Over the last few years, I’ve been regularly invited to speak to small and large groups of tax and accounting professionals about their online marketing and prospective client follow-up — and how critical it is for those in our profession to get it right.
(Consider: Aside from “purchasing” a done-for-you software system online, do your best clients EVER pull the trigger on a service plan upon first contact? … No? Exactly.)
So, I decided to play “prospect” with some tax and accounting websites of some selected attendees to my talks.
Sure, many of them looked nice and “pretty” — impressive, even.
But the vast majority of those tax and accounting websites had NO mechanism in place to capture the contact information of their visitors. Not even the quite lame (and very old) “Sign up for our Newsletter” box.
So here’s a potentially embarrassing question: What about YOUR website? What about YOUR follow-up?
You see, I was a WARM prospect (or I at least chose to appear as such), and even with these otherwise success-oriented accounting and tax firms, I barely got a follow-up.
And systematic, effective follow-up is the only way to win new business online for the service professional.
Therefore, the “lead capture box” is the most fundamental tool for all tax and accounting websites.
Why is this? Well, you’re not running a charity and you’re not an info-tainment provider, so therefore your website has two primary purposes:
- To get people to make an appointment to come see you.
- To get someone to opt into your email list.
And, can we agree that you’re not going to be preparing many tax returns online? Yep, that’s not your competitive edge — especially with softwares and the other big-brand behemoths out there.
Your edge is based on your relationship with your clients and prospects.
So … riddle me this: Just how many *cold* (i.e. non-referral) visitors can make any kind of ultimate decision regarding who they’ll trust with their most intimate financial details based on a website? The answer, of course, is not very many. You MIGHT get a phone call (pop-quiz: is your phone number prominent on your website?), but even then — you’d need to be well-prepared with a very good pitch to “close” a discerning prospect. That’s a subject for another time.
But, if you build a relationship over time with these visitors, that “pitch” becomes much simpler.
And that, of course, translates well for YOUR competitive edge … and to well-paying clients, month after month.
You see, if you don’t have an effective “lead capture” mechanism in place + a relational (and prompt) follow-up + a systemized way to build a relationship over time (so that when the prospect is ready, they come to you), well … you WILL be left behind in the current marketplace.
If you are interested in talking over this issue for YOUR online marketing strategy, and how our team could be in your corner to help, schedule a time with one of my online marketing specialists (not “sales people” — these are my team members who are doing this stuff every day on behalf of our clients) you can schedule a time by following this link.