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Paving the way to your success: Piggyback and Fusion Marketing

This is the fourth in a series of posts from Jay Abraham, one of the world's leading business and marketing gurus. As Founder and CEO of Abraham Group, Inc., Jay has spent his entire career solving problems and fixing businesses. He has significantly increased the bottom lines of over 10,000 clients in more than 400 industries worldwide. 

All of the content in this Paving the Way To Your Success series is  brought to you exclusively by AccountantsWorld, as part of our ongoing mission to help you maximize the value and relevance of your accounting firm.

In this post, Jay illustrates the power of "piggyback marketing" and being distinctive in your messaging. Click here to read the full series so far.


Piggyback and “Fusion” Marketing

Find other companies who can sell your product or service to their customers.  Airlines, car rentals and hotels are all working together.  What alliances could you form?  Possibilities are . . . A supermarket and a petrol station.  Shoe store and clothing store.  Accountants and Lawyers.  Doctors and Dentists. They could all be promoting each other.

Illustration #6 - Piggyback Marketing 

Take 5 minutes to write down 5 types of companies who could endorse or sell your product.


Illustration #7 - Piggyback Marketing, Part 2 

Take 5 minutes to come up with 3-5 products or services you could sell to your customers and collect pure profit on the sale with no involvement.


Database Power

Electronic databases are souped-up Rolodexes of the 90’s.  You must have a highly usable database packed with information about your customers.


Illustration #8 - Database Power

What are the essential pieces of information you need about your customers?  What other information would make your client records even more valuable? Take 5 minutes to write this down.


The Power Of Testing

Our advertising and marketing studies have shown that a change in a headline, offer, target or marketing concept can impact the results by hundreds (even thousands) of percent.  Test offers, test headlines, test choosing ideas, test add-ons, test, test, test. (In order for this to work you must also develop ways to measure all your advertising and sales efforts and keep records of everything you’ve done for comparison).

In the 80’s and 90’s, companies developed a campaign (based on instinct) and rolled it around for a year to see how it would go.  Now, most smart companies test several ideas to see which one works best - then roll it out.   *NOTE: Change headlines, offers, promotional materials all you want - the tactics you use.  DO NOT change your overall theme, slogan or strategic position.


The Six (Now Seven) ____________(12) Of Marketing

Over $400,000 worth of research on top companies reveal that they all use six marketing vehicles.  You must use all six if you want to dominate your market. The more marketing vehicles you use with the same audience the faster you will penetrate that audience.


1. _______________________(13)                                      

2. _______________________(14)  

3. _______________________(15)                                              

4. _______________________(16)              

5. _______________________(17) Your Customer           

6. _______________________(18)              

7. _______________________(19)


Are all your marketing weapons consistent with your Ultimate Strategic Position? You must develop a slogan and a theme based upon your USP and use them in every marketing effort. Which of the above six do you think is most effective?


Personal __________(20) Is The Most Powerful Way To Market and Bond With Your Customers


None of your other marketing efforts will have as much impact on your customers as personal contact with your salespeople or telephone customer service.  Nothing can replace good, old fashioned person-to-person contact when developing relationships with your customers.  Some of the ways you can use this are . . .


Þ    Free _______________(21).

Þ    Free _______________(22).

Þ    Specialized _______________(23).

Þ    ___________  _____________(24). (where applicable)


All these efforts should always be consistent with your Unique Strategic Position.


Sales Literature and Brochures

Your written materials should focus on how you help clients. They should:

  • be the foundation around which all the other tools are built
  • be an effective sales tool.  Use sub-heads, graphics and photos.
  • talk about what your clients will get by using your products, services or firm
  • use testimonials from satisfied clients (in accordance with the laws in your local jurisdiction)


Public Relations

Create media events and special events. Create award ceremonies, sporting events, outings, parties, charity efforts.  Your salespeople need to invite clients to these events.   All these add credibility and bonding opportunities with your customers.  Write articles.  Be featured, or contribute as an expert.  Reprinted articles are powerful tools in other marketing efforts.


Direct Mail

This is one of the most cost effective ways to connect with existing and potential clients.  Create a highly sortable database of clients.  Send something every month without fail.  Send thank you letters, cards, letters, newsletters, promos, etc.  Get your customer trained to buy from you at every opportunity.  It costs 6 times more to find a new customer than to sell something to an existing one.  Use direct mail to keep selling to your clients.


The Internet

The internet can expose your CPA firm to a wider market than you’d been reaching with the traditional methods. 



Creates more top-of-mind awareness than all of the other areas combined. Makes your other methods work better.  Some of the advertising sources you can use are... TV, Radio, Newspapers, Magazines, Trade Journals, *Internet (This is fast becoming a powerful new medium), Billboards, etc.  A study of hundreds of ads over a 12-month period revealed that the best ads did 4 things.


1.  Distinctive ______________(25):  Before a prospective customer will even think about reading your ad, they have to be able to see it and it must rise out of the clutter of the hundreds of other ads.

2.  A Good ________________(26):  A headline is the “ad for your ad.”  A good headline tells you what the ad is about in 3.2 seconds.  Gives a benefit. Uses power words like “YOU” or “YOUR” and “FREE” and “NEW” or “HOW TO.”  And (obviously) makes you want to read the rest.

3.  Body Copy: Should be curiosity driven.  Each sentence should unfold the “story” you want to tell and make the prospect want to read on.  Should be “Benefit Oriented.”  Don’t tell me what it is you are selling, tell me why it is valuable to me.

4.  Ask For The Order:  Your ad, should always ask the reader to take some action.  Visit your store, call for a free booklet, call your business for more details, fill in the coupon etc.

Other Advertising Rules: Target the best buyers. Target specific people groups.

