Why CPAs Don’t Market

I attended an AICPA conference over 10 years ago at Bally’s Las Vegas (my notes are on a hotel notepad). A panel was charged with giving reasons why CPAs don’t market. Here are a few:

  • Too busy
  • Firms don’t require marketing skills
  • Presume clients know what they need and that they’ll tell the firm
  • Egos – CPAs don’t want rejection
  • Don’t value marketing hours like chargeable hours
  • Unfocused marketing efforts
  • Don’t measure results
  • Negative mindset – don’t believe they can do it

How many of these reasons are still true today? What I’ve learned so far is that effective marketing requires consistent effort. Firms must establish expectations and accountability. Marketing plans focus marketing efforts. CPAs benefit from marketing and sales coaching/training and must believe in their skills. And, perhaps most importantly, CPA firm leadership must “walk the walk” to support their firms’ marketing programs.