18 Dec 2020  |  1288

In this podcast, our expert speakers Chris Rivera and Richard Rothstein had discussed the 3 Major ways to increase revenue organically this tax season through upselling/cross-selling, getting referrals, marketing, and recruitment process. Listen to the podcast to know more.


Hosted by: Chris Rivera, Director Client relations, Entigrity Offshore Staffing

Guest: Richard Rothstein, CEO & Founder, Rothstein Consulting


Chris: All right, good afternoon everybody. Happy Wednesday, December 16th very excited to be with you. We spoke last week so we want to get you guys some more information before the holiday season kicks in and so we are with Richard Rothstein and a CEO of Rothstein Consulting and he'll be joining us on number 24 of #BKOT Build a Kickass Offshore team. So as always we're trying to provide the accounting community with ideas and ways to help grow your farm. So Richard thank you so much for being with us today, very excited. You're just South of me in D.C, I am in New York city and I am so excited for the snowstorm but let's get a full introduction of you. Tell us about yourself. 


Richard: So, I am Richard Rothstein a CEO and founder of Rothstein consulting and we have professional services organizations like accounting firms with their growth. So what we've found is primarily that there are really only three major bottlenecks for growth and that's your sales processes, your marketing programs and your recruiting efforts and so we bring an inbound methodology to help our clients with any of those three problems and make sure they don't come up again.


Chris: Beautiful! And in all honesty the accounting community needs a lot of marketing help. There was a quote one day I did. I was on a podcast with Eric fullback and I can't remember but yeah they're very good at what they do but when it comes to marketing, there's some help that's needed and so it's nice to know that you can provide that idea there. So when it comes to business development right and focusing on this you had mentioned about the existing client base what are some things you can do there?


Richard: Absolutely, so when you're dealing with the existing client base, so there are two major things you want to do here, this is kind of two tips in one. One is to reach out to them to make sure they know all the services you currently provide. Okay, number two is figure out what services they need that you're not doing and start doing them.


So if you can do those two things even without picking up the phone or asking for a single referral, you can really raise your revenue. You know some people have doubled and tripled what they bring in. You see you can probably find some crazy stores with people like 10x their revenue based on doing that but you know it'll at least increase if you do that. If you just make sure that your existing clients know any of the other products that are good fit for them and frankly this is really probably the best use of if you're still doing meetings with your clients. A lot of accounting firms aren't even doing meetings with their clients anymore but I and I don't think it's super necessary but if you do ask some questions about, hey could you use this service? Could you use that service? Or you know if you're the one that's knee-deep in their financials tell them hey you really need to be doing this that we offer you know let me roll it in for you.


Chris: Absolutely agree. We had worked with a firm in that type of aspect where we simply provide them staff for data, entry took that off their plate and their client didn't want to get more clients, they wanted to get more revenue from their clients. And so we were able to help them over the course of three years lower their entire clientele base by 10 while increasing revenue of 40%. Yes yeah you're absolutely right. And your top three things again I forgot the last one sales processes, marketing programs,  What was the third one?


Richard: Recruitment efforts. 


Chris: Recruitment efforts, okay so we'll talk about that at the end but more about the sales processes here. That could kind of be all over the place. How would you work with somebody and develop this from you know beginning to end?


Richard: That's a great question! And a lot of what I do depends on the size of the firm that people are working with. When you have like a super small firm a lot of times they start out with a local like B2C mindset right, they're doing individual tax returns and they hope they get some people that have really complicated tax returns and that's where they make their extra money. But for those kinds of people you know it's all that networking. Making sure they're networking the best they possibly can. Then you get into those word referrals.

Making sure you're asking the most referrals you possibly can from your clients and then making sure you're active on local social media, like do you have local groups that are particularly helpful. You know one of my clients has done gangbusters just off of one group on facebook that he happened to join. It's huge now it's thousands of members and anytime anybody goes, hey guys you know, Who do I need taxes done? Who I go to? They say they go to frank. So it's those kinds of things that can be super helpful when you're in that phase.


But you get to a certain point and you really need to make kind of a B2B style shift, where you're looking more to get businesses and get business from the businesses and get ongoing business. Not just like once a year kind of visits you know where you're doing consistent things for them and for that you kind of need to shift your sales processes, be really working in things like a CRM, be doing consistent marketing outreach to them. So start to kind of act like more of a B2B kind of company and so with those companies that are making that transition, we help them get set up in those tools and make sure they're doing the proper continued messaging to those people and then they reach a point where they have that pretty well in hand and they may even bring in an internal marketing person but then what we've seen is that they hold up that to growth. 

The bottleneck really becomes getting enough of the right people in the front door as employees. And so that's where our inbound recruiting comes into play of really marketing yourself as a great place to work as someplace who's different from you know to get a good accountant. Right now is really competitive and so you really have to look at it you have to treat those people as if they were a client, because at the end of the day you know if you bring in a client they're going to bring you x amount of revenue but if you bring in a new person that allows you to work on 10 of those people that could then be 10x of that kind of revenue, so if that's even more important sometimes then you get to a certain point in your growth engine mind you, then it becomes more important than how do I get that next new client.


