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TriSuper Auditors

Trebled the number of audits carried out

How we created a unique brand and grew a niche service business with a hard-to-reach audience.  

 

“I want more accountants to know about us and to do business with us…  

...but just know that typically they are conservative and sceptical; they will only move when they are ready.”

Joel Curry, Owner, TriSuper Auditors

An acute observation and a great introduction to what lay ahead. 

The Challenge

TriSuper Auditors is a niche financial service firm providing SMSF auditing services for the clients of accounting firms.  

Its market – accountants at small to medium sized firms, one of the hardest to reach and influence:  

 

  • They are bombarded daily by businesses trying to sell to them, or through them to their clients. 
  • The decision makers are very hard to reach, with hyper vigilant-gatekeepers whose default is NO. 
  • They have developed a high level of scepticism. The status quo is their happy place.  
  • They prefer face to face meetings (hard to contrive) or word of mouth referrals over anything. 
  • SMSF audits barely pop up on accountants’ radars. It is an annual compliance must-have tick-box, the last step in their own SMSF administrative services.

Work Involved

  Reposition the TriSuper brand to stand out 

There is little to distinguish between many SMSF auditors – the same dry, functional approach with no personality. As a result, they bland out. 

We repositioned the brand to better reflect the expertise, leadership and educative role TriSuper Auditors takes, in one of the largest and most complex areas in tax law. 

This was offset against the playful undertone of the director’s personality. 

 

  A redesigned website 

The website is a primary business tool.  

From a marketing perspective it showcases the expertise, credentials and the value-add substance TriSuper Auditors offers its clients. It is the focal point for newsletters, events and training for accountants; and finally it is a business platform through which clients and TriSuper Auditors work together. 

 

  Invest in existing clients 

Most business owners get fixated on new clients, which is understandable, but they often overlook their existing clients. But take care of them and they will help you grow your business through referrals and word of mouth reputation.  

An extensive investment in newsletters, events, webinars, and personalised office visits paid dividends.  

Between 30% and 40% of new clients came through referrals from existing clients. 

  

  Campaigns to reach potential new clients 

We used direct mail and social media (LinkedIn and Facebook) to get the attention of potential new clients. As discussed in the caveats below, on initial impact a number did not appear to work. But when we tracked new clients back to their initial point of contact – over 40% were attributable to these direct campaigns. 

It just takes time. 

 

  PR and Award activities to grow brand awareness 

Awards are fun to receive – the recognition instils an inner glow of pride. And it can lead to an initial uptick in attention, even enquiries. 

They are also a useful proof point about the calibre of the work. 

But then the glow fades; they are not a substitute for persistent and continuous marketing activity. 

 

  Identify cloud software to increase productivity. 

Growth brings its own operational challenges, especially resourcing. Whilst existing processes were efficient, audits were getting clogged up in a couple of bottlenecks.  

We conducted a robust process review and identified the cloud audit processing software that best suited the business needs.  

There was initial resistance from a number of accountants to move to the cloud, but Covid accelerated the uptake to the point that all clients are now using it.  

"In hindsight the move to the cloud proved prescient – not only did it drive productivity gains, but it was a life-saver in the unprecedented Covid times." - Joel Curry

A website that converts to enquiries in a hard-to-reach market

 

  •  TriSuper Auditors' audience: accountants at small to medium sized firms 
  •  The redesigned, re-written website showcases TSA's expertise, credentials and the value-add they offer their clients. 

Outcomes

 The number of audits trebled over six years – AND the rate of growth is still strong. 

 Cumulative ROI of 4.67 across the totality of activity. 

 Finalist and winner of numerous awards. 

 Growing presence in the target market. 

 

standOut brand

So many SMSF auditors have me-too websites that swap out the logos and who would know the difference? Ours is distinctive, conveys how we add value and receives great feedback from clients.

  

- Joel Curry

The important caveats:

  • Persistence and consistency win the game.  

Being on the radar for when the target audience is considering a change. You cannot make accountants buy according to your budget. They buy when they are ready. 

  • Some things don’t work. 

