Introduction to the Top 10 Series
This is the ninth article in our Top 10 Marketing Tips for Accountants series. Ten separate articles examine marketing objectives for different stages along the customer journey. This is Tip 9: Re-activating past clients and past prospects. Next week will see the conclusion of this series, looking at building alliances. If you would like to receive an e-book on the full accountancy series, then please do get in touch. Further industries will be examined in upcoming series.
Tip 9 – Reactivating past clients and past prospects
The Power of the Past
Past clients and past prospects (those who engaged with your business but never brought your services) are an often over-looked source of opportunity. There are wide ranging reasons why some people don’t buy on the first occasion, and a further set of reasons as to why they can stop buying from you. But there is also an almost limitless set of reasons as to why they may have a need at some stage in the future.
It may be timing, a change in business or personal circumstance, or simply something you didn’t do or did do, that caused the relationship or current ‘match’ to fall over. However, it is the way you handle this and keep adding value after that issue, that is the basis for future potential.
In the same way as many a childhood sweet-heart couple break up and then later in life fall in love again, the business arrangement between an accountant and their client can often be reactivated.
Stay Relevant and Valuable
This is, of course only possible if you stay in touch and only if you make the effort to stay up-to-date on their current situation. Ask yourself “if my clients were to stop working with me for any reason today, why would they actively stay in touch with me, and what methods could I use to stay in touch with them?”
Often this comes down to some non-transactional connection that adds value such as a newsletter, event invitations, or a networking/ social connection, but it can also be managed at a personal relationship level too.
However you do it, stop the potential from dying. It’s surprising how often a maintained personal relationship will lead to a referral or introduced business, especially when the working arrangement ended amicably or for unforeseen reasons.
Ready and Waiting
For the past prospects, it is slightly different. In most cases, the reason a sale didn’t happen was either:
- The timing wasn’t right. Therefore simply staying relevant and current in your communications could lead to a second bite of the cherry.
- The initial offer match wasn’t right – in terms of personal trust and relationship, value recognition, or simply the fit of needs and the service suggested. In this case ongoing communication, trust building, referencing, and new service provision may mean a later fit is much better.
Don’t be a Dodo!
Regardless of why, the vital component here is ongoing communication, and this only happens if you capture, justify and legally gain permission for this. Get it right, and you’ll have sales potential building-up for when the future need falls due and when the relationship / service match line up. If you lose touch, you’re as dead as a dodo to them!