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What's Best for Accountants - Inbound or Outbound Marketing?

What's Best for Accountants - Inbound or Outbound Marketing?


by Hugh Duffy

What's Best for Accountants - Inbound or Outbound Marketing?
Outbound vs Inbound Mkt

Lead generation programs using outbound marketing (e.g., cold calling, door knocking, etc.) to capture leads has been on decline for several decades now. For whatever reason, many accountants still consider using cold call telemarketing even though they personally hate the tactic themselves. If you are considering deploying a smile and dial campaign, I strongly urge you to reconsider for the following reasons.

  1. No Longer Effective - "Cold call" telemarketing used to be effective 10-30 years ago. And fax marketing was effective 20-30 years ago. However, the public outcry was so loud that politician's enacted legislation called the Do Not Call list and Junk Fax Prevention Act. And while the do not call list does not apply to business-to-business marketing, the public sentiment is still the same. Getting unsolicited cold calls, junk faxes and someone knocking at your door trying to sell you something are no longer in vogue and have a lower ROI.
  2. Here's your sign – When the providers of cold call telemarketing start going out of business in waves, that's a clue that cold calling is not effective any more. As the comedian Bill Engvall would say, embracing cold call telemarketing to create a long lasting, trusted advisor relationship is a non sequitur. "Here's your sign."
  3. Telemarketing leads are hard to convert and quickly turn your service into a commodity because the prospect has agreed to an appointment with very little interest in your accounting practice. And after thinking further, they often cancel the appointment before meeting with you. In fact, they probably know nothing about you and your firm and don't care until the price is lower than what they currently pay.
  4. Retention rates are shorter for telemarketing, fax marketing and door knocking than inbound marketing. That's right, the average duration of a new client obtained through outbound marketing will be shorter because they will leave you once the next person offers a lower price.
  5. People like to shop but hate being sold to. In other words, we all enjoy the hunt and are willing to shop online to find products and services which meet our needs. However, most of us hate being pitched and sold to.

Personally, I can't remember the last time I agreed to engage in a serious dialogue from a cold call, unsolicited fax or a door knocker. Think about it yourself, when was the last time you bought something from one of these annoying tactics?

Build Your Firm advocates inbound marketing which essentially motivates the prospect to call your office. This leads to a more consultative dialogue about what services your accounting firm provides and whether a fit exists. The end result of an effective inbound marketing campaign is higher quality lead generation, higher fees, higher close ratios and longer retention rates.

If you would like help with marketing your accounting firm, then consider Build Your Firm's Outsourced Marketing Program where we manage all of the marketing for you.

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Hugh Duffy, BYF CEO and Co-Founder

Hugh is the consummate marketing coach for accountants and takes pride in the impact that it has on their practice, and lives. Hugh has more than thirty years of marketing experience. Since 2003, he has been teaching accountants on how to improve their marketing and make more money from their accounting practice.