Stand out from the crowd

Hopefully, by now you are beginning to realise that When setting up or growing your bookkeeping business, it’s not enough to get qualified and then hope that the customers come flocking.

However, before beginning any marketing plans, there are a few things you need to look at. The first three steps which of the essence to prioritise are:

  1. Clearly identifying your target market
  2. Look to increase your value
  3. Differentiate yourself from the competition

It is often the case that many professionals, including bookkeepers, will skip these important initial stages and try to begin marketing their services, without really being clear about why clients should choose them above all others.

It is imperative to consider the perspective of your clients. What they really want to be sure of is why they should come to you for bookkeeping needs. Marketing is spoken of a lot when it comes to differentiating yourself from the rest.

Differentiation is what sets you apart, it includes attributes within your services that are valued by clients, and are difficult to reproduce by your competitors.

At the very basic level, it could simply be a service which no other can deliver, or it could be a specialist service which concentrates on a particular sector enabling your company to have more knowledge and experience in that field - whatever can make you stand out is highly beneficial to differentiating yourself.

It is discussed much less often how to differentiate in regards to selling, but this is just as important as establishing. If you come into contact with a prospective client you need to be able to persuade them that you’re different in some way.

Differentiation at this level can be hard as by the time a client is speaking with you they have already discarded other companies who aren’t specialised in this sector - so this can no longer be your advantage. There are a couple of methods, however, which can be very productive…

The ‘Safe Pair of Hands’ Strategy: You need to be able to prove yourself, through references, testimonials, or just how much you seem to empathise with their situation. Make the customer feel confident in your abilities to be able to deliver exactly what they want.

The ‘Relationship’ Strategy: People choose to work with those they like, and trust. Build a relationship with your prospective client; share an interest, make a joke - humanise yourself. You’re more than just a figurehead to a company. The

‘Been There Done That’ Strategy: Use oral testimonials with fondness of previous clients, speak of them and their situation, which may be embellished for effect, how you helped them and the outcome. The client-facing you will empathise with this situation, and see the fondness in your speech of the said client.

Body language and tone of voice can be much more productive in business than anything in a documented form. This is a talking ‘off the record’ kind of way which again humanises you to the client and makes you appear more approachable and therefore appealing for a long-term relationship.

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