we take to prospect and tweak them to apply to a CPA firm’s ideal clients.
Step 1: Create your prospecting list
When we prospect, we start with a list of the Top 400 firms, readily available from INSIDE Public Accounting. Depending on your niche, you might start with a list of the top businesses in your niche, a list of members of a particular professional organization, or a simple Google search for businesses in a target industry.
This list is a good start, but it’s not complete. You’ll need to do a little bit of investigative work to gather all of the information you need. First, visit the firm’s website to find names, phone numbers, and email addresses for the business owner or executives you want to connect with. While you’re there, check out whether your target prospect is part of any other associations, whether they’ve won awards. Next, check out the individual’s LinkedIn profile to see who they know and what groups they’re involved with. Finally, I also check our own database to see whether we’ve done any work for them in the past, even if it was a long time ago. These details may seem insignificant but can be useful for connecting with your prospect later.
Keep in mind that this step doesn’t have to be done by a busy partner, manager or staff member. You can delegate it to someone on your marketing team, an intern, or even a virtual assistant!
Step 2: Send a short email
Next, we send the decision-maker an introductory email with some high-level information about the service, community, or training we think might be of interest to them. These emails should be sent from the partner or manager’s email address, as they’ll tend to get more notice.
If the recipient replies to the email, the partner or manager can loop in your business development team to set up a phone call and get them further into the sales pipeline.
We also include a scheduling link in our emails so prospects can schedule a meeting with us directly.
Step 3: Follow up with a phone call
If we don’t get a response from the email, we follow up with a personal phone call. During the call, I give them our short elevator pitch about our service, mention other firms we’ve worked with and talk about our consultant’s experience and expertise.
Hopefully, this call ends with setting up a phone call between the consultant and the prospect to move them further into the sales pipeline. If they’re not quite ready to set up an appointment, we ask whether we can follow up later.
Prospecting in your niche needs to be a priority, so be consistent and set aside time each day for it. Of course, every email and phone call won’t result in a sale, but it’s still a chance to have prospects gain awareness of your firm and develop a relationship with you. Follow the steps above, and you’ll be well on your way to attracting prospects and growing your firm.
Are you ready to stop wasting money on business development and marketing initiatives that don’t work?
Boomer Growth Consulting helps you create a clear marketing and business development roadmap that will help you reach more prospects and clients. so schedule a discovery call today and gain confidence that your firm’s marketing and business development dollars are being used effectively.
As a Solutions Advisor for Boomer Consulting, Inc., Kylie Pruser is excited about engaging with clients, helping them solve their problems, enrich their businesses and grow. Her primary focus is on communities, including the Boomer Technology Circles.