What makes you different from other accountants in your community? If you’re having trouble answering this question, it may be time to sit down and reevaluate your marketing strategy. After all, if you want to attract and win new clients, especially advisory clients, you have to give prospects a reason to choose your services over your competitors.
So, what can you do to stand out amongst your competitors?
Here are a few simple but effective tips.
How to Stand Out Amongst Your Competitors as an Accountant
1. Position Yourself as an Expert
One great way to stand out in the crowd is to position and establish yourself as an expert in your field. When others view you as an expert, you gain credibility and trust.
But how do you position yourself as an industry leader?
- Create great content that informs and provides value. Whether it’s through blog posts, videos or infographics, content is a great way to demonstrate your expertise and start building authority.
- Align yourself with well-known and reputable companies and influencers in the financial industry. This social proof can help establish credibility in the minds of prospects.
- Show up day in and day out as an industry leader would. You can’t just talk the talk without walking the walk.
If you establish yourself as an expert, you’ll stand out amongst the competition. Think about it this way, if a firm has a reputation for being the best in the community or the best in a specific industry, would you choose them or a competitor for your accounting needs? You want the best for your business, so you’d choose the best accounting firm around. Positioning yourself as an expert can have the same effect.
2. Collect Testimonials
When choosing an accounting firm, people rely on reviews and recommendations. In fact, 95% of people say that reviews and testimonials influence their purchasing decisions.
Positive comments from clients can help you stand out amongst your competitors. Prospects will see that other people have had positive experiences with your firm, which will help them feel more comfortable taking the next step.
Start collecting testimonials from your existing clients. If they’re pleased with your service, they will be more than happy to give you feedback.
Once you’ve gathered testimonials, make sure that you’re:
- Displaying them on your home page and landing pages
- Featuring them on social media
- Including the person’s name and company name/position
For testimonials to be effective, prospects have to see them, so make sure that you’re featuring them in the right places.
3. Have an Irresistible Offer
It’s challenging to stand out in the crowd when you don’t have an irresistible offer. An irresistible offer is what makes you different from other firms. It’s an offer that’s so valuable and unique that you’d be crazy to pass it up.
You want prospects to think, “Wow, I can’t believe they’re offering all of this and at minimal risk to me.”
There are several ways to increase the perceived value of your services:
- Bundle complementary products together
- Add in extra touch points with you clients
- Focus on the outcomes of your services and what it can mean for your client
You can also decrease perceived risk by providing social proof of the effectiveness of your services.
In order to create an irresistible offer, you need to know:
- What your clients value
- Their pain points
- What your competitors are offering
- What gaps you can fill
When you know what your clients truly value and what your competitors are offering, you can create a better offer. Your goal is to solve problems that other firms can’t or to provide more value than your competitors.
Another important thing is to consider offering an introductory-level service that’s low-risk to prospects. Once they’ve developed a relationship with your firm, they may feel more comfortable using your more expensive packages, such as advisory services. As long as the client has a great customer experience and outcome, they will likely stick around rather than go to your competitors for these services.
4. Create a Great Customer Experience
Speaking of customer experience – are you making it a priority? Potential clients should have a positive experience from the onboarding stage and beyond.
A great customer experience will automatically help you stand out in the crowd and is a perceived value by prospects.
So, how can you create a positive customer experience?
- Improve Your Onboarding Process. Onboarding is an excellent opportunity to see whether you are a good fit for a client and vice versa. It’s also a great time to set clear expectations of your services, how you will communicate with your new client and what is expected of your clients. When everyone is on the same page and knows what’s expected of them, it creates an overall positive experience.
- Use the Latest Technology. Make it easy for clients to upload documents and for you to communicate with them. Many accounting tools and solutions can streamline and simplify processes. These solutions save clients time and make the process as pain-free as possible.
- Make Client Communication a Priority. Communication with clients should be proactive and ongoing. Reach out regularly for updates on your clients’ businesses. Be clear and transparent with your communications. Make sure that there are no gaps in your communications with your clients.
We can’t stress enough the importance of a good customer experience. One survey of business leaders in the US and UK found that 87% of senior leaders view customer experience as their top-growth engine.
Focusing on this experience must be a top-priority if you want to grow your business.
These four points are a great starting point if you want to stand out amongst your competitors. Your offer must be outstanding, an offer that really hits on the pain points of clients, is well-planned out and provides real value.
Once you have your offer in place, you need to use testimonials and your expertise to build trust and confidence in your business.
Finally, you want to keep the clients that you have. Customer experience is one of the most crucial aspects of a business. In fact, bad customer experience leads to $1.6 trillion in lost sales annually.
If your experience is bad, customers will abandon your service. The tips above touch on all of these points to help you stand out from your competitors and win more clients.