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Telemarketing Tips for CPA's: Part II

     -     Dec 21st, 2011   -     Accounting Marketing   -     0 Comments

The other day we discussed some basic tips for finding a spectacularly qualified telemarketer (Read the article here…).  So next I wanted to take some time to address how you, as a CPA firm, can work with a super qualified telemarketing team to insure a higher lead close and success rate.  There are a lot of factors that go into finding qualified leads for your business, but a lead doesn’t do you any good unless you can close it.  Consider the following items to help make your next lead generation effort as successful as possible:

1. Choosing your prospects.
Perhaps the #1 most important thing you can do for yourself.  Make sure you know your target, it’s Marketing 101.  Pick a single service to offer, and then choose businesses that make sense for your firm.  If your firm specializes in businesses with 1-50 employees, targeting Wal-Mart on your prospect list doesn’t make any sense.  First of all, you probably aren’t set up to handle a business that large, and your portfolio of existing clients doesn’t back up any of your claims for being qualified to handle such an enormous company.  On the other hand, if you are a firm who targets fortune 500 companies, you should not set up your call list to include start up businesses – they won’t be worth your time, money and labor based on the structure of your own firm.

Your prospect list needs to fit nicely in with your existing client base – stick with the industries you are familiar with and know the service you are offering.  You SHOULD include 5-10 ‘dream’ clients on your list, again not the entire list, but a few businesses that you would like to have in your portfolio, these dream clients should fit in with the overall model of your business and also be within the industry of your expertise – you never know when an opportunity to work with one of these companies will arise.

2. Check your list – twice!
At least! Nothing is more embarrassing then having a current client contacted by your telemarketing company asking if they would like to switch firms.  I cannot stress enough that when you outsource your work to another company, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure that this doesn’t happen.  Have two sets of eyes look at the list before it gets approved – and make sure you note any merger or business acquisitions that your client has undergone to ensure that those merger names are not being contacted on the list.

3. Proper Follow Up
If your telemarketing company is any good, they are going to come back to you with a decent amount of leads.  Leads that range from simple information requests, to the typical “We’d like to keep your name on file”, or a really big ‘What are your prices?’ lead.  Each lead needs to be handled with care, and promptly followed up on.  Do not leave any leads to chance! If you are selling professionalism and customer service with great relationships as a part of your sales pitch, you need to follow through.  Contact all leads, big or small.  If information is requested, send a warm letter or email with that collateral within 24 hours of the request, then follow up in 7 days to confirm receipt and offer another opportunity to discuss a change to your firm.  As the saying goes, strike while the iron is hot! After all you have paid a third party to go out and find these people – in order to get what you paid for you are going to need to close the deal.

4. Professional Collateral
Key word is professional.  Have beautiful PDF’s that are informative at the ready to send to leads.  Have at least two PDF’s.  One PDF should discuss your firm’s areas of expertise, level of experience, the history of your firm, and your value proposition.  The second PDF should be specific to the service which you are selling to this new company.  In the beginning we discussed the importance of focusing on one key service, this collateral piece should match the key service you are selling.  It should highlight your areas of expertise, name a few satisfied and recognizable clients within the document, and more importantly discuss how your firm is qualified to work with their business. If you  think it is acceptable to create these collateral materials in Microsoft Word, or if you think that your daughter can write the copy for the piece – hire a marketing professional immediately.  Remember that these materials are going to set the tone for the brand of your firm and will be impacting the prospects first visual impression so take them very seriously.  In addition these materials can be used after the telemarketing campaign to further e-blast campaigns, direct mail campaigns and additional marketing efforts, so it’s wise to invest in them.

Telemarketing can be extremely effective and very lucrative for your firm, but it’s important that you take the time to set yourself up for success – getting the leads is only half the battle.  It will be up to you and your team to follow up and demonstrate the promise made in the pitch.

Does your firm have experience with telemarketing? Are there any additional tips that you would offer to someone getting ready to start their first campaign?  Share them in the comments!


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