One big problem in practice today is that Client Relationships are getting harder to manage. This means we are required to keep searching for ways and means of achieving client satisfaction.
Here are the top reasons Client Relationships are getting trickier to manage:
- Our Clients are more informed than ever about how Accountants prepare financial information.
This is because:
a. Software companies market directly to them, so they know how much automation speeds the process up;
b. Banks provide more education about the value of profitability and cash flow; and
c. Consultants & coaches play a greater role by marketing directly to businesses.
2. This means that Client expectations are higher. Clients want to reduce costs and get more value in their quest to make better profits and extract cash from the business.
3. Plus, Clients buying habits are evolving, and are faster to react to economic fluctuations.
Faster reactions make for a greater pattern and number of buying behaviours to follow.
Basically, Clients react quicker to economic fluctuations which result in them buying in different ways.
For example. Right now, tax incentives mean that SME’s are spending on infrastructure and equipment while market uncertainty means they remain cautious with operational expenditure.
How to Build Profitable Relationships in Today’s Marketplace
You can make client relationships more profitable by asking yourself some questions:
- How Proactive are we with our Clients? How often do we speak with them and meet face to face?
- How much do we Lead our Clients? (Or are they leading us?)
- How good are we at communicating with Clients? (particularly about Problems and Opportunities)
Specific Strategies for Building more Profitable Client Relationships
1. How to be Proactive with Clients
Create a base service offer that includes regular meetings and unlimited contact.
2. How to Lead your Clients
Aim to “get strategic” with them and their business. Start by asking them about future plans.
3. How to improve Client Communication
Create opportunities by looking for ways to do more for your clients. Download the ‘Farming for Client Growth’ spreadsheet here.
During regular meetings talk openly about their problems and help them identify opportunities they can’t see. Both strategies will lead to more work if you structure the conversation the right way.
Profitable Relationships Benefit our Clients too
You’ll find that your Clients want to be lead, and will respond positively to being spoken to more often.
The key to this approach is to be 110% clear on what you offer and how you offer it. Read more on this in TA48 – Are Projects Killing Your Business.
It is common to see high performing firms racing off to look for new clients, even when they admit that there is more they could be doing for existing clients.
Identify the Clients in your Firm who are ready to Buy More
Do you want to know how to lead your Clients?
Do you want to improve how you communicate with Clients?
Do you want to improve how you communicate your value to them?
Right now, I guarantee that there are clients on your books who are ready to buy more, they just haven’t been given the opportunity to do so. All it takes to improve their profitability is a conversation.
To find out who these clients are, what you can offer them and how to have the right conversation with them, book a free 45 minute Strategy Review session with me.