Use “Editorial Layout.” Use trade magazines or specialist magazines read by your target market.  Studies show that up to 50% of all purchasing is motivated by advertising.


A Test For: “Strategies for Getting Customers”

1. Which of the following factors or criteria might be considered in making a profile of the “ideal buyer”?    (More than one may apply)

a) Geography                       

b) Height and weight             

c) Repetition of purchasing

d) Ability to buy


2. Explain the Dream 100 concept.


3. The best buyers are influenced by other best buyers. True or False?


4. Customers For Life is a concept in which…(More than one may apply)

a) You give such good customer service that you have the customer for life.

b) You will spend a lot more to acquire customers when you consider their “lifetime value.”

c) You determine how much a customer might be worth to you over a lifetime.

d) You don’t care about new customers because you keep your current customers happy.


5. Conquest Strategy is an extension of the Customers For Life concept. True or False?


6. Your accounting firm should not have standard procedures to make customers feel special, this should be left up to each individual employee. True or False?


7. How much more does it cost to acquire a new customer than to retain a current customer? (Choose one)

20% more            100% more            300% more                600% more


8. What percentage of your customers will buy more products or services if you make an offer at the point of sale?

(Choose one)             20%                 3%                   6%                   30%


9. Customers are less likely to purchase from a previous vendor than they are from a new vendor. True or False? 


10. What are some of the benefits of Piggyback Marketing?


11. Building a database that can tell you a multitude of information about your buyers, is part of what marketing strategy?


12. What is Top of Mind Awareness?


13. Which of the following is/are part of the Six Musts of Marketing? (More than one may apply)

a)  Customer Education         

b)  Repetition                         

c) Public Relations

d) Piggyback Marketing


14. Explain the concept of Stacked Marketing?


15. What is the most potent form of marketing?


16. List some ways you can provide customer education.


17. If you want a brochure to be read by your prospects, you should focus heavily on your firm. True or False?


18. Direct mail is another excellent marketing weapon, but only if deployed: (More than one may apply)

a)   All at once                          

b)    On a regular basis

c)     To a wide cross section of the population

d)    To friends and family only


19. Advertising creates the most “top of mind awareness.” True or False?


20. Which of the following are rules for effective advertising? (More than one may apply)

a)  Ask for the order              

b)  Be distinctive

c)  Don’t use features in your ad                   

d)  All of the above


Please Note: This test should be copied for repeated usage, but only by the original reader, not to be used or resold for profit.


Coming Up Next...

In the next post, we'll discuss how to lock in recurring customer revenue!

Best, Jay



Paving the way to your success: Strategies to get customers


Jay Abraham, CEO, The Abraham GroupThis is the third in a series of posts from Jay Abraham, one of the world's leading business and marketing gurus. As Founder and CEO of Abraham Group, Inc., Jay has spent his entire career solving problems and fixing businesses. He has significantly increased the bottom lines of over 10,000 clients in more than 400 industries worldwide. 

All of the content in this Paving the Way To Your Success series is  brought to you exclusively by AccountantsWorld, as part of our ongoing mission to help you maximize the value and relevance of your accounting firm.

In this post, Jay guides you through how to implement your strategic objectives to get new customers. Click here to read the full series so far.



Once you know what you want to achieve and say to your customers, then you are ready to expand the ways in which you get them.  You can now start to implement your Strategic Objectives and start to look for ways to get new customers at the tactical level.

Areas Covered

●      Targeting best buyers and building loyalty

●      Stacked marketing

●      The most effective form of marketing

●      CONSISTENCY and repetition is the real key to success in getting new business


Illustration #1 - Targeting The Best Buyers

Who is the best buyer of your product or service?  Take 5 minutes to create the profile of your most ideal buyer.  Feel free to use bullet form.

For Example:  They are successful, have the money to buy if they want your product or if they need it. They want or need to buy what you are selling. Geographical location and size of company (number of employees/turnover). Size of sale/repeat-sale potential. Drive a Ford car.  Own their own home… and so on.

The “Dream 100” Customer Concept

Fact:  The fastest way to build your firm is to target the _____________(1) customers. Every market or niche has a smaller number of best / ideal buyers versus all buyers.  The best buyers buy faster when other best buyers buy. . . . Best buyers help you gain faster social acceptance.  You must create a superior access vehicle to get to the best buyers.

For example, if you were a hairdresser, you would want famous people as your clients.  People like movie stars, respected business and community leaders, etc.

If you sold to accounting firms, you’d want the top 4 firms as your clients, etc.

Customer Life Value

This is how much the customer is worth to your business over their purchasing lifetime.  RESTAURANT:  $50 per sale x 10 visits per year per customer = $500 total value.  Once you know how much they are worth to your business, (their lifetime value) you may want to spend more money getting market share and new customers, and make better offers to attract them in the first place. 


Illustration #2 - Lifetime Value Of Your Customer

What is the total life value of your best customers?  (Average sale value x number of visits per year x number of years as customer.)

Hertz Conquest Strategy: Hertz knows that the average corporate customer is worth $15,000 over their lifetime.  At just a $60 per day average rental this is a lot of business.  They go the extra mile to keep their customers happy. Gold Card members don’t queue, car is ready, warm in winter and cool in summer.  Drop the keys at the office and that’s it.

What are you doing to breed unstoppable customer loyalty and repeat business?

How To Keep Your Customers For Life 

Main Philosophy:  Treat all your customers as if they were your only customer.  Research has shown that the main reason why customers leave is because of perceived indifference (lack of caring).   Ways to treat your only customer.

·           Take a real interest in their _____________(2).

·           Take a real interest in their _____________(3).

·      Give them memorable special treatment and make special treatment _______________(4). (Build in standard procedures for special customer treatment.)

·      Little things mean a _______(5):  Send cards, write letters, special greetings, free information, birthday cards, Christmas cards - personalized etc.

