Posted by & filed under Growing Your Firm Questions, Marketing for Accountants.

Busy season is officially over, and of course, the first two questions I want to ask you are:

1. How many potential prospects have you spoken to within the past 7 days?
2. What have you done to get those meetings on your calendar?

The second question is ultimately what I want to focus this article on: Lead Generation.

For a large majority CPA firms, their strategy for lead generation is to go to one networking event a month in hopes of speaking with one new potential client. But they are completely missing out on the incredible online strategies used to start generating leads and convert them into actual paying clients.

Therefore, I have created a list of the top 14 proven strategies that my clients are using to grow sales in their CPA firms.

Here we go.

1. LinkedIn Advanced Search

If you haven’t had the chance to check out LinkedIn’s Advanced Search capabilities, you are clearly missing a huge opportunity to reach potential clients.

When you log in to LinkedIn, you will see “Advanced” on the top right hand corner of the top bar. Click on “Advanced” and a drop down table appears where you can start to enter in certain criteria (i.e. First Name, Last Name, Title, Company, Location, Similar Groups, Industry, and more).

For example, let’s say you want to connect with dentists in your area. Head over to LinkedIn Advanced Search and put in the following Criteria:

Keyword: Dentist
Title: Owner (Current)
Location: Zip code Near You

When I entered this search, I came up with 350 dentist who own their own businesses within 100 miles of …where I am located. Cool right? Now it’s your turn. Enter in your specific criteria of your ideal customers and start connecting.

2. Facebook Profile

Do you currently have a Facebook Profile?

If your answer is anything but Yes, you are missing out on a ton of potential clients!

Facebook has become the new place for businesses to go when trying to drum up additional customers. When I get on a call with a potential client, 10 minutes before the call I invite the client to become a friend of mine on Facebook. This simple maneuver, showcases to the client that I am a real person, have a real family and that I am someone with whom could potentially want to work with.

I know this idea sounds a bit weird, but the truth is, when you are connected as friends on Facebook and the potential clients starts rummaging through your old posts, they get a better handle of the type of person you are. Then, when the phone call comes, they feel like they already know you.

The other benefit to having your potential clients be friends with you on Facebook, is it gives you an audience to share client testimonials on. You never know who is reading your profile so if they happen to stumble upon a great client testimonial, you might have just locked in your next client!

3. Direct Email Outreach (4 Parts)

How many times have you answered your phone and been annoyed with someone trying to sell you something on the other line?

If you are anything like me, I tend to get annoyed when someone randomly calls me to try to sell me on something. And I’m a sales guy!

People don’t like receiving random sales calls in the middle of the day, especially when they are taking up your free time. So instead of trying the “Cold Call” technique, try using a direct email outreach method to get in touch with cold leads.

Let’s say you have a list of emails from potential customers that you want to reach out to. Gather the emails and spend about 2 hours on a Sunday night/Monday morning to draft the first email. Here is a great example to use:

First Name,

Great to be connected on LinkedIn and great work on [Insert Company]!

I want to reach out as I’m doing a bit of research and have been working with a few software companies in the accounting/small business space.

Are you available for a call sometime this/next week? I’d love to have a strategy session and share some ideas of what’s working.

Thanks,

Come Tuesday morning, hit send on your direct outreach emails (personalized to each client). Then, wait 2 days if you haven’t received a response and send a follow up email. Here is an example:

Hi First Name,

I never heard back. Are you available to chat next week?

Thanks,

Continue with this follow up method two more times until you receive a response. Here is the third email to use if you have yet to receive a response from your prospect:

Hi First Name,

I still haven’t heard back. Are you still interested in meeting? How do these times look?

Tuesday at 11am EST
Wednesday at noon EST

Thanks,

The last email you will send (#4) will include something a little different in hopes of getting a response:

Hi First Name,

I hate to be a pest, but I want to follow up one last time. Are you free for a strategy session this week?

Thanks,

This email is the last one you will send, and usually it gets the highest response rate. Some people will reply with “I’m sorry for not getting back to you” or “I apologize for keeping you in the dark”.

Follow up is one of the most successful ways to turn a cold prospect into a hot new client. You just have to stick with it. Here is the structure to use:

4. Social Media Groups

Most people tend to gather around similar interest/likes or things they are trying to do within their businesses. This research makes lead generation super easy for CPA firms looking to speak to a specific niche or industry.

Go to any social media platform, search for groups, and type in the industry in which you are looking to do business with.

For example, head to LinkedIn Groups, and let’s say your industry is salon owners.

If you type in “Salon Owners” into the search, you will find over pages of groups with 15k+ people within each group.

Once you join the group, you will have access to each one of the members and you can start connecting and sending out emails directly from that platform.

Do a similar process on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter lists.

There is an endless amount of people online – it’s up to you to go out and find them!

Good luck!

Article originally created by Andrew Argue for Jetpack Workflow. You can learn more about his work at AndrewArgue.com

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