I recently spoke with a Belfast accountant who said he thought less than 5% of his new clients came from his website. I believe that every new client will come from your website, or at least come via it. And yes, that will include your referrals. So why is a website so undervalued and underutilised as a sales tool in this sector?
Your website is a shop front, it’s your business and it’s the first hurdle that you have to navigate in order to win this race to capture your referrals. When you are relaxing at home or out at that early morning networking event, people are searching, trying to learn about you and the services you offer. They are deciding if you are worth picking up the phone to. So my first question is, do you have a website that looks like it had to be built because everyone had to have one when it was the fashionable thing to do? Or do you have website that you can be proud of, that works for you, not against you?
“My new clients are all referrals and that’s where my best clients come from…”
Yes, your business is based on referrals and if you do a good job that number should go up. The problem is you only know about the referrals who pick up the phone and call. You don’t know about the ones who are put off by your dated website and call your competitor instead of you. The vast majority of your referrals will check your website and make a decision on you before even picking up the phone. So why would you let them be put off your company before they’ve even met you. By a website that doesn’t represent how good you really are? It’s dangerous to assume that your prospective clients will think your website is good enough because you think it’s good enough. They don’t know you and at this point are looking for the best service possible for their hard earned money.
Also worth remembering, all those newly qualified hungry graduates looking for jobs will be judging you too. They will see a dated website as a dated practice that they don’t want to work at. You’re losing your best future employees.
“The clients that come in from the website are price sensitive. They shop around and leave me after a couple of years”
Is that the norm for your clients at the practice? We all want clients that believe us to be trustworthy, who value our advice. We hope they find us to be value for money and are committed to staying with us for the future. So why are your clients who come from your website not meeting that criteria? It can’t be that all 590 monthly searches for Belfast Accountants are price shopping, fussy clients who will leave after a couple of years.
Could it be that the website is giving an impression of a value of the service that isn’t reflective of the service you offer? Essentially your website could be saying £500 and those web leads are shocked when they get a bill for £2500. Have a website that will be attractive to clients who are happy to pay your level of fees. If you’re not sure what I mean, have a look at Dacia’s website vs Aston Martin’s website. Instinctively I know I can afford one and know sadly, I can’t afford the other. Don’t suggest Dacia and charge for an Aston. (Just as importantly, don’t do the opposite and leave money on the table)
“OK, I understand what you’re saying but websites are expensive…”
My response would be that yes, they can be expensive, but so is your time networking. One referral gained from your website covers it’s cost very quickly, after that you’re winning. Don’t forget your website works 24/7, none of your employees can do that. So if it helps think of it as a very, very cheap, hard working employee. And it won’t ask you annoying questions.
Are you worried that you’re losing the race to win your referrals? Get in touch if you’d like to schedule a free consultation to see how we can help you win the race to landing all your referrals. Coffee and donuts are on us! If you want to learn more about being sales driven check out this great blog by Chris on Creating Effective CTAs which Drive Sales.