Drilling for leads
Yesterday, I met with a couple of my favourite bookkeeping colleagues for a catch-up. We are all solo practitioners, are experienced
advisors and have similar ways of working with clients. Our chat covered many topics but the most detailed was a discussion on the way we
generate client leads. Generating leads for any small business can be a challenge. But in a service industry, it sometimes seems even
tougher. For bookkeepers, the most common way for generating new client leads seems to be through referrals from an accountant. But this
method is often a bit hit and miss. Firstly, you have to luck onto an accountant that is on a similar digital path to your practice. And
secondly, you must develop that special trusted relationship with them. If they are sharing their loveliest clients with you, they want to
know that you will do an excellent job and look after their baby clients. Building that trust takes time. And sometimes you feel like you
are a circus performer playing to a tough crowd. You are giving them all your best material, but no-one is laughing.
Of course, there other methods to try to jump start your client list. Other people swear by business networking groups. That did not work
quite so great for me, but it seems I just chose the wrong group. When I first started Appy Books 9 years ago, I joined a business network
to meet entrepreneurs. There were twenty blokes and me having breakfast together every week. They had all known each other and been in the
same group for 15 years so I found it a very tough crowd. I was the outsider and had to prove myself at every breakfast. I stuck it out for a
year and got zero business from it. I did give business leads but, ironically, got none in return until I left the group. It was certainly a
lesson in humility and persistence.
The bottom line is no-one has all the answers for you to grow your business. You just have to collect advice, go with your gut, and give it a
crack. Whatever method of lead collection you choose, just be true to yourself and carve out your own little niche. Eventually, you will be
an overnight sensation and will be wowing them all while playing to packed houses. And if not, it will give you more time to hang out with
your colleagues on a Wednesday afternoon and shoot the breeze.