The bane of professional complacency

In stark contrast to the accountant committed to aggressive marketing is the conventional partner ensconced in a comfortable position in a traditional firm.

She has an above-average income, a good home and a family of whom she would like to see more, not less. Her future seems secure, with the firm experiencing unspectacular but steady growth. Short of committing a serious misdemeanour, she is in very little danger of losing her position.

Having worked hard to achieve her partnership, she now regards it more or less as a tenure. Indeed, the ultimate goal during her training and early career years was a partnership that, once reached, provided lifelong security for her and her family. Occupying such a lofty and comfortable perch, why should she disrupt the routine work of servicing her client base to apply herself to marketing?

Perhaps from time to time the subject of marketing is raised at partner meetings and she, like her colleagues, feels obliged to make an effort, but has little understanding or experience with the dynamics of marketing. Her efforts are, at best, half-hearted and almost certainly fruitless. She attends a few seminars, contributes an article to a local paper, and sends out a ‘direct mail’ letter to a few prospects, but does not follow through. When there is no apparent improvement in the bottom line as a result of these meagre efforts, she concludes that marketing does not work for professional firms and retreats to what she knows best: servicing her existing clients and relying upon ‘natural growth’.

Unfortunately for accountants like the conventional partner above, while this complacent attitude might have been appropriate in the past, times are changing and there are now forces at work within the profession that must be met head on with a solid commitment to professional marketing.

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