Wednesday, January 14, 2015

CPA Website Design Basics: Acquiring New Clients

CPA Site Solutions writes: When you’re running a blog it’s easy to lose sight of your audience. As I settled down this week to discuss using internal links to direct traffic and search authority to certain pages I suddenly realized we haven’t talked about the basics in a LONG time. We’ll talk about links next week, but first… let’s let’s begin the year by reviewing some accounting website design fundamentals that we haven’t talked about in a while.

What Accounting Websites Can’t Do

No matter how great your website is it can never close the sale for you. You need to do that. And once you bring them on board you need to keep them there. This isn’t something that can be automated, but if you have the proper tools and you know how to use them, doing so becomesmuch easier.

What Your Website Can Do

Your website may not be able close sales for you, but it can certainly help make it easier. Once new clients are aboard it can also help you maintain your relationship by streamlining or even automating certain tasks. It can also help you cross-sell and up-sell off-season and upgraded services to your existing clients.
Closing a sale and maximizing customer retention is all about treating your clients like they matter and your website can help you do that.

It’s all about building Relationships

Your connections to your prospects and clients are personal relationships and need to be cultivated as such. This means finding things in common and nurturing those aspects of your relationship. It might be football, or music. It might be golf, the theater; it might even be something as simple as loving the same beer. It might be something intimate like frequenting the same place of worship or having kids in the same school. It could be literally anything. The only thing you can pretty much count on is it not being is accounting.
Find this connection, and then build the relationship from there. Once you have established it, don’t rest on your laurels. In time you will find new things in common and each time you will strengthen the bond with that client.

Using Websites to Cultivate Relationships

Content Management
The key here is having a website you can personalize and using it effectively. Add a Bio page and include personal information on it that your prospects might be able to connect to. It might seem counter-intuitive, but graduating first in your class is not likely to get you a lot of prospect calls. In fact it might even intimidate some people. Mentioning in your profile that you love golf or are a dedicated fan of a local sports franchise is much more likely to put prospects at ease and generate calls.
In order to do this you need to get a website that can be customized. A good accounting website must include an easy to use interface that will allow you to make these kinds of changes, upload pictures etc. This way you can not only make these changes yourself, your website can grow with your firm. You will be able to modify the site any time without having to pay costly design fees whenever your practice grows or your staff changes.
Don’t underestimate the value of pictures. A few strategically placed custom pictures can go a long way towards giving a prospect the sense of familiarity and comfort that will help him or her overcome their fear of change.
Interactive Financial Calculators
The awesome power of these neat little calculators as networking tools are almost universally unappreciated. Many websites for accountants don’t even offer them! Think about though… what better way to drive repeat traffic to your site and keep your brand in front of prospects than to offer them a huge library of free financial and tax planning tools. Even if they are happily involved with another CPA firm they will still use them, and in the long term when (for whatever reason) they need to break off their relationship with their current accountant you will very likely be the first person they call.
Email Marketing
An advanced email marketing system is a GREAT way to nurture relationships with clients and prospects alike. This isn’t just a Newsletter, although that’s an important part of it, but a system capable of importing client and prospect data including names and contact information andincorporating it into your mailings to make them feel more personal.
Think about it for a second!
You can create highly personalized emails sent directly to them by name, and even break your “blasts” up by subject (business owners, home owners, contractors, etc.) so recipients will only get emails related to their personal needs.
I think that’s enough for now. If you feel I missed anything or if you have any questions leave a comment below. Next we’ll talk about how your website can help you with client retention.


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