Illustration #3 - Making Your Customers Feel Special

Write down 3 to 5 things you can do today to make your customers feel special!

Some Ideas: Send Birthday Cards, Thank You Notes,

Articles Of Interest, “Customers Only” Days, Special Offers, Free Products, Free Refreshments In Store, Seminars

For Clients, Christmas Gifts, etc….

Maximizing The Lifetime Value Of Your Customers

It costs _______(6) times more to sell to a new customer than to sell to an _____________  ______________(6a).  30% of your customers will buy more products or services if offered at the point of sale.  You should develop a ________________(7) for introducing other products or services at the point of sale.

Example:  A paint shop asking if the customer has a drop sheet and tray when purchasing paint.  McDonalds asking, “Would you like a coke with that?”  Restaurant asking “Would you like some dessert?” etc.


Illustration #4 - “Add on Sales”

Take 5 minutes to write down additional products you could sell as “ADD-ONS” at point of sale.   *Make this a standard procedure at the point of sale.

Maximizing Your Customer Value 

Condition your customers to buy from you regularly.  Build systems, policies and procedures to constantly sell more products or services to current clients.  Look at the value of the customer to figure out what you might spend to get more customers.  (If you knew a customer was worth $2,000 over 2 years could you offer $200 worth of FREE products to get them on board?)

Þ    Actively work with current clients to get _________________(8).

Þ    Make it easy for them - sit with them while they go through their reorder.

Þ    Can you get them to _________  ____  ____________(9) to their friends or associates?

Þ    Give them a _____________(10) for helping you find new customers.  (Free product or services, dinner.)

Þ    Remember to treat ________________(11) special so that they too become customers for life! 


Illustration #5 - Maximizing Your Customer Value

What is a customer worth to you over 10 years, 20 years?   ______________________________

Write down three additional products or services you could offer your current clients.  (Can you plan quarterly?)

Piggyback and “Fusion” Marketing

Find other companies who can sell your product or service to their customers.  Airlines, car rentals and hotels are all working together.  What alliances could you form?  Possibilities are . . . A supermarket and a petrol station.  Shoe store and clothing store.  Accountants and Lawyers.  Doctors and Dentists. They could all be promoting each other.


Next time, we'll get deeper into Piggyback and Fusion Marketing!






Paving the way to your success: List of all posts by Jay Abraham

Introducing Paving the Way To Your Success - a year-long series of posts from Jay Abraham, one of the world's leading business and marketing gurus. As Founder and CEO of Abraham Group, Inc., Jay has spent his entire career solving problems and fixing businesses. He has significantly increased the bottom lines of over 10,000 clients in more than 400 industries worldwide.

Now Jay is revealing his detailed plan for exponential growth to accountants, in the form of a series of free content on this blog.

All of the content in this Paving the Way To Your Success series is brought to you exclusively by AccountantsWorld, as part of our ongoing mission to help you maximize the value and relevance of your accounting firm.


Part 1: Introduction. Jay guides you through laying the foundation for greater growth and profitability. 

Part 2: How does your firm stack up? Jay introduces you to a detailed self-assessment so you can see how your firm stacks up right now in terms of orienting towards growth.

Part 3: Strategies and tactics to get customers. Jay begins guiding you through how to implement your strategic marketing objectives to get new customers. 

Part 4: Piggyback and Fusion Marketing. Jay illustrates the power of "piggyback marketing" and being distinctive in your messaging.


Want to be notified about new posts from Jay Abraham, as well as industry news + trends?

  Subscribe to our newsletter.


Paving the way to your success: How does your firm stack up?

Jay Abraham, CEO, The Abraham GroupThis is the second in a series of posts from Jay Abraham, one of the world's leading business and marketing gurus. As Founder and CEO of Abraham Group, Inc., Jay has spent his entire career solving problems and fixing businesses. He has significantly increased the bottom lines of over 10,000 clients in more than 400 industries worldwide. 

All of the content in this Paving the Way To Your Success series is  brought to you exclusively by AccountantsWorld, as part of our ongoing mission to help you maximize the value and relevance of your accounting firm.

In this post, Jay guides you through a detailed self-assessment of how your firm stacks up right now. Click here to read the full series so far.


Dear Accountant:

A lot of people fixate on the abstract concept of trying to work “on” their accounting firm, instead of “in” it.  I’m a more direct and logical thinker.  I’ve always tried to figure out how to get a firm to work harder for its owner than he or she worked for it.  A simple difference perhaps.  But a major difference, nonetheless.

With my driving thought always being how many ways I can help get your CPA firm working harder and better for you --- I’ve created an 87-question, self-diagnostic assessment test called “How Do You And Your Firm Stack Up?”  It asks some very straightforward, (yet highly revealing) questions designed to instantly detect whether or not your firm could --- and should --- be working harder and more profitably for you --- And if so, precisely where you have the most room for improvement.

It’s the perfect grounding and preparatory orientation to help you gain maximum insight, benefit and value out of the time we’ll be spending together throughout this series of blogs.

I invite you to sit down right now and go through the 87 questions on this test --- the answers and their business/financial implications to you will be self-evident.  Once you’ve completed all 87 questions, see where you stand (see self-diagnostic interpretation section at the end).

It’s a shame to see promising CPA firms under-perform their capability to deliver more income, certainty, profits and wealth to their owners --- if it’s easily doable.  Frequently, merely shifting the marketing you do, the strategy you follow and/or the money-making system you implement can double, re-double and even re-double -- again -- the income and profits your firm delivers to you.

I created this self-diagnostic assessment test to see whether or not your firm could be --- and should be --- delivering more pay-off for you. 

I am excited that you are working on building up your firm!


Jay L. Abraham


How Do You and Your Firm Stack Up?


