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Updated: Feb 13, 2015
With 80 million Millennials in the United States alone, companies are fiercely vying for the younger generation’s mindshare and $200 billion in annual buying power.
For accountants and other financial professionals, attracting new and younger clients is crucial to the future success of your business. If you’re keen to broaden your client base this season, explore these three ways to build trust and loyalty with Millennials now, so you can still be there for them later when their portfolios have grown.
Only one in eight Millennial business owners deem their CPA “ahead of the curve” when it comes to technology. If you’re looking for a competitive edge, explore simple ways to leverage technology to help automate tasks and better engage with younger customers. According to recent FICO research, Millennials prefer to hear from their financial services providers via email, text, websites and mobile apps. Embracing digital communications can help ensure you have more time and better data up your sleeves to provide insightful advice to your clients.
A basic first step is to get your website up to par and start exploring digital communications to support your marketing and customer service initiatives. If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, for example, turn your social media into a two-way conversation. Remember, 80 percent of potential clients check out your website before deciding to work with you. How does yours look today?
Do you know the #1 reason Millennials switch CPAs? Lack of proactive guidance. Clients don’t just buy your products or services; they buy real human experiences and solutions from veterans like yourself. Look for ways to surprise and delight clients with extra, value-added services. Upselling can help deepen relationships with existing clients and make your firm’s services more appealing to ideal prospective clients.
For accountants, for example, this could be exploring opportunities to expand from Type 1 services like tax preparation and audit reviews to Type 2 services like financial forecasting and succession planning, according to SageWorks. After all, business planning and strategy are among the top five services desired by business owners already working with a CPA – and by entrepreneurs who intend to hire one.
Just like Millennials, it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends in your industry. Search for like-minded brands and seek out new partnership opportunities. For example, a FICO survey found Millennials are ten times more likely to use peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms than other generations, thanks to the efficiency, transparency and high returns that go hand-in-hand with emerging services in the space. If you’re eager to offer clients strategic advice about new financing options, consider partnering with a reputable P2P lender like Funding Circle to find fast and affordable loans for clients.
When it comes to courting Millennials, the important thing is to be patient. Successful relationships are a journey. Focus on nurturing the right relationships now, and over time, as Millennials acquire considerably more wealth, assets, and businesses, you’ll be on their short list – not just as a bookkeeper, but as a trusted strategic advisor.
Sageworks, Accounting firms transition to value pricing. December 2012.
Sageworks, Stop competing on price alone: Why accounting firms are transitioning to Type 2 services. August 2013.
Sageworks, How a too-busy-to-change mentality can cost accounting firms new business. November 2014.
Paige Smith is a Content Marketing Writer and Senior Contributing Writer at Funding Circle. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and specializes in writing about the intersection of business, finance, and tech. Paige has written for a number of B2B industry leaders, including fintech companies, small business lenders, and business credit resource sites.