For any accountant who joins its nationwide network between now and the end of the year GoodAccountants.com is offering six free months of business referrals. The offer expires on December 31, 2010.
For someone like Richard Hayes, a certified public accountant who joined GoodAccountants.com earlier this year, six free months of business referrals could mean as much as an additional $80,000 dollars in new billing which is the exact amount he landed from two clients that were referred to him by the nation’s largest accountancy referral service during his first month as a member.
Hayes, like scores of other accountants across the country, swears his experience with GoodAccountants.com is unprecedented in his more than 22 years as an accountant despite the fact that he has tried many different ways to expand his client base. Yet Hayes’ experience is not an isolated one and the phenomenal return on investment he says he’s realized is being echoed by countless other accountants across the country that are members of GoodAccountants.com’s nationwide network. Robert Berney, a certified public accountant and MBA who is based in Miami, Florida says the particular high-tech style of marketing that is utilized by GoodAccountants.com has worked very effectively for him. Sherri Thurman, a CPA who practices in Oklahoma City says she expects to earn more than $200,000 dollars over the next ten years from just one client she received from GoodAccountants.com within a week after purchasing her membership for only $5,000 dollars.
“Has every single accountant who has joined our network landed $80,000 dollars in new billing engagements from their $5,000 dollars investment in a GoodAccountants.com membership,” quips Johanna Laurent, President of GoodAccountants.com. “Of course not,” she proclaims as she answers her own question. “However, we’re working on it,” she adds. “I want every accountant in our network to make back three to four times their investment at a minimum and we’re working feverishly day and night to make that a reality,” says Laurent.
The key to Laurent’s strategy is to utilize every facet of internet marketing that is available including tapping into social networking websites such as YouTube and Facebook. According to Laurent her company has recently undertaken a massive effort to develop a profile page for every single accountant in their network which includes a photograph of the accountant along with a videotaped message describing the list of services the accountant performs. These profile pages are not only served up to the business owners and high-net-worth individuals that frequent the GoodAccountants.com website but are also disseminated across social networking websites so that her accountants get more exposure across the Internet. “Today when someone is looking for an accountant they don’t just want a phone book listing with a name and phone number on it they want to see and hear from the accountant in his or her own words as to what they can do to help cut their tax bill or expand their business,” says Laurent. “When our customer service reps are on the phone talking with prospective clients that call in on our toll free number, we often email the accountant’s profile page so that our website user can become familiar with the accountant we’re referring to them even before they meet with them,” explains Laurent.
Although the question remains unanswered as to whether or not the Internet can consistently produce enough business to satisfy tens of thousands of accountants across the country, it does appear that the folks at GoodAccountants.com are burning the midnight oil in their quest to change how accounting firms obtain their clients. “We give every accountant in our network the ability to receive a business lead from us in real-time and to actually speak with the business owner over the telephone within minutes, sometimes even while they’re still on our website submitting their information,” says Laurent. “Our objective is to turn every serious internet surfer that is looking for a good local accountant into a paying customer for one of our members within a matter of minutes,” she adds.
Laurent’s strategy appears to be working based on feedback from scores of accountants in her network. With the advent of cloud computing along with widespread internet connectivity it appears that accountants across the country that are members of the GoodAccountants.com network are experiencing something that has never been experienced in the history of the accounting industry: widespread conversions of web surfers into clients. Upon closer examination of her company’s GA Access platform, which can within minutes deliver to the accountant such information as the business owner’s website address, number of employees and current accounting budget, it becomes evident why so many GoodAccountants.com member accountant’s are landing clients. “We now track how quickly the accountant contacts the business owner after we transfer the business owner’s information to them” says Laurent. “Speed is everything in this digital age in which we live and particularly when it comes to web surfers who we want to stop in their tracks before they can move on to another referral source other than GoodAccountants.com,” explains Laurent. “If a business owner receives a phone call directly from an accountant within minutes after leaving our website there is a pretty good chance that accountant will get their business,” says Laurent. “But not all of our members appreciate our technology and still want to be contacted only after someone in our customer service department has talked with the business owner and prescreened the lead before it is presented to them and that’s okay too,” says Laurent. “They want us to prescreen each client for them although this approach may not provide the fastest delivery time in terms of getting the accountant together with the business owner,” explains Laurent.
Upon examining the company’s website tracking information it is evident that thousands of accountants across the country are spending considerable time logged onto GoodAccountants.com’s website retrieving information about prospective clients that have been assigned to them. “Advertisers who want to reach our network of accountants are taking notice of how much time our members spend logged onto our website where they retrieve and manage their leads,” says Laurent. “This alone tells me what we are doing is something that is very unique to the accounting industry,” she adds. “With GA Access we have the capability of converting a web surfer into a paying customer for an accountant in our network in less than 15 minutes,” says Laurent. “For an advertiser we have the ability to put their message in front of an accountant who spends as much as an hour or two each day on our website,” she adds.
This article was written by Omar Reed, a freelance business writer and financial analyst