Self-Diagnostic Assessment Test


Here are the 87 questions to answer. Be candid with yourself; since you alone will know the exact answers and their profit implications.


1.)       How many different selling methods do you currently do/use?

            ______One (1 pt) _______ 2-4 (2pts) _______ 5 or more (3 pts)


2.)       How many new potential selling methods have you tested in the last 12 months?

            _______None (0) _______ One (1) ________2-4 (2) _______ 5 or more (4)


3.)       Do you have a keen handle on all your marginal net worth factors for all three ways to grow clients and for each segment of separate product line you market?

           _______No (0) _______ A Few (1) _______ Most (2) _______ All (4)


4.)       How many formalized, referral generating systems do you have working right now that everyone in your firm with Buyer Contacts uses and follows?

            _______ None (0) _______One (1) _______ 2-5 (2) _______6 or more (4)


5.)       Is your accounting firm being marketed tactically or strategically?

            _______ Tactically (0) _______ Strategically (2)


6.)       Do you have a powerful USP that comes across to the market you target as being the only viable solution to a problem they have that you alone verbalized for them or an opportunity you alone identified?

            _______No (0) _______Yes (2)


7.)       Do you know what your attrition rate is and why they stop buying from you?

            _______No (0) _______Partially (1) _______ Yes, in both cases (3)


8.)       Do you have attrition reduction or client conservation programs in place to minimize inactive buyers?

            _______No (0) _______Yes (2)


9.)       Do you have comprehensive databases of your prospects and buyers that identifies everything from names, contact numbers, type of buying, what they buy, what they didn’t buy, where they originated from, quantities of past purchases, etc.

            _______ No (0) _______ Partial (1) _______ Yes On All Issues (3)


10.)    Do you actively use all the data above to target different categories of prospects/buyers in different ways for different products or services?

            _______No (0)_______Yes (3)


11.)    Do you know exactly where all (or at least most) of your business is coming from and how to stimulate more people from those specific sources to purchase from you? 

            _______No (0)_______Yes (2)


12.)    Do you know where your biggest source of untapped new business is and how to ultimately mine it?

            _______No (0) _______ Yes (2)


13.)    Does at least 25% of your business currently come from referrals?

            _______ No (0) _______Yes (2)


14.)    Is the average number of referrals you get every month going up or down?  Growing or dropping?

            ______ Down/Dropping (0)   ______Up/Growing (2)


15.)    Do you have a reliable system of collecting and creating client testimonials and success stories?

            _______ No (0) _______ Yes (2)


16.)    If “yes,” how many client testimonials and success stories do you have?

            _______ 1-5 (1) _______ 6-10 (2) _______ 11-20 (3) _______ 21 & over (4)


17.)    Do you effectively and powerfully use your testimonials in all the marketing, advertising and sales efforts you do?

            _______ No (0)  _______ Sometimes (1)   _______Yes, always (3)


18.)    Do you have respected people in your field, market, industry who unhedgingly endorse you and your firm?

            _______ No (0) _______ Yes (2)


19.)    How many endorsements do you have?

            _______ None (0) ________ 1-3 (1)   _______ 4-9 (2)   _______10 or above (3)


20.)    Do you have a continuous system/approach program actively in place to continually secure more prominent endorsements?

            _______ No (0) _______ Yes (2)


21.)    Do you have any joint ventures/host beneficiary relationships actively in place right now?

            _______ No (0) _______ Yes (2)


22.)    If “yes,” how many joint ventures/host beneficiary relationships are you currently doing promotions with right now?

            _______ One (1) _______ 2-5 (2) _______ 6-10 (3) _______ 10 or more (4)


23.)    Are you adding host beneficiary endorsements (i.e., complementary businesses, publications, associations) to your marketing mix every quarter?

            _______ No (0) _______ Yes (2)


24.)    If “yes,” how many (on average) are you adding to your marketing mix every quarter?

            _______ 1 (1) ______ 2-3 (2) _______ 4-9 (3) _______ 10 or more (4)


25.)    Do you repeatedly test headlines or their equivalent (i.e., opening sentence of your presentations, phone-in sales calls, telemarketing scripts, greeting at trade shows, etc.)?

            ______ No (0) _______ Yes (2)


26.)    If “yes,” how many different headlines or equivalent have you successfully tested in the last 12 months?

            _______ 1 (1) _______ 2-9 (2) ________ 10-20 (3) _______ 21 or more (4)


27.)    Do you have a systematic, ongoing follow-up system you follow and put into action for every prospect and first time buyer you acquire?

            _______ No (0) _______ Yes (2)


28.)    How often do you follow up to past buyers/clients by phone, mail, e-mail or in-person?

            _____ Never  (0) _____ Once Every Six Months (1)   _____ Once A Quarter (2)

            _____ More Often (3)


29.)    Do you know your allowable cost of acquiring a new prospect and/or clients and if “yes,” do you invest up to that amount in your marketing efforts to acquire new buyers?

            _____ No (0) _____ Yes (2)


30.)    Do you have a progressive backend; meaning, you keep logically either reselling clients ongoing quantities of your basic products/services or you keep adding new additional backend products or services to the sales cycle.

            _____ No (0) _____ Yes (2)


31.)    If yes, how many different progressive, backend products do you offer?

            _____ 1-2 (1)  _____ 3-9 (2)   _____ 10 or More (3)


32.)    Do you spend more of your time on marketing or managing?

            _____ Never (0) _____ Once Every Six Months (1)  _____ Once A Quarter (2)

            _____ More (3)


33.)    Do you believe Peter Drucker’s quote that marketing and innovation are the two things that create customers and profits; everything else is an expense?

            _____ No (0) _____ Yes (2)


34.)    Do you use risk reversal to close sales and differentiate your firm from your competitors?

