Undoubtedly, networking is one of the most important skills for any businessperson. It helps to create and maintain relationships, learn about the latest business trends, and gain insights from those who are in the trenches with us. When you have the right approach to networking, you will feel comfortable in a crowd.
As an accountant or bookkeeper, you should master and implement the best ways of networking. The added advantage is that you will be constantly growing your customer base by establishing long-term relationships with relevant individuals and groups in the industry.
Our experienced accountants and bookkeepers here at Tianlong have gone out of their way to share with you some indispensable tips and proven techniques that will help you up your networking game.
Prepare A Strategic Plan
For you to reap maximum benefits from your networking efforts, you must focus on a plan that will guide you to specific target clients and convert them into loyal clients. You will be more successful if you make a networking plan to help you keep track of what you’ve accomplished. A good networking plan can help you build your reputation within your field, improve your ability to communicate, develop your technical skills, create relationships with potential customers or clients, and more.
Having a strategic plan allows you to pursue business networking events objectively as per the services offered by your firm. As such, it is necessary to apply your personal expertise and endorse the importance of your firm’s services in your plan while targeting various individuals and groups.
Offer Wide-ranging Bookkeeping Services
The range of services that you offer is vital in expanding your network and building a successful bookkeeping business. Don’t limit yourself to one or two types of services even if you lack the required skills for others. You can always hire a professional or outsource those services, which expands your network. Be comfortable to present a diverse range of facilities to your prospects, such as bookkeeping, stocktaking, final year end accounts, tax returns and payroll rather than focusing on a narrow range.
You should also note that specialist services can enhance your reputation in niche markets and win new customers after establishing an open-hearted introduction. As a professional accountant and bookkeeper, exploit taxation services because it is a key area for exercising your technical expertise and knowledge to guide clients. You can even choose to offer your clients online services to cut down on administration time and costly travel.
Ensure You Have Enough Business Cards.
Business cards are usually one of the first things we think of when it comes to networking. This is because paper business cards are essential for all face-to-face interactions in your business. Giving out business cards after making quality connections with potential clients is a tangible networking strategy that usually leaves a lasting impression towards closing a sale. Always estimate the number of business cards you need depending on the people you expect to meet.
However, your business cards must be well-designed and thoughtfully organized to make a positive impression on the recipient. Consequently, your firm’s credibility, legitimacy and professionalism will be visible, as you connect with many people who will access the name of your company as well as up-to-date contacts.
Follow Up On All Cold Calls
Sending out mails, leaflet drops and handing out business cards might produce some response, but only at a very low level unless supported by personal contact. Initial communication rarely produces immediate results; therefore, establishing personal contact is important to ascertain if there are any potential bookkeeping requirements. During the first personal contact with potential clients, make it a habit to introduce your company by explaining the real benefits of various products and services and leaving your business card before parting ways.
However, you will hardly close a sale at this point; therefore, you should follow up on all cold calls as an opportunity to give comprehensive details about your services. Follow-up all enquiries with an email or phone call within a few days and be specific to each client regarding the advantages of your bookkeeping services. If the client demands a third meeting, you should be prepared to obtain business by carefully convincing the client to adopt the services offered.
Network Beyond Your Firm’s Locality
If you want to have a large pool of potential customers converted into loyal clients, you should not allow your business to be bound by time and distance. Networking for your accounting firm calls for an extensive search for clients in different market niches within your industry and beyond irrespective of their time zone or location.
One way to network beyond your firm’s locality is becoming familiar with networking resources especially social media. You can choose a platform that works best for you, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. For example, an Australian bodybuilder or an American and banker may like a post on your LinkedIn page. You can use this opportunity to contact them and introduce your accounting and bookkeeping services. With mobile and cloud technologies, you should not worry about the location of your customers.