5 Areas to Improve Client Acquisition Success

If getting new clients is a bit of a struggle for your business and you’re not reaching the revenue levels you desire due to too few clients, then the first step is to find out where the process is breaking down.  There are five main places:

  1. Client retention.
  2. Are you keeping the clients you acquire, or are you experiencing too much churn in your client base?  You can measure your retention rate year after year by computing the percent of total annual revenues that is due to repeat clients.  If it’s less than 80%, then you are either in your first year of business or you have a problem.

    The problem could be a number of things:  client service, product quality, perceived value, trust, and the biggie in our industry:  lack of communication.   Asking the lost clients may not yield an accurate answer either; one way to find out is to hire a third party to contact and interview your clients.

  3.  Conversion.
  4. Your sales conversion is a ratio that helps you measure your effectiveness in selling.  If you’ve made it all the way through a proposal with a client, that counts as a prospect.  The percentage of yeses you get divided by the total number of prospects that go through the sales process with you is your conversion ratio.

    The ratio can be affected by the source of the prospect – with referrals you should have a nearly 100% conversion ratio versus a stranger who finds your website.    During your proposal or selling process, how well you build trust and demonstrate credibility and competence will greatly affect your ratio.

    If your conversion is low, look for courses in selling or negotiation for professional service firms or better yet, accountants in particular, such as Accountant’s Accelerator.

  5. Nurture.
  6. More than 90 percent of prospects are not ready to buy on your first contact with them.   Do you have a way to warm them up through education and qualification?

    It’s best to automate as much of this step as possible.  Prospects can be warmed up through white papers, newsletters, and other content marketing.  You can also take a more personal, yet leveraged approach through open houses and seminars.  If you don’t have a follow-up / nurture system, then you’re leaving a ton of money on the table.

    We have clients who are on our list for about a year before they call or reach out.  When they do, they don’t need much selling because the trust and credibility have been built through our automated systems.

  7. Capture.
  8. Are your marketing systems able to capture leads that find your web site, hear you speak, and /or are interested in your services but do not call or reach out?  If not, you have some leaks to plug.  Some common places include your website if there is no free report to capture email address, a phone call that doesn’t get recorded in a “leads log” or worse, a voice mail box that is full or not initialized or has a really bad recording.

    A prospect needs to see a smiling face or hear a friendly voice, or they will not feel welcome enough to reach out.  It’s scary to reach out to a stranger, so make it easy as possible for them to do so and you will be rewarded with more business.

  9. Lead generation volume.
  10. This is where most people spend money to generate more clients.  But as you can see, if you don’t have the above structures in place and working beautifully, any money spent here will go to waste.

Strongest and Weakest

Which one is your strongest area?  Which one is your weakest?  What one thing can you do to improve your client acquisition success?