Referrals are the most common way for accounting firms to get new business. After all, when looking for a strategic partner like an accounting firm, business owners don’t usually go to a search engine to find one. They ask their attorney or other business owners. Once they have a short list of referrals, what do you think they do?
They go to your website.
They check your social media accounts.
They look at your publicity, good or bad.
They may even find information on review sites or from public documents.
In our technological age, your website must become a lead generator. Besides the rainmakers in your firm (only 1 in 10), others may not understand how to bring in business, which limits the number of prospects who come in.
Your referrals go to your website first, even if it’s just to confirm what they heard about you. Don’t let them get away. Intrigue them. Woo them. Get them to call.
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Approach your website visitor experience like an important meeting with your best client. First of all, they already know you are an accountant. You don’t have to say, “We are accountants and advisors,” but too many home pages of accounting firm websites waste time by stating the obvious. Use that valuable home page space and precious seconds to speak to your visitors’ needs.
Are your visitors dropping off too soon? Keep the conversation moving forward online. Once your website draws them in to confirm your expertise and problem-solving skills, give them a parting gift to contemplate. A “contact us” button on every page is fine, but what else can you offer them? How about a whitepaper on alternate revenue streams in retail? A checklist to prepare for an operations review? A common Q and A regarding affordable housing 15-year buybacks? Any of these valuable resources can move the ball forward with your referral…and create less work for you.
Bottom line: accounting referrals WILL research you online before they talk to a real person. Your website must convince them that their pain is recognized, you have the right and best answers, and your team can fix it.
Don’t wait around hoping that other people in your firm will step up and miraculously bring in business. Automate some of the early work of attracting leads. Some easy changes to your website can make all the difference in moving the conversation from online browsing to a meaningful and qualified closing.
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