            _____ No (0) _____ Yes (2)


35.)    If yes, how many different ways have you tested reversing the risk?

            _____ None (0) _____ 1 (1)   _____ 2-4 (2)   _____ 5 or More (3)


36.)    How many of these key, marketing factors do you regularly test?

            _____ Nothing (0) _____ Just Headlines (1)  _____ Headlines, Offers (2)

            _____ Headlines, Offers and Guarantees/Risk Reversals (3)


37.)    Do you offer bonuses (either tangible or intangible) as an incentive to purchase your product or service now?

            _____ No (0) _____ Yes (2)


38.)    How much of a difference have your tests made on either your results/response/profit?

            _____ Less than10% Improvement (1)   _____ 11-30% (2)          _____ 31-50% (3) 

            ______ 51-99% (4) _____ 100% (double) or Higher (5)


39.)    Do you do PR/media relationships/radio/newspaper/magazine interviews?

            _____ No (0) _____ Yes (2)


40.)    Do you use the results of these activities in excerpts or reproductions as part of your marketing?

            _____ No (0) _____ Yes (2)


41.)    Do you write articles, special reports or a book(s) you use for promotional positioning?

            _____ No (0) _____ Yes (2)


42.)    Do you have a prime prospect list or lists you market to by either direct mail, e-mail, telemarketing, catalog or sales personnel?

            _____ No  (0) _____ Yes (2)


43.)    Do you know what your return on investment is for Lead/Prospect Generating, Lead Generating and Sales Conversion and/or Reselling Buyers?

            _____ No (0) _____ Yes (2)


44.)    Do you have a continuous way to build a growing prospect/client e-mail list?

            _____ No (0) _____ Yes (2)


45.)    How often do you send quality e-mails out that provide a benefit to your clients and/or prospects?

            ______ Never (0)    ______ Infrequently (1)          ______ Quarterly (2)

            ______ Monthly or More (3)


46.)    Are your e-mails, educational/contact-based and not merely self-serving?

            _____ No (0) _____ Yes (2)


47.)    Do you have a direct response-formatted website that is built around my marketing principles?

            _____ No (0) _____ Yes (2)


48.)    Do you do effective (meaning successful at both attracting and then converting) search engine optimization that builds more prospects, buyers, business?

            _____ No  (0) _____ Yes (2)


49.)    Do you have a Power Parthenon of different marketing activities in place where prospects/clients/revenue flow in from multiple profit pillars/streams? If yes, how many pillars in your Power Parthenon?

            _____ 2 (1) _____ 3-5 (2)   _____ 6-8 (3)  _____ 9 or More (4)


50.)    Do you have a target prospect list of strategic partners – i.e., companies that either already have a strong relationship with the same people you want to sell--or new, competitive organizations that have more to gain then even you do by seeing you sell your product/service to more people/companies.

            _____ No (0) _____ Yes (2)


51.)    If “yes,” how many prospective, new “strategic partner” companies (with complete contact data) are there on that list?

            ____ 1-5 (1) ____ 6-10 (2) ____ 11-20 (3) ____ 21-50 (4) ____ 51 and Over (5)


52.)    Have you and all your people who have contact with your prospects/buyers had formalized strategic consultative/advisory sales training?

            _____ No (0) _____ Yes (2)


53.)    If yes, how often do you retrain and advance their skills in this all-important revenue-generating factor?

            ____ Never Again (0) ____ Yearly or Longer (1) ____ Every Six Months (2) ____ Monthly (3)


54.)    How many competitive advantages have you created for your business?

            _____ None (0) _____ One (1) _____ 2-5 (2) _____ 6 or More (3)


55.)    Do you have successful ways to acquire new clients/buyers at a breakeven and that makes your real profit on the backend?

            _____ No (0) _____ Yes (2)


56.)    If “yes,” how many different approaches do you use?

            _____ One (1) _____ 2-3 (2) _____ 4 or More (3)


57.)    Do you regularly educate and update your prospects and clients?

            _____ No (0) _____ Yes (2)


58.)    How many prospect lists have you located and use that better target your best-defined prospects?

            ____ None (0) ____ One (1) ____ 2-5 (2) ____ 6-10 (3) ____11 or More (4)


59.)    Do you really think your marketing makes irresistible offers to your prospects?

            _____ No (0) _____ Yes (2)


60.)    If “no,” how many ways can you come up with right now to strengthen the appeal, attractiveness, effectiveness of your sales, advertising, promotional offers and propositions?

            _____ One (1) _____ 2-5 (2) _____ 6-10 (3) _____ More than 10 (4)


61.)    How many more complementary (up-sell/cross-sell) products/services do you currently add to your sales proposition?

            _____ None (0)  _____ One (1)   _____ 2-5 (2)   _____ 6 or More (3)


62.)    Do you offer buyers greater/larger units/quality product to increase the size of each sale?

            _____ No (0) _____ Yes (2)


63.)    If “no,” how many possibilities can you come up with right now for doing this?

            _____ None (0) _____ One (1) _____ 2-5 (2)   _____ 6 or More (3)


64.)    Do you endorse or do joint ventures with other companies to sell THEIR products/service to YOUR buyers and prospects?

            _____ No (0) _____ Yes (2)


65.)    Do you hold, run, or do special events such as seminars, new product introductions, end of year promotions, close out promotion, private sales, meet the management events, meet the manufacturer events, meet the creator-type events, etc.?

            _____ No (0) _____ Yes (2)


66.)    Do you ethically (but effectively) prepare buyers from their very first purchasing experience with you to keep coming back to purchase over and over again?

            _____ No (0) _____ Yes (2)


67.)    Do YOU personally talk to your buyers, prospects, and clients regularly to learn what they want and then build a relationship with them?

