How Do Your Clients Know That You’re the Best?
Most of your clients are used to coming to you, so they keep coming to you. But are they recommending you as much as you’d like? Three best practice tips revealed.
March 19, 2012
Would your clients be more apt to refer you if they felt you were the best CPA out there? What if they had some “proof” that you were, at a minimum, better than their friends’, colleagues’, families’, or their own clients’ accountants? If you are truly better, are you the right CPA for your clients? How do they know you’re the best for them?
Two weeks ago, I spent five days in Negril, Jamaica. When we got to the beach, my wife exclaimed, “This is the best beach I’ve ever been too!” I simply shrugged. I grew up in Freeport, Long Island (New York). I figured my home beaches couldn’t compare to their Caribbean namesakes, but what do I know? How do I know? As soon as my wife pointed out what made an awesome beach — the sand, the long shallow shelf, water clarity — I appreciated how great I had it.
After a second meeting with your client, tell them why you are the right accountant for them. When an appropriate moment comes up, remind them: “See, this is why we are the right firm for you …” “Other accountants may do ____, but we prefer to do _____. For you, this is better because ______.”
If such phrases sound too boastful, then have your brochure, website and other marketing material clearly state, “We are best suited for …” If you are too shy to call yourself “the best” or “better than,” then how can your clients? Of course, this obligates you (and your staff) to live up to the hype.
It’s often hard to believe that you are the best at everything, at every service and for every type of client. In such cases, it is easier to choose a specific area of expertise for each client, making them feel that your services are custom made just for them.
Your confidence when playing your position reassures clients. When you’re not the right professional for a client (whether it is wealth management, corporate law or even nonprofit auditing), you should let your client know. Do you have a great referral for them? Elevate your practice by providing referrals thereby ensuring your position as a respected resource.
They Say So
Testimonials from clients, referral sources, organization leaders, and even civic community groups all help to affirm your expertise and your excellence. Unfortunately, your contacts don’t know about these testimonials unless you share them.
You can use these phrases to introduce testimonials:
In the next few weeks, clients will leave your office saying, “This has been great! I don’t know how to thank you.” You should reply, “Well, there is actually something you can do. Could you take a moment right now to call our voicemail and tell us about this experience? With your permission, we’d love to use the recording as a sound bite on our website (let them know they have the option of allowing you to use only their first names if they’re uncomfortable using their full names).” How do you do this? Go to voice.google.com and get a free voicemail account. Now, ask your clients to leave you a message on that line. You can then login to your Google Voice account to play the message. Right underneath it, there's an option to either download it as an mp3 or embed the message just like a YouTube video.
Awards, who’s who lists, and thank you letters even from speaking engagements are different ways you can use to show you’re better than most … they say so. When you wow your clients, I’m sure they’ll say you’re the best in their own recorded words.
Vikram Rajan is the founder of phoneBlogger.net, an Internet referral-generating service for CPAs and attorneys. He has his own PracticeMarketingBLOG.com.