The speedy, quickie way to attract new clients

Do you want to drum up more traffic at your public accounting office?  Have you considered hosting a “speed dating” event in your office?  It’s the trendy thing to do, and it has been around for over ten years, appearing in episodes on the popular television show, “Sex and the City”.

Some grocers have been using it as a marketing tool in an attempt to drive in traffic to their stores.  The concept is very basic, to say the least.  It particularly appeals to those between the ages of 35 to 55, though the geriatric jet set would also be a viable target market for your firm as well.  Let’s face it:  sex is used in every other commercial industry, so why not use it in accounting to lure in the fish.

Speed dating is rapidly becoming much more popular than internet dating.  Since sex appeal and money are the main criteria used by individuals in that age group—if not every age group—to select a spouse, individuals prefer physically meeting and talking to prospective mates in the flesh rather than picking a pig in a poke.  Who can fault them for being so crass?  Let thee who is not so superficial cast the first stone.

A public accounting firm’s office would be an ideal place to host a speed dating event.  Think how convenient it would be for a dubious female to request to see a braggart male’s tax returns for the past five years, including all W-2s and 1099s, and to verify how much alimony and child support he may be paying to his first wife, second wife, third wife, et al.  It would save so much time and anguish on her part.  In addition, a list of potential candidates to invite to the event would be readily available to you, since you already have on hand your clients’ marital status.  Simply invite all singles to the event, and ask them to bring a friend for free admission.  Better yet, include all those who have been filing separately even though married, since it is very possible—if not likely—that they, too, may be in the market for a new partner very soon.  As we all know, women are notorious shoppers, always shopping and never stopping.

The benefits to you would be innumerable.  Think of the new clients flogging to these speed dating events, once word gets out.  And these are the types of clients you desire:  those in the 35 to 55 age group, who are in their most productive financial years of their lives, with many tax return years remaining in their lives; unlike seniors, who are notorious penny pinchers, begrudging you the few shekels on preparing their tax returns, with even fewer years remaining for tax services.  Moreover, you will likely be able to retain these newly found clients mostly out of gratitude for finding them a mate, unless they kick off prematurely, you screw up their tax returns or gouge them unnecessarily with your exorbitant fees—on which you should always proceed with caution—or if they decide to dump this new partner as well in the near future.  Consequently, it is highly recommended that you host this event at least annually.

If they are divorcees (or soon to be divorcees), they may require extra financial advice on how to afford the additional expense of supporting a stable of ex-s.  And for those financially conservative and astute women, you should see an increase in the demand for taxable income projections as a married couple before they risk jumping into another disappointing marriage with a deadbeat.  And with the increase in demand for services resulting from divorces, innocent spouse relief, alimony, child support, etc., you should see significant financial rewards in the first year of hosting the event.

In addition to tapping your list of present clients, you will need to place an ad in Craigslist or some other social network medium to recruit enough participants to the speed dating event.  It is advisable to require formal and professional attire on the part of all guests as well as require all males not presently clients to bring their most recent tax returns.   This will screen out undesirables from the affair.  Schedule the event for some weekend evening when your staff is out of the office so their desks or cubicles can be employed for the rapid fire, five minute rendezvous.   Get a stopwatch and time the chats in musical chair fashion, to limit the interviews, and to minimize interludes from becoming rapturous moments of being totally carried away, which might prove embarrassing to those in attendance more circumspect and capable of exercising a modicum of restraint.  Candles, soft music, a little wine and cheese would all contribute to a relaxed and romantic atmosphere.  However, avoid having a justice of the peace or minister on hand, since your guests might regard such as a bit gauche.

For further advice on how to plan your speed dating event at your firm, please visit us at Accountants CPA Hartford, LLC or submit your questions to the Barefoot Accountant.

About William Brighenti

William Brighenti is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified Business Valuation Analyst. Bill began his career in public accounting in 1979. Since then he has worked at various public accounting firms throughout Connecticut. Bill received a Master of Science in Professional Accounting degree from the University of Hartford, after attending the University of Connecticut and Central Connecticut State University for his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees. He subsequently attended Purdue University for doctoral studies in Accounting and Quantitative Methods in Business. Bill has instructed graduate and undergraduate courses in Accounting, Auditing, and other subjects at the University of Hartford, Central Connecticut State University, Hartford State Technical College, and Purdue University. He also taught GMAT and CPA Exam Review Classes at the Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Center and at Person-Wolinsky, and is certified to teach trade-related subjects at Connecticut Vocational Technical Schools. His articles on tax and accounting have been published in several professional journals throughout the country as well as on several accounting websites. William was born and raised in New Britain, Connecticut, and served on the City's Board of Finance and Taxation as well as its City Plan Commission. In addition to the blog, Accounting and Taxes Simplified, Bill writes a blog, "The Barefoot Accountant", for the Accounting Web, a Sift Media publication.
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