            _____ No (0) _____ Yes (2)


68.)    Do you regularly shop/buy from your competitors to see what they do differently or are doing that your company doesn’t do?

            _____ No (0) _____ Yes (2)


69.)    There are between 15 and 30 key impact or leverage points that can positively increase your firms’ sales/profit performance. How many have you identified?

            ____ None (0)  ____ 1-5 (1)   ____ 6-10 (2)   ____ 11-20 (3)   ____ Over 20 (4)


70.)    Do you have a written marketing strategy and tactical implementation plan you continuously apply and follow?

            _____ No (0)  _____ Yes (2)


71.)    If “yes,” do you regularly monitor and measure results and performance of every element of that plan and adjust, replace, improve areas or activities whenever performance drops or does not exceed specific targeted benchmarks you’ve established?

         _____ No (0)  _____ Sometimes (1)   _____ Yes, Always (2)


72.)    Do you have a complete e-mail marketing strategy you constantly adhere to, implement and follow?

         _____ No (0)  _____ Yes (2)


73.)    Do you study the success approaches other companies use that can be adapted and adopted by you?

         _____ No (0)  _____ Yes (2)


74.)    If “yes,” do you regularly (at least once a quarter or more) pick approaches you want to try out and then actually test them to see if they perform better than the approach(es) you are currently using?

         _____ No (0)  _____ Yes (2)


75.)    Does your marketing, sales approaches and advertising activities focus on benefits or features?

         _____ Features (1)  _____ Benefits (2)


76.)    Do you know the top five reasons why prospects don’t buy from you?

         _____ No (0)  _____ Yes (2)


77.)    Do you have a compelling and persuasive way to overcome each of those five objections or resistance points?

         _____ No (0)  _____ Yes (2)


78.)    Do you really know what your business ideology is and can you explain it in a paragraph or less?

         _____ No (0)  _____ Yes (2)


79.)    Do you know all of the marketing assets (both tangible and intangible) your firm has available to it?

         _____ No (0)  _____ Yes (2)


80.)    Have you identified all the different revenue-generating activities your firm is engaged in doing so you can start improving and maximizing each one?

         _____ No (0)  _____ Yes (2)


81.)    How often do you invest time, effort and committed focus to learn better ways to improve the sales, marketing, profit and/or competitive performance of your CPA firm?

            ____ Never (0) ____ Once a year (1) ____ Twice a year (2) ____ Constantly (3)


82.)    How much of my three ways to grow a business model and its 32 key revenue drivers are you currently applying?

            ____ None (0)  ____ Very Little (1)  ____ About One-Third (2)  ____ Most (3)


83.)    Are you effectively applying the strategy of Pre-Eminence to all your sales, marketing, promotional and prospect/client communication?

            _____ No (0) _____ Sometimes (1) _____ Yes, Always (2)


84.)    Do you really know and can you clearly verbalize what your business’ biggest marketing problem is?

            _____ No (0) _____ Unsure (1) _____ Yes, Absolutely (2)


85.)    Do you know what the biggest untapped sales or marketing opportunity your firm has available to it and can you state it clearly?

         _____ No (0)  _____ Yes (2)


86.)    Do you know what areas of your marketing your firm is weak, poor or ineffectual at doing, i.e., prospecting follow-up, converting, re-selling, referrals, etc.?

         _____ No (0)  _____ Yes (2)


87.)    Do you know where your firms’ biggest growth or profit opportunity lies?

         _____ No (0)  _____ Yes (2)



The “Key” For Interpreting Your Answers

Now that you’ve completed answering all the questions in this assessment test, here’s how to see what it all means to you. 

Tally up all the points your answers represent by calculating the point status of each answer you’ve given (use the number in parentheses following each response).  Once you get your combined total, here’s what it tells you . . .

a)    If your total points equal 59 or less, it tells you that your marketing is very weak, your opportunity for growth and greater profitability with a better marketing strategy to follow is almost assured.  You are probably realizing less than 15% of your real business/financial/marketing potential.

b)    If your total points equal 60 to 193, you’re marketing at a decent level; but your firm has exceptional room for improvement.  You can probably increase your overall performance by 80% or more merely by better understanding and applying the marketing opportunities you have available.

c)     If your total points exceed 194 or higher, congratulations!  You’re a very fine marketer already and should feel good about where you’ve come, so far.  But, ironically, because YOU understand so well the real additional marketing opportunities available to your firm – your firm probably still has spectacular geometric growth possible if you decided to take your strategy and tactics to the highest performance levels possible. Nevertheless, I’m very proud of your level of success so far. 

Well done!

Simply by completing this questionnaire, you have placed yourself ahead of most of the CPA firms in the world - those who never take the time to think deeply about their firms, individuals (many of whom are your competitors) who spend so much time working “in” their accounting firms that they never take the time to work “on” their firms.

I’m thrilled to help guide you as you work on your firm. More guidance coming soon!




Paving the way to your success: Part 1

Jay Abraham, CEO, The Abraham GroupThis is the first in a series of posts from Jay Abraham, one of the world's leading business and marketing gurus. As Founder and CEO of Abraham Group, Inc., Jay has spent his entire career solving problems and fixing businesses. He has significantly increased the bottom lines of over 10,000 clients in more than 400 industries worldwide. 

All of the content in this Paving the Way To Your Success series is  brought to you exclusively by AccountantsWorld, as part of our ongoing mission to help you maximize the value and relevance of your accounting firm.

In this post, Jay guides you through laying the foundation for greater growth and profitability. Click here to read the full series so far.




I want you to achieve every single dream of incredible greatness, abundant wealth, immense success and exuberant happiness you have ever allowed yourself to dream - plus exponentially more! I'm convinced you deserve to play the game of business by your own rules. As long as you're operating with integrity and your product or service offers superior quality and value, you deserve to be as successful and fulfilled as you want to be in your firm or professional practice. Whether you want to achieve dramatic financial growth over the next few months, or put an end to those 14-16-hour days so you can have more time with your family and friends—or both—/ know I can help you.

