How not to market accountancy services…or any other service for that matter!

I have just had one of those calls. One of those calls that makes you despair about the world of marketing. It went something like this.

International no number caller display (note to self this will be an annoying call). Call maker begins the call qualifying in a rather direct way if I am senior enough to talk to. Seems I am. Straight into selling me tax accountancy and suggesting very strongly they could save me money.

I explained we are a marketing consultancy / outsourcing business working with quite a few accountancy practices and are not short of advice from people we trust and value. Still the sell continues. More clear genuine objections raised by me to his sales process. Still no listening.

Next stage is an attempt to obtain my e-mail address and name. I offered my name on clear instruction it is not to be used for marketing purposes. Caller leaves with tail between legs and I wish him well with his next call.

So how is the possible? I do not know but I think it goes like this. An accountancy practice has been sold telemarketing. The offshore component makes it cheap. The offer is probably based on a pricing structure where only meetings are paid for and a small amount paid for data gathering of key decision makers. The accountancy practice sees this as good value. After all what could go wrong if you only pay for meetings and good data?

Typically as the new business meetings progress the accountancy practice suffers a very low conversion rate and some meetings result in a complete rejection from the 'target' who claims no knowledge of the meeting. If the meeting does go ahead it is all about cost saving. 18 months down the line the project is cancelled despite the initial excitement about new opportunity generation.

Ok so this is not a disaster? Yes it is. the hidden cost? The cost to the firms' well established name. A name that has been given to a call centre to damage through aggressive unprofessional selling. Of course I will never use them.

So who was the offending firm? Hopefully not your firm!

Steve Bedford