Chris: Way to describe that out I am actually taking notes with some good feedback here and information that you're providing and one thing that really caught my attention that you said was the groups right and networking groups. It doesn't matter what industry you're in  there's always going to be industry networking groups and I find that prior to working in this community, referrals were always a engine for the sales side of any company that I have worked for and now working in the accounting community; it's like they don't want to share best practices and I am like well that doesn't make sense right and so colleagues and friends and over the course of the last  three years now I have seen references come through with us and it's a big deal and it puts the client at each right and so that's important for meeting in these groups to share best practices and ideas and you know it's everyone helping each other. Right? It's not a competitive nature prospect that really stood out  so that's really good info.


Richard: What I have seen there too is one of the cool things that's happening is you're seeing people kind of niche in a little bit more, where they realize that if it's just I want to do everything to everybody then it's just going to be a red ocean free feeding frenzy, where they can really make their markets. When they differentiate themselves and say I do this for this group of people you know which is different from that for that group of people. Then it starts to become a really fun collaborative environment as a marketplace. Because then you need that for that kind of person that's Chris you know you need this for this kind of person that's Richard so I have no problem referring to Chris tons of business doing that for that kind of person because it's not what I do. So it's non-competitive so it doesn't matter.


Chris: Exactly, well said! So now we've talked about the sales processes. Marketing programs. What should I do? Do I go on Instagram? Do I go on Facebook? Do I go on Twitter? Do I go email blasts newsletters? And there's so many different ideas. Do I hire a company? A person? Where should somebody start? What are your best practices with a marketing program?


Richard: Well so again marketing is all about communications and it's all about one-to-many so I would start kind of in that internal mode and make sure that you know you're letting all of your existing clients know what's going on. That's a huge thing that people just aren't doing. So email newsletters really help with that of making sure that you're established with that existing group of clients. Especially if you're in a phase where you're not to a point where you're doing consistent work and super regular work with the clients and by that I mean if you're not in a phase you're doing like weekly meetings with them or monthly meetings with them if you only see them once a year that newsletter and sending out a monthly newsletter is really important because that's then a touch you know to them, that they wouldn't have felt otherwise. And there are definitely some great content producers out there but you know I mean for some reason people find it super scary but just write down some of the stuff and put that out the newsletter form and then here's the fun part right, I am a big content marketing guy and content marketing kind of snowballs so once you've written the email then you can repurpose that and put that on your website as a blog. So now you can use that to refer new clients to instead of having to put them, instead of having to next time you're talking a new client you can say- oh yeah, I wrote a blog post about that let me you know let me send it over to you, that kind of thing it helps reinforce you can, you could regurgitate live in person everything you put in that blog post there's something the way we're wired it just has more authority, if you've written it down ahead of time and point them to it, they go wow this person really knows their stuff. Even though it's the same exact stuff you tell them in person but kind of keep snuggling. There are some great ways for small businesses now to do some awesome things, this is a prime example, right? Here we are doing an interview, this is great content marketing for you guys it's great content marketing for me, not only are we live on facebook but you're also recording this, so we're going to use it again later for other ways. That's the big thing I would say to people that feel like oh my gosh I don't have time to do this is find the things and videos great at this, like just do some interviews or just start recording yourself talking about things that you know about and that are your specialties in accounting. Because I guarantee you other people don't know that stuff and they're really cool tools for instance I mean I use a tool when I am doing interviews like these, where it transcribes everything for me so after the interview done from the zoom then I have the video I can post on youtube and mark it on my blog. I have and send up social media that way I have the audio file that I can do kind of some of the same stuff with I have set it up so the transcription I can just run that as it is it makes it super easy to just kind of okay well let me look at this and let me write 500 words about it like there are all kinds of great ways now to stack content and content marketing. I think is the best place for especially professional services to start and accountants because at the end of the day you're wanting people to see that expertise in you and your team, so if you can show them that through and content marketing is the best way to show so I would say the first place to start is through that content marketing piece, before you start buying ads and messing with pulling all the levers on google and facebook


Chris: That SEO stuff right?


Richard: Right, and in SEO, organic SEO is the second place I would go by the way, because especially if you're still in that local phase oh my gosh one of my clients kills it. On organic search they kill it like because they've got a great and they outsource this, they outsource to a great SEO guy it gets them you know high rankings on all the maps and all the everything, so that when somebody does that search locally on needing tax returns they're coming to that firm you know most likely because they're the one pops up so that's the second thing I would say like start with your content marketing and all and also you know secondary would be do the local SEO especially if you're more just starting out, it'll be so worth it.