What You Can Expect From Me 

I'm approaching my relationship with you in the same way I would approach a consultation with any other client who pays me $10,000 per hour—first, by letting you know what you can expect from me, then explaining what I hope from you. (Note: this is for YOUR benefit alone! I only have your BEST and HIGHEST POTENTIAL in mind. I understand you may be hesitant, possibly comparing my context with others in world who claim to be experts or “Gurus.”  I get it. I ask you to step out on faith, either way, I only want your best and highest outcome for YOU!) I'm going to devote myself to you and your enterprise just as I would with a client. The first thing I want to do for you is to de-mystify how to grow your business or professional practice. I'm here to give you the simple knowledge, skills, and strategies you need to design your firm to give you exactly what you want.

So, what do you want for your CPA firm? Do you have a clear vision? If you do, that's great! But if you don't, we're going to work together to help you clarify your vision, so you'll know exactly what direction to take to get from where you are to where you want to be. This means having the sales you want, the income you're looking for, the security you're after, and the personal fulfillment I know you deserve.  And here's the best news—it's not hard! Actually, it's fun and easy. That's what you can expect from me. 

What I Expect From You

For you to accomplish your objectives with this program, obviously, you have to do your part.

So, first of all...

I.   I expect you to trust me. I've been able to help thousands of others, so I know what I have to offer will work for you.

II. I Expect you to commit yourself. Take it one step at a time and follow through consistently on what I ask you to do throughout this blog series...

It's up to you, of course, to complete the questionnaires and “assignments”—it may take a little time and sometimes a little effort—but the payoff will be more than worth it! 

I am at a point in my life where I am more interested in spreading knowledge, than only increasing my wealth. (If you are older, you may understand this, if you are younger, you may think I am crazy!) Either way… the accounting industry, you, are on my heart, and my personal goal it to help 1 million accountants to increase their revenue, and dramatically and exponentially expand their business, and go beyond anything they could have even hoped for or imagined!


Here Is the Simple Foundation We’re Going to Build Upon

There are only three ways to grow your accounting practice or CPA firm. You can:

1.   Increase your number of customers or clients. This is where almost everybody focuses almost all their attention. But the second and the third ways are actually where you have the greatest potential for leverage and growth. The second way is to...

2.   Increase your average transaction value. This simply means increasing the amount of the sale and the amount of profit that sale produces for you...

3.  Increase your frequency of purchase. This means you get more residual value from each customer or client. You get them to come back more often to buy more products or services from you.

Most people don't realize that the cost of acquiring a customer is substantial, while the cost of selling them more or selling them more often is significantly less. More about this later.

Please answer each of the questions in the survey.

Now, let’s go on to a very important survey I have for you...


General Information

What initially got me started in my accounting firm (what motivation, occurrence, etc.)?

When I first started, where did my customers come from (what process, method or action did I use)?

Why did customers originally buy from me?

Why do customers buy from me now?

What primary method of generating customers was used to build my firm?

Which of my marketing or sales efforts brought in the bulk of my sales/clients? What percentage of my business comes from this?

How well-connected or how involved am I with my customers at the sales or transaction level (do I still sometimes take orders, or sell, or follow-up)?

What ongoing sales efforts do I personally perform today? How do these functions differ from those I performed when I started my firm?

Where do my customers come from specifically (demographics)?

What do I believe my greatest single competitive advantage is?

What aspect of my CPA firm, product or service am I most proud of?

If I had a magic wand, would I rather attract more new customers or garner more money from my existing customers and why?

Who else benefits from my success; excluding my customers, my employees and my family members?

How many of my suppliers would be motivated to help me grow my business more because it will directly benefit them at a very high level? Who are they?

When I create a new customer for my firm or profession, who else have I indirectly created a new customer for?


General Marketing Information

Who is my target market and how did I arrive at it?

Describe what my accounting firm does completely (what I sell, how I sell it, and who I sell to by industry, commercial category or specific niche).

What is my business philosophy as it relates to my customers?

How have my methods for doing business, or the product or service line(s) I market changed since the inception of my accounting firm?

What is my vision for my firm for the next:

●      6 months

●      1 year

●      3 – 5 years

●      10 years and beyond

What or where is my biggest opportunity that will help me achieve this vision?

What is my greatest strength, and is it consistent with this opportunity?

What are my sales per employee? Is that above, below, or equal to my industry average and what are the steps I am taking (or going to take) to improve it?

What is the “lifetime value” of my typical customer (i.e. How much revenue will he/she generate for me over the entire period he/she does business with my firm)?

What is the biggest customer complaint about my CPA firm, and how does my firm address this problem? 

What is my Unique Selling Proposition or USP (why do my customers buy from me – what is it about my product and/or service that distinguishes me from my competition? I may have more than one for different product/service lines or segments of my firm.)?

Is my USP a consistent theme in all of my marketing and sales efforts? If yes, how, and if no, why not?

Briefly describe my marketing program or marketing mix (all the different types of marketing I use and how they interrelate – i.e. yellow pages, spot advertisements, direct mail, direct sales, telemarketing, etc.).

Who are my biggest competitors and what do they offer that I do not?

What steps do I take to offset their advantage? Are they working? If not, what needs to be changed?

What is my competition’s biggest failing, and how do I specifically fill that void?

Do I use direct response marketing concepts (those designed to induce an immediate and measurable response)? If no, why not?

How much of my time each month do I devote to marketing?

Do I have a marketing director? If so, describe his/her primary responsibilities and duties:

Do I have a written marketing plan that I adhere to? If so, explain it:

Is the plan based on a fixed budget number (i.e. $10,000 per month in the newspaper), or is it a variable percentage of sales?

