Now your firm is on the other side of the tax return deadline you can breathe again and look at what 2014 holds for you and your accountancy firm.

Thing is, you’ve probably missed a huge marketing opportunity for your firm. An opportunity you can capitalise on next year if you do something about it now.

Here’s how tax-return season sign-posts how NOT to market your firm.

Maybe it’s not the case in your firm, but most firms in December and January (in the UK) are focussed (obsessing) on tax returns and the last of their March and April year-end accounts.

This results in less high-value contact with your business owner clients than normal. You might be chasing them for missing information but are not connected to what matters most to business owners at this time of year.

In December and January most business owners are reflecting on the last 12 months and wondering how to tackle another year in their business.

To build a stronger connection and win greater client loyalty you and your people should be having more calls and more meetings with your top 40 clients than at any other time of year. It’s a time to discuss your clients’ ambitions and concerns for the coming year.

As well as client loyalty benefits you might even end up cross-selling additional services too. It’s still possible in February but the December and January opportunity is lost.

And what if you do the same next year whilst one of your main competitors gets their production workflow act together and frees time up in December and January?  Time they use to run events, get busy networking, meet lots of introducers and follow up prospect referrals (prospects which could be your clients). They would be louder than you, they would have the edge rather than you at this important relationship-building time of year.

Marketing for accountancy firms is more about relationship management than anything. Relationship management is more about meetings and calls than anything – and these need your time, your focus and your commitment.

With this in mind several of the accountancy firms we consult with are presenting their tax return workflow plans to us during March and April. They want to have the edge at the end of 2014, they want to be louder than their competitors. What about you?

It’s odd to me that production workflow should concern me when my focus is on helping accountancy firms be more successful at generating and converting more profitable fees. However, because the top two sources of converted leads for accountancy firms (according to our soon-to-be-published marketing audit for accountants report) are client referrals and introducer referrals I have no choice but to implore you to free time up next December and January and invest it in seeing and speaking to your best clients and introducer contacts.

Maybe you’d prefer to go skiing next January? Maybe you’d prefer to get one step ahead of your competition next December and January? Either way your production plan for annual accounts and tax returns determines the time you have available at this crucial time.

What’s your experience of client meetings and introducer meetings in December and January?

What do your clients want to talk about at this time of year?

What are the differences between January and December conversations?


Paul Shrimpling

PS if you want to know more about the ‘Marketing Audit For Accountants’ report on 109 firm’s marketing results please drop us a LinkedIn message