Excited to grow your firm or practice but always feel like you're falling short of your metrics?
In this post, I want to go over how to set up a client acquisition pipeline so that you can better forecast your growth.
Step 1: Defining the metrics
A very common question I ask firms is "How many clients do you want to add this year"
I ask because most firm owners have a number of new clients they want to see (of course there's more than just "new" clients if you want to grow!).
So let's say the answer is "50" clients in the next 12 months.
So my mind immediately breaks it down into "chunks" of actionable steps...
How many clients per month... and per week does this mean?
In this scenario. 50 clients, divided by 12 is roughly 4 new clients a month, or roughly 1 new client a week. Great, we now have the numbers we want to achieve... one new client per week.
Step 2: Building out the funnel
In our marketing for accountants series, we cover the importance of measuring your efforts and setting up both sales and marketing campaigns so you can measure through a "response" or "action" from the prospect.
In this case, we have the bottom of the funnel ready... we know our ultimate number. Now let's build up....
1 client a week... How many client meetings do I need to schedule to get 1 client?
For example, for every 3 client meetings we get 1 new client
How many prospects do I need to have in order to get 1 meeting?
For example, for every 10 people that (do X... attended my workshop, webinar, email list, contact form on website...), 1 will schedule a meeting. For this example, let's say it's a web contact form.
Great... I now know that in order to get 3 client meetings in a week, I need 30 people to fill out a contact form.
How many people are currently filling out my web form?
For example, every week I get 5 forms filled out. I know to get up to 30!
Great, let's explore a variety of content marketing, SEO, paid ads.
Some of you might be saying... but all my business comes from referrals!
Apply the same process, how many referrals do you get a week?
Do they all come from clients?
So let's say for every 10 clients you bring on board, you get one new referral client.
Is there a way to get that number to every 5 clients that come on board, one new referral clients comes in as well.
(See ideas on referrals here and here)
Or maybe you're saying... but all my clients come in through events!
Great, how many people from a single event convert into a client?
Can you host more events with the same ratio? Can you do a better job of bringing in more at the event?
So what's the point
To understand how to bring in more clients, you must first understand your marketing and sales numbers!
Just like it's hard to predict a financial forecast without financial information, it's impossible to predict new client growth without understanding how you're getting clients right now (and not just understand, but have numbers next to it!).
Then marketing and new client growth becomes a game of finding where the numbers are weak, and then finding creative marketing strategies to grow! With this approach, you can focus your attention on specific parts of the pipeline that needs to be stronger, have better conversion, or higher number of visitors, leads, or new prospects.