One of the best ways accountants can deliver better marketing is by getting inside the head of your clients.
What do they really care about? More importantly, what do they NOT care about? What really, really doesn’t matter to them?
When you know that, your marketing will get exponentially better.
And it may surprise you to discover that your clients really, really don’t care about the numbers.
They don’t want to see them.
P&L’s bore them.
Balance sheets confuse them – or are simply a document that has to be created but has no impact on their life.
Tax tables are the most dull thing imaginable.
This week I was talking to my own accountants, the wonderful people at My Accountancy Place, and they were sharing with me that they had a business owner in speaking to their team.
You can watch the video below to hear what Paul Gough had to say to this group of accountants – but what captured my attention in the first few seconds was this:
“I don’t want numbers.
I don’t even want to see a P&L, a balance sheet.
All the stuff that juices you, does not juice the business owner.
What juices the business owner is what those numbers can do for them.
The time you invest with your client in figuring out the thing he wants is massive.
And then use the numbers to guide him to the thing.”
Unlike you the accountant, your clients actually want the ‘rough and ready’ numbers.
“It’s about £17 grand.”
“We’ll hire five or six people in the next few months.”
“We’ve still got a few thousand pounds left on that short term loan, I think.”
You as the accountant still need to do your job well, of course. Get those numbers accurate, right down to the 47 pence. Reconcile the bank. Adjust the invoices. Tidy up the balance sheet. Do everything you do well: but that’s the bare minimum, the basics, the part they leave you to figure out.
Be so critical, so needed, so integral to your client’s business and life that they cannot possibly imagine life without you. From the 47 pence right through to the “thing”, whatever it is they’re trying to achieve in life that you with your focus on the numbers are allowing them to achieve.
So here’s how you can apply this in your marketing:
- Talk their language.
Forget tax tables, percentages, detailed P&L documents that you email to the client. Have all that data available if your client wants it, but in all your communications with potential clients, talk the same way they do. Think big picture. Get to the point. Get rid of “professional speak”, and talk like a human being and an entrepreneur. That’s what they want.
- Use pictures.
A picture is worth a thousand numbers. Get the right numbers, and showcase them beautifully, in a way your client can grasp in seconds. Use Trello or Futrli or a Keynote slide deck or some clever creative way to show them the impact of the numbers. Remember that your clients learn and consume information visually.
- Get the key message right.
We’re running a webinar for accountants on how to create a high converting home page for your website. The same applies to anything you do in marketing: distill it down to the root issue, problem, focus. “We know you don’t care about the numbers: it’s what those numbers can do for you that matters.” “Did you know that bookkeeping is not something you do once a month?”
- Share stories.
You have so many clients who have great stories to tell. Stories about a disaster they faced, and how you came swooping in to save the day. Either let your client tell the story (on video, preferably), or tell it on their behalf. But get those stories out there, because that’s far more impressive than “we’ll do a great job on your accounts and sort out your payroll”.
- Get excited.
Enthusiasm for what your prospects care about will win them over every time. If you’ve just come out of a meeting with a client who thinks you’re amazing, record a video straight away. That enthusiasm will come across, and your prospective clients will want to work with you because they can see that you care.
Here’s Paul’s video.