[IMGCAP(1)]Now that your last deadline has passed for 2012, it’s time to focus on 2013. Between now and the end of the year, CPA firms have a great deal of opportunity to generate opportunities with existing clients. Here are four easy ways to generate that business:

  1. 1.    Client touch point campaign

Regular communication with clients outside of services to which you are engaged to perform almost always produce an opportunity for more business. Building business for next year or capturing a little more for 2012 is as simple as scheduling a visit or phone call with an existing client.
When meeting with the client, focus on discussing their business. Your goal is simply to learn more about how they are doing, goals they have for their business, and, even more importantly, what they might be struggling with in the business right now.

  1. 2.    Service promotion campaign

We assume that our clients remember everything we do. They don’t. This is the perfect time of year to run a campaign for a new service offering to existing clients. A simple letter/email campaign to your clients talking about what you do and a follow-up call to the client to schedule a time to discuss is an easy way to create some new opportunities.
When running the campaign, focus on applicable clients. Keep it simple. A letter or email with a call from an administrator is an easy way to set up some year-end appointments to discuss the opportunity.

  1. 3.    Client survey

The absence of information is not affirmation of a job well done. Growing your business means retaining current clients and creating evangelists for your services. Client surveys not only allow you to identify areas for improvement, but they can also identify opportunities.
When creating your survey, include a few questions around the awareness of your services and whether the client would be interested in learning more. For those clients who want more info, make sure you follow up.

  1. 4.    Trusted advisor event

Almost eight years ago, we created year-end trusted advisor events. We wanted a way to get an important topic in front of a few key clients and an inexpensive, informal way to do it.
We created intimate events targeted toward four to 10 clients who we invited into our office for a breakfast or lunch event. Topics were focused on recent tax law changes or other things we knew would impact them and how we could help. Invitations were simply a phone call or personal email from the partner.

These events resulted almost exclusively in new business with all the clients invited, but also created a significant amount of goodwill and word of mouth.

Don’t let these last few months of opportunity slip by without using it to generate some opportunities to grow your business.

Sarah Johnson is the chief growth strategist with Inovautus Consulting, a firm that works with CPA, law and professional service firms to help them grow more effectively, and author of “Practical Ideas for Growth,” a blog dedicated to growing professional firms. Her counsel and strategies have helped move firms to the next level in their marketing and sales efforts. Connect with Sarah at 773-208-7170, sjohnson@inovautus.com, or www.linkedin.com/in/sjjohnson