Getting the Client is Only Half the Battle

Four must-do's for outstanding client retention.

by Bruce W. Marcus / Exclusive to CPA Trendlines
Professional Services Marketing 3.0

In the CPA firm with a strong marketing culture, getting the client is only half the battle. The other half is keeping the client. It’s done with more than just doing good work. In fact, most clients, surveys tell us, don’t really know how good or how bad your work is. Why should they? It’s not the business they’re in. They have to trust the professional.

Independent studies also show that a large percentage of accounting clients are dissatisfied with the levels of service from their accountants. Clients are given no foundation for understanding what’s being done for them, nor are reasonable expectations defined. What basis do clients have, then, for being satisfied?

Bruce W. Marcus
Bruce W. Marcus

More on marketing strategy for large and mid-size firms:  Practice Development: It’s Not Rocket Science  |  Nine Fundamentals for a Healthy Marketing Culture in an Accounting Firm   |  What Accounting Firms Need to Understand to Grapple with Radical Change   |   Six Reasonable Goals for CPA Firm Marketing     |    The Tools of Marketing Are Not a Program – They Are Simply Tools     |    Is Your Marketing Program Really a Program?     |    Six Metrics for Marketing ROI     |    How to Formulate the Right Marketing Goals for Your Firm     |     Get Real: 15 Questions for Achievable Growth     |     If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, How Do You Know How to Get There?     |     Eight Tips for Staying One Step Ahead of the Competition (And Maybe the Client, Too)     |     Nine Things We Know For Sure about How to Grow an Accounting Firm   |     The CPA’s Castle Is Crumbling

The reality is that this new world is competitive in ways that it's never been before. Ask your clients how many times they've been approached by your competitors, and pursued aggressively. And then ask yourself if you can continue to be sanguine about keeping your clients happy, on a day-by-day basis.

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Bruce W. Marcus



About the Author

Bruce W. Marcus remains a pioneer in the modern practices of professional services marketing even after his death in 2014 at age 89. He is the author of the seminal work, Professional Services Marketing 3.0, published by CPA Trendlines. he Association for Accounting Marketing named a lifetime achievement award in his honor.

In 1951 (with a degree in Economics and Philosophy), he joined the then-Big Eight accounting firm, Peat Marwick Mitchell to establish the firm’s library, where he developed an article writing and seminar program that successfully promoted the firm’s reputation.

He has served as a public relations and marketing executive or consultant to most of the international accounting firms, and many large and small law firms.

His book, Competing For Clients (1986) was one of the first to delineate the new practices of professional services marketing, followed by more than a dozen books on professional services marketing, real estate marketing, investor relations, and international accounting standards.

His first newsletter, The Marcus Report (1986), was followed by the award-winning www.marcusletter.com in 1995 — one of the longest running letters on marketing for lawyers and accountants.

He served on the editorial boards of several leading professional services publications, a contributor to many publications, and has been a keynote speaker at major conferences.

He taught one of the first courses in professional services marketing at the Fordham University Graduate School of Business, and lectures frequently at the Fordham University Law School.

Click here for more by Bruce W. Marcus