It’s Friday afternoon and I’ve just got my head back into gear after a full-on day co-hosting a workshop on lead generation strategy for 19 ambitious accountants.

Yesterday, Alex Tucker and I represented PracticeWeb, alongside our friends Heather Townsend and Ashley Leeds from the Accountants Millionaires’ Club, at an event in London.

The theme for the day was ‘the (almost) effortless way to win £3k+ clients every time’.

We had a very swish venue thanks to the kind people at Capitalise, who lent us the meeting space in their brand new offices near Waterloo.

The session was crammed with material all focused on helping demystify the steps to success in sales and marketing for small accountancy businesses.

There were a range of firms in attendance, all with one thing in common: the desire to market their firm in the right way to meet their business and life goals. Our complete guide to content marketing for accountants sheds more light on how to do just that, by the way.

And they wanted to know exactly how to do it with no fluff, no messing about and no waste of effort. No pressure, then.

Big game hunting

Heather kicked off the day with the story of her early days in consultancy and how without focus, the sales just didn’t arrive. Heather went on to take us through her STRAW framework for building a business plan. (Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? If you want to know more, well, you’ll just have to come to the next workshop).

Ashley then challenged us to step outside our comfort zones and let loose our inner chimpanzees – are we making decisions based on logic, or because our animal fight-or-flight response is kicking in?

The group was chatty and even looked to be having fun – not something that can be said of every workshop I’ve attended. There was a real buzz in the room and it was great to meet so many new faces.

A game of two halves

Next, Alex and I did our customary double act, taking up the thread to go through the foundation steps toward a marketing plan. We bust through a heap of jargon in the process, translating it into the plainest English we could manage.

After coffee (everybody knows workshops run on coffee) we worked in small teams to create marketing plans in just 90 minutes.

First, as a group, we undertook a series of exercises. We began by exploring the customer so we had a clear understanding of who we wanted to motivate.

We then looked at our prospects in detail and built a picture of what they are doing at each step on the way to becoming that desirable £3k client – what we call the buyer journey.

The next step was to learn how to understand our own sweet spots: why should the client choose this accountancy firm over that one?

And then, harnessing the power of a cardboard box, each team took turns pitching their imaginary accounting firms.

At the end of just one and a half hours, each group had a credible pitch and plan.

My favourite comment of the day was, “Wow, I would never ever have thought about doing it this way,” which is exactly the kind of thing you want to hear from a workshop attendee.

(And if we can do that in a single session, just think how much we could help your firm with our full-on marketing strategy process.)

Structural engineering

Ashley took the stage again in the afternoon and gave a masterclass in how to structure your sales approach, from the questions to ask on that first call, right the way through to what to send, and when, to close the deal.

We crammed a lot into one day but the energy levels at the end were amazing – people were fired up and keen to keep talking, buzzing with ideas for how they could use what they’d learned with their own accountancy firms.

Thanks to our host Capitalise and to Heather and Ashley for joining forces to deliver such a brilliant day.

We’re planning to run this event again. If you’re interested in attending please message hello@practiceweb.co.uk and we’ll let you know when and where.