We tested some promotional offers to try and induce a trial: try before you buy first audit free; discount on the first year’s audits; free bottle of wine if… 

They failed. The feedback: they undermined the credibility of the brand, but because we had tested first, the impact on the brand and the cost was low. 

  • Other campaigns appeared not to work – BUT…  

There are numerous examples of direct campaigns that did not deliver immediate audits. Campaigns  

  • to set up meetings that went nowhere 
  • to invite potential clients to educational events; who booked in then didn't turn up 
  • triggered by imminent ATO events, and inviting an advisory conversation.
Sometimes it can take twelve months or more from the initial campaign before someone on your radar makes contact; and then a further fair-while before they start sending through audits. 

But if we had stopped the initial activity, then subsequent growth would have been a fraction of its actual outcome. 

It takes faith to invest for the longer term, but as any financial advisor will tell you, it pays off. 

 

The results speak for themselves but what was interesting to learn, as an accountant with a $$$ mentality, was that marketing has a cumulative effect that pays off over time; and it is important to look at the totality, as what looks like a poor initial result can really pay dividends in time. It’s a drip drip drip result.
- Joel Curry

  If you want help reaching your ideal new clients, call us on 02 4023 5958 for a conversation today. 

Easy to work with

A light touch on my business operations – just an hour a month here – and they do the heavy lifting, which has made a big impact on the business success. It’s like they’re a member of the team – but without the management overhead and on-costs. They do the "I'd like to but I’d never get around to it" work.  

- Joel Curry

Fun Fact! 

Just to shatter the stereotypes – we had considerably more success advertising with Facebook than with LinkedIn. 

Stand out and grow

  • Be seen and heard
  • Attract the clients you want
  • Grow your sales

I’m glad we invested – a pipeline of new, highly valued clients

John Allenspach, Director, Southern Cross Financial Planning

“Social media was an area we had never invested any marketing dollars into, and we are glad we did. Not only did Alex & his team raise our firms profile. But they developed a pipeline of new, highly valued aged care advice clients.”

A more cost effective way to market and increased sales

Chad Turner, CREFCO (now Society Mortgage)

"I wondered how this was going to work with the distance (USA to Australia) but figured in the short run, it couldn’t hurt to see whether what you were saying you could provide would materialize. Well, it did materialize and then some.

With the advertising campaigns that you assisted us with the results have spoken for themselves. You certainly did deliver on exactly what you said you would do in terms of taking our marketing to the next level.

Since those campaigns, two things have occurred. We have saved money as you developed a way to market in a more cost effective manner. Additionally, you increased the sales numbers by a long shot from what we were used to seeing. I felt that others should know about the best kept secret in marketing."

insight that will drive our new revenue campaigns

Jenny Gutwenger, COO, (Mid-tier Sydney law firm)

“Their client research provided deep insight into our clients’ experiences of the business and what they valued. This will help drive our new revenue campaigns and tailor our service delivery.

Hearing the clients’ voices in the report helped loosen some of our language and thinking. And the testimonials they generated are compelling and will be threaded throughout our collateral.”

Our business is immeasurably better

Alex Euvrard, Director, My Dealer Services

My Dealer Services has been working with delivering Results for five years now. We were a small business that was very principal focused and it was case of working ‘in’ the business and no time to work ‘on’ the business.

dR have given us the support and framework to work on the business with significant results. It has been extremely valuable to have an external set of eyes and ideas to help guide the path of our business. It has kept us accountable and true to our path of continued growth and support to our clients.

Our business is immeasurably better than it was before engaging delivering Results and we look forward to further growth with their support.

the ability to craft words with impact

Jenny Gutwenger, COO, (Mid-tier Sydney law firm)

“Alex really nailed the brand anchors that underpin our positioning, messaging, and stories. He has the ability to craft words with impact, and he has been a pleasure to work with.”

Used to take us an hour to explain

Stuart Wolfe, Head of Technical Services, Politis Investment Strategies

“Your one page summary of our business proposition used to take us an hour to explain to potential new ARs [business partners].”