Does telemarketing really work in the long run for accountants?

It would be great to generate below a healthy, constructive and candid discussion about the value of telemarketing for accountancy firms. 

To kick start the discussion here’s two stories to provide a balanced view of telemarketing experiences across two different accountancy firms.

One accountancy firm I work with is seeing some strong early returns on their telemarketing project. It’s only just started (3 months ago) and they have a £60,000 pipeline from 6 opportunities and expect to convert £35-£40,000 of these. The telemarketing is targeting a specific niche in which they have a strong offer. For this firm telemarketing is working and the managing partner is delighted and very optimistic about having a good 12 months of growth ahead.

Another firm I worked with built a very healthy and apparently sustainable referrals programme. The work they put in over a two-year period established an active flow of word-of-mouth recommendations from clients and introducers.

Then they bolted-on telemarketing, which seemed like a good idea at the time.

Because appointments from telemarketing started to flow, the hard work involved in getting word-of-mouth recommendations seemed unnecessary and they stopped their word-of-mouth efforts – referrals dwindled from a flow to a trickle to a drip.

It was OK though because the number of prospect meetings did not dwindle.

However, the firm stopped growing.

The managing partner was less than happy!

The firm’s experience shows how the conversion rate of telemarketing appointments was much lower than those from referral appointments. The time it took to convert telemarketing leads took longer than the referral equivalent. The fee from a telemarketing lead was typically lower than an equivalent-sized referral lead. And the lifetime value of the telemarketing leads has been shown to be much shorter than the referral leads. And the time-cost of senior team members attending worthless telemarketing appointments is a big frustration. This accountancy firm is now re-invigorating their word-of-mouth marketing efforts to restore the flow of referrals to the firm. They will not be using telemarketing in the foreseeable future.

What’s your experience of tele-marketing?

How do you track and measure the ROI of telemarketing?

What’s your biggest frustration with telemarketing?

Paul Shrimpling

Author of ‘Bamboo Marketing For Accountants’ – the route map to marketing success for accountants in practice

Creator of ‘BUSINESS BITESIZE’ – cultivating a greater flow of new clients for your accountancy firm through profitable word-of-mouth…

And let’s get LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulshrimpling

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