Boost Revenues with More Involvement
If your firm would like to grow, significant revenue growth may require more of your personnel to become involved in marketing. For example, if you’d like to grow by 10-15% over the next year, perhaps your firm can no longer depend on a limited number of partners to generate all the business; they just don’t have more capacity – others in the firm have to contribute!
So, what can your firm do to help ensure success? How can the time and efforts of those involved in your business development (BD) be maximized? These questions are faced by our clients on a regular basis. Here are some ideas to help your firm:
Equip Your Professionals for BD Success
It is safe to say that few accountants went to college so that he/she could learn how to do business development. In fact, most CPAs have never had an undergrad or graduate class in marketing, much less formal training in how to generate new business.
Look at it this way – your CPAs are intelligent, highly educated and accomplished professionals, so if they are asked to pursue a new area in their professional life (i.e., BD), they will want to be equipped for success. Yet most firms do nothing to help their accountants to be successful in BD, besides allowing expense accounts and encouraging success with some level of reward. But this still does not address the issue of preparing your CPAs with professional BD training.
So, is it any surprise that many accountants avoid BD? They would much prefer to be evaluated on their legal expertise, which they’ve been trained to do, instead of being rated on BD success without any level of training. Even if their performance is affected by BD results, don’t you really want them to have success in it?
These key steps can be your secret to success …
Individual CPA Support
At The Specialists in CPA Marketing™, we’ve found that accountants are far more successful in BD if they are provided with a complete set of BD tools, including:
- Business Development Training:A key aspect of equipping your CPAs is to provide formal BD training. We’ve found that most accountants prefer shorter, 2-3 hour sessions in which they can learn the essentials and then go out and put them into practice. This training should be interactive and allow accountants to express their challenges and questions in how to get better. Both partners and staff typically attend, depending on their personal need. The Specialists in CPA Marketing™ offers numerous workshops on a variety of topics, covering everything your professionals need to know to get started, networking to professional selling skills. These training sessions are provided at your offices.
- Personal Marketing Plans: CPAs generally have little time available for marketing efforts, so it better be used wisely. This is a key stage at which many well-intended marketing programs die out; “fail to plan and you plan to fail.” A “Personal Marketing Plan” provides this structure, acting as a “marketing road map” for success! Through The Specialists in CPA Marketing’s unique process, individuals are able to be improve the effectiveness of their marketing efforts, while appropriately managing the use of their time and financial resources. Our goal is to help you work smarter, not harder.
- Ongoing Personal Marketing Coaching: If an accountant is unsure what to do as a next step in BD, where does he/she go for help? Guidance from experienced marketing experts can be the difference in your CPAs’ marketing success. The Specialists in CPA Marketing™ works with your accountants on an individual, personalized basis to improve their success rate in targeting prospective clients, presentation skills, personal branding, and more.
- Marketing Tasks Support: With high billable standards and limited time for marketing, accountants can get bogged down in completing marketing tasks, since it takes longer to complete tasks that are unfamiliar. With our expertise in all aspects of marketing, The Specialists in CPA Marketing™ provides full support to help get marketing time-consuming marketing tasks done (including speech support, letter/memo drafting, article editing, sponsorship coordination, etc.).
Firmwide Structure & Systems
If you want to increase revenues, your firm will be more successful if it has a committed marketing budget, consistent BD activities, and an effective marketing infrastructure. Here are some approaches that have worked well for our clients:
- Business Development Meetings: Effective meetings of any type should help communicate management directives and set the stage for effective implementation; BD meetings need to do the same. An effective structure is critical, so that key issues are addressed. Open dialogue is essential; without it, people will either be silent or simply say what you want to hear. At the conclusion, action steps need to be established. Would you say this is the case at your BD meetings? You may find that it is difficult to accomplish these goals, especially without experienced marketing leadership. It is also typical for two complications to occur: expectations are high but no one has experience in leading such meetings; or the meetings start with excitement but after a few, they become mundane and then non-existent. The Specialists in CPA Marketing™ can either lead and/or organize your practice development meetings, helping clients to maximize this time commitment.
- Performance Evaluation & Compensation Systems: Motivation is a key to any individual’s marketing efforts. For many of our clients, this necessitates a revamping of existing performance evaluation and compensation systems. It also requires a careful assessment of firm cultural change issues, and tactful implementation of the program, so as to provide a positive response and enthusiastic acceptance of the new systems.
- Accountability & Tracking Systems: Managing any firm effectively requires good information. In BD, this means a system to easily monitor efforts without undue professional time in completing reports. Do you want to keep track of leads and not waste opportunities? Are your referral sources reciprocating? How can you realistically evaluate won and lost proposal opportunities? Your systems can be critical in ongoing revenue growth. The Specialists in CPA Marketing™ develops systematic approaches to manage your personnel’s marketing efforts, helping them to be consistent and more productive.
- Partner Retreat Facilitator: Do your partner retreats have effective marketing sessions? These can be a critical, once-a-year opportunity to set the stage for revenue growth, don’t waste them! At these retreats, we’ve helped partners to evaluate new target market segments, build revenue growth models, restructure the firm to incentivize personnel, assess competitors, determine whether mergers are appropriate, add new practice areas, work on turnarounds, etc. Whether as the retreat facilitator (i.e., when it is appropriate to have a third-party lead the retreat) or as an instructor or leader for a certain portion of the retreat, we can help to make your retreat successful.
Contact us with your questions and needs.