Chris: Yeah, it's spot on with the content marketing right and that's the idea behind helping out clients on a daily basis right, as much as we are doing webinars, doing this, doing meetings, you just education is so important. So having the information out there being the go-to resource like you said earlier if you just have a once a year meeting but you're sending monthly newsletters or you're keeping them on the top of mind, then that's good, you don't have to do weekly meetings there's very creative touch points that you can manage  with your time and like you said it yourself too we're not going to stay here and talk for eight hours today, but we're here getting an idea of how this could work for the accounting community. So yeah well said, so now let's talk about for sale processes, marketing programs, the recruiting aspect and an internal program to attract the best employees. Can you talk to me a little bit about that?


Richard: Yes!!


Chris: With the remote aspect nowadays? 


Richard: Absolutely so I think this is great like the remote aspect pairs with it really well. And the things you can do with remote workers and even like kind of offshore staffing there is kind of a slight difference there as far as oh  I am hiring somebody who I want to be  my accounting manager of nonprofits, that well I happen to be in DC but because of the way the world works right now I am hiring a guy that works in that commute telecommutes in from Sheboygan, it doesn't matter because I am using the right tools, this is kind of a thing too about a productivity thing. If you're using the right tools these days which are practice management tools it doesn't, What we're seeing covid is that it doesn't matter right where you're sitting so you can be sitting right next to each other well six feet away from each other hopefully?


Chris: Yes, good point, six feet away.


Richard: But or I don't know it keeps getting bigger and I think now it's like 20 feet. But for socially distancing, close or it can be across the country, it doesn't matter and then that kind of extends across the world those same tools if you're being smart about them you can bring in people in other countries that can do it just as well. 


I mean can do some especially the how far up you can get people using things like entigrity and to do those tasks for you is mind-boggling, like I wouldn't have thought to do that and it's kind of it's I mean the rest of the world is seeing this and how much you can use VA's now you know virtual assistants but it's kind of with accounting there's been this kind of thing of like I don't know like, I do really sophisticated stuff and what's important about a business, any business but especially the accounting business is that you be that leader, that you be the person they trust, it doesn't matter that you're the one manning the calculator.


And please don't because you need to be doing those things that those extra services that I talked about right that make you more money and make you extra money they're not pounding the calculator more. They are helping people in different ways, run their business better. So outsourcing totally helps with that because it frees up the bandwidth to do it I love outsourcing for a lot of this and then it frees you up too to be like okay well if  I have got that handled especially, if  I am saving money doing that then I can put more into being more competitive with those higher level people who are the ones that really are going to make the difference with clients anyway. So I love it and I think you know it fits in great with an executive's kind of the executive search type of things because it frees up more resources to go after better people.


Chris: Very well said yeah I agree, the idea for to free up time to and implement these sales processes, marketing programs, having the right team in place. So you know the taxation leaders are out driving business right getting more clients, not working in the business. So it's always about your onshore and your offshore team complementing each other and growing and scaling as one. And you said it exactly right it doesn't matter where you are right where we're able to meet and you're in DC I am in NewYork but the power of technology, I mean and so the there's always opportunities that arise from unfortunate situations and the accounting community has been a little bit slow to get to this virtual aspect but I think now are they embracing it slowly but the realization that it could be done is so important and that's where we're at now. So yeah we spot on with that Richard so anything else that you want to mention or talk anything about your company any final thought for a wrap up today?


Richard: No, not particularly feel free to visit rothsteinconsulting.com and you can schedule a chat with me and we can kind of see if you have some if you're looking to get growth, a lot of accounting firms are totally expert at what they do but really need the world to hear more about who they are. And that's a huge thing that I help people with so thanks for having me on Chris and I think there's definitely a lot of people.  I hope to hear this and go oh yeah that sounds like a good idea!


Chris: Absolutely ! Again I loved your background and thank you so much for taking time out today and meeting with me and discussing this ideas of marketing and trying to make more money organically because it can be done right and so check out rothsteinconsulting.com. Everybody else thank you so much for taking some time out of your day. We'll see you soon with some more special guests and helping out. Be safe, be sound and if you're in New York city have fun with the snowstorm and I'll talk to you guys soon. Richard thank you so much take care.

Entigrity™ is a trusted offshore staffing partner to over 500+ accountants, CPAs and tax firms across the US and Canada. Our flexible and transparent hiring model gives helps firms of all sizes to hire staff for accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation or any other task for 75% less cost. As a firm 'run by accountants, for the accountants', Entigrity captures the hiring needs of accounting firms most precisely, providing staff that works directly under your control and management, still you are left with least to worry about compliance, payroll taxes, overheads or any other benefits.

About The Author
Director, Client Relations

Christopher Rivera, Chris serves as a Director of Client Relations and Business Development at Entigrity. He is an expert at leading and managing teams actively from the front. His expertise in sales, training, coaching, mentoring and influencing combined with his competitive nature makes him a strong leader.  Chris has traveled through the length and width of the country and has spoken with more than five thousand CPAs, understanding their challenges and limitations. On the grounds of that, he can now easily provide opinions and solutions that can be immensely helpful to the professionals. He has also represented Entigrity at a number of major accounting conferences and networking events.

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