Prospects are one of the greatest keys to increasing revenue but unfortunately, many accounting firms are struggling to grow their prospect lists. Oftentimes, this struggle comes from not knowing how to grow a prospect base in a way that generates results. Prospect lists must be permission based, otherwise you’ll run the risk of poor outcomes. Here are 3 practical and easy ideas for growing your prospect base and making the most out of your communications.
- Capture permission when you speak.
Speaking is a key part of building a practice and generating good opportunities for business. However, most people don’t effectively capitalize on opportunities to gain permission from their audience to stay in touch. Each time you speak you should provide attendees with a 1-page evaluation form that includes options for staying in touch through your newsletter, opting in to emails about future events, or contacting you directly about a service.
- Offer free thought leadership resources.
Providing people with free content is a good way to capture prospect information. It will also give you insight into what is on their mind right now. These free resources might include recorded webinars or seminars you have already given or plan to give, checklists, whitepapers, industry benchmarking data and more. Content can be easily shared through your existing marketing efforts and/or added to your website for download.
- Grow your social media following.
One thing I love about social media is the built in permissions that are intrinsic to each network. People on social media are choosing to connect, follow, like, friend and fan each other. Unfortunately, most of us overlook this permission and don’t consider the possibility of how to leverage this permission into our marketing channels. Each platform is different, but each tool can be better utilized. The biggest opportunity for more direct interaction on social media is with LinkedIn. Each professional often has a LinkedIn profile. Those LinkedIn networks can be exported to obtain email addresses. These can then be added to your email lists. The key to this strategy is to be actively growing your LinkedIn network.
Ok, we couldn’t stop at 3. Here is 1 bonus idea and 1 recommendation:
- Partner with other organizations.
Whether you are holding an event or creating a unique thought leadership piece (like a survey), partnering with another organization is an excellent way to build your exposure and prospect list. These opportunities work best when there is clear alignment around the market and each party brings a value to the table. For example, let’s say you want to get in front of more Non Profits. Normally, you would hold your own events. This time, however, you might choose to partner with a law firm that also specializes in Non Profits. Law firms have a set of clients, prospects and expertise that you do not have, conversely, you also have a set of clients, prospects and expertise that they do not have. It is a win-win for both firms. Another example is partnering with an institution. Let’s say you have an expertise in Transportation. You might partner with your state transportation association to conduct a financial benchmarking study. The association has the exposure and you have the financial expertise, making this a perfect recipe for success.
- Don’t let your prospect list go stale.
Once your prospect list is growing, be sure to nurture them on a regular basis through various touchpoints, e.g., email newsletters, directly sharing articles and resources, sending invitations to events, and making the occasional phone call to check in on their business.