What do my customers really want (be specific, don't just answer “a quality product or service”)? How do I know?

Do customers buy from me exclusively or do they also patronize my competitors? What steps can I take to get the main portion of their business?

Do I provide incentive bonuses to my employees for creating new and better marketing methods for my accounting firm? Explain.

What’s my market potential (universe) and my current share of that market?

What are the top 5 ways I have used to attain my existing customers (from best to worst)?

What does it cost me to get a new customer (i.e. if I ran an advertisement that cost $1,000 and I attained two new customers, my cost would be $500)?

What are the average sales and profits generated from a new customer in the first year, and how is that information useful in my overall marketing strategy?

What is my biggest and best source of new business, and am I doing everything possible to secure this business? If no, why not?

What has been my biggest marketing success to date (defined as a specific promotion, advertising campaign, telemarketing script, etc.) and am I still using it?

What is my biggest marketing problem or challenge today? Describe it in its entirety as candidly and direct as possible, including personal, financial, and transactional implications it may impose.

How many better ways could I reduce the risk of a transaction, lower the barrier of entry or reduce the hurdle for my customer, client or patient to make it easier for that person to do business with me?

After the initial sale, are there systematic, formal methods I use to communicate and resell my customers? If so, what are they? If not, should there be?

Do I have a systematic back-end (selling my own or others products to existing customers)? Describe how it works:

What problems does my product or service solve for the customer? Describe my customer’s needs and the positive results my product/service provides?

Do I have an adequate supply of customer testimonials, and is there a system in place for their capture? Are they written, on audio-tape or video-tape, and how are they used in my marketing?

In what ways, if any, are the testimonials dramatic, dynamic, and compelling to others?

Describe the best specific achievement I have produced for one of my customers.

Do I actively solicit referral business? If so, how does it work, and if not, why not?

Have I ever tried to reactivate my former customers and non-converted prospects? Explain:

Have I ever tried selling my non-converted prospects to my competitors? Explain:

Do I make consistent efforts to communicate with and educate my customers about what my company is doing to help them? How formal, informal, or systematic is the process?

In what ways do I try to up-sell and/or cross-sell my customers?

Are there other ways or different products/services I could be selling but am not?

Do I need to make money on first-time buyers, or am I satisfied with only making it on the back-end (reorders)? Explain:

Does 80% of my sales come from 20% of my customers? What are the implications of my particular ratios?

Do I ever barter my products, services or assets with other companies in exchange for their products, services or assets? Explain how it works:

Have I used bonuses in my sales/marketing propositions? If so, how did it affect the response?

What kind of guarantee or warranty do I give my customers, and how does it compare with my competitors or with the accounting industry at large?

What is my customer attrition rate?

Is that normal for the accounting industry?

If it’s too high, what do I think is the reason?

If it’s lower than average, why?

How can my customer attrition rate be improved (be specific)?



If I have a sales force, how are they compensated?

Do I have a sales manager? Describe his/her duties and objectives, and how they coincide and fit with the overall marketing strategy.

Have I tried different types of compensation programs? How did they affect sales?

If I use another direct sales firm (independent sales reps, dealers, manufacturers reps) have I ever compared the results to an inside or outside sales force? 

How do I capture the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all my customers and prospects? Do I use them in my marketing programs?

What is my selling season, if any, and am I actively looking to sell other complimentary products or services during the slower periods? If so, how do they interrelate?

What is my gross and net income per salesperson? What are methods I can use to improve it?

How much time do I personally devote to sales or sales people?

What is my average order amount, and what are the steps I can take to increase it?

Do I do anything at the point of sale to increase the order or add on other products or future products or services (up-sell)? If so, what?

How much professional sales training have I had, and what type of training do I offer my salespeople (both junior and senior)?

How long does it take me to fill an order after I receive it, and if I improved it would it have a dramatic effect on my sales?

Is “buyer’s remorse” a problem for my customers, and, if so, how do I overcome it?

Do my customers feel my customer service department is prompt and courteous? Explain why or why not:



Are my ads working? How do I know?

Do I use two-step advertising (i.e. step one generates qualified leads, step two converts those leads to customers)? If so, describe it.

What’s my conversion ratio (in others words, out of every “x” leads I get “y” customers or sales), and what are the different techniques I have used to improve it?

What is my advertising cost per sale (i.e. when I run an ad that costs $1,000, I generate S’V of sales)? Have I tested different approaches to increase this number?

Do I use a conversion kit (a package of follow-up materials) to convert prospects to sales? If so, describe it. If not, describe the steps I take to convert a prospect.

Do I test the different aspects of my advertising? What do I test? ­

Copy? Offer? Price? Illustrations? Media? Headline? Size? Publication position?

If so, what did my tests tell me that I didn’t know before?


Direct Mail

How much is the initial sale to a new customer worth?

How much prospecting mail do I drop each month? To whom, and why?

Do I use a list broker? If not, where do I get my names from?

Do I test the different aspects of my mailings? What do I test?

Copy? Offer? Price? Media? List? Headline?

What is the return on investment for my mailings, and how do I think it can be improved?

How often do I mail to my own list of customers?

How often does a typical customer buy from me?

Have I ever created proprietary concepts or ads or mailing pieces that could be sold or licensed to other businesses outside my marketing area? Explain:

Do I rent my customers names to other companies? If so, what were the results?

How do I use a public relations strategy to complement my marketing?



Just by completing this survey, you have placed yourself ahead of most of the accountants in the world—those who never take the time to think deeply about their firm, individuals (many of whom are your competitors) who spend so much time working "in" their firms that they never take the time to work "on" their firms.

I'm excited to help guide you as you work on your accounting firm!