When most people think of marketing, they think of websites, phonebook ads, commercials, and selling to clients. At our firm, we consider each interaction with a client or potential client marketing. We pour our hearts into the work we do for our clients. We have a complete desire to help them. In our experience, that leads to more clients. So many more, in fact, that we have started expanding in a way that we said we never would.
We started our firm with the vision that every client interaction would be with a CPA. Three years later, we are still so passionate about it, that we still do not have support staff. Yes, we answer our own phones and write our own emails. We aren’t in the yellow pages and we don’t attend networking events. Put plainly, we strive to leave our clients so satisfied that they can’t stop talking about us.
We made several deliberate decisions in designing our firm to make this happen. We don’t advertise. We don’t take on clients for the sake of clients. We meet with potential clients (free of charge). We interview new clients before taking them on. We focus on client relationships. We don’t send generic emails or letters to clients EVER. We take a few extra minutes to send a personal message with our tax organizers. We take the time to know about our clients. We visit their place of business. We deliver their tax returns. We (almost) force clients to sit with us to review their return and current circumstances.
We do all of this without working an iota of overtime. Don’t get me wrong… we work hard, we just don’t work long hours. We have clients with very complex tax issues. We schedule our toughest work at our most productive times. As partners, we take calls on our cellphones and work from home. We have a virtual server that allows us to work from anywhere. Our methods allow us to be flexible and responsive to clients without missing time with our family. We are deliberate about everything we do, every client we take on, every workflow process, and every detail about our firm, right down to the way our office is arranged.
If you feel like your firm needs to work on marketing, start with the quality of service and interactions you have with existing clients. Drop clients that don’t value your service or that you can’t truly help. Build your client list in a way that will allow you the time to reach out to clients throughout the year. We continue to be surprised at the variety of ways we can help clients.