The Change Implementation Series
I know just how hard it is knowing where to begin on your change journey, so I’ve written this series around the six starting points that I use to make implementation easier for my clients. Couple of weeks ago I introduced the series in TA75 – The Kick-start Change Implementation Plan. This article is part 5 of a 7 part series on kick-starting your own change implementation plan.
Part 5: Six Ways to Get Early Wins from Your Existing Client Base
A common misconception among partners and principals is that their existing client base is not adequate to sustain the growth that they want. Sometimes we can think we don’t have enough clients, or perhaps that our current clients are not right for VAS services.
This misconception leads to the belief that we need to spend on advertising or marketing to new clients in order to grow the business. While new clients can be part of your growth plan, I can show firms how to make larger gains by focusing on people you already know.
In fact, for 95% of the firms I work with, their existing client base holds more potential for new business than any dedicated marketing campaign could hope to achieve.
The secret here is to “begin with who you know from within your existing clients”.
One of the biggest mistakes that a can firm make, which stops them from implementing VAS is to begin with a preconception of what your clients will and will not do.
I often hear:
“I don’t think my clients will go for that”
“We don’t have the type of clients that want VAS”
“Clients will not pay for that, they haven’t in the past”
Statements like these are simply a sign of your fears coming out, and should not be relied upon as evidence to shape your implementation plan.
The truth is that all clients need help at some point in time. Often they are just waiting to be offered help.
VAS should be designed and rolled out based on:
A. what your clients want or need (as a group), and
B. what you want to be involved in.
If you want to offer a $60,000 product, you may very well need to re-educate yourself and set up a sophisticated system. However, I often challenge my firms by asking them why they want to start at the top when their clients may not be interested in ‘top shelf’ services (see TA 79). There are many opportunities for VAS services that are simpler, and more affordable for your clients, that also offer great profit potential.
To know for sure, you really need to ask the clients you know what they want and what they will actually purchase.
Six ways you can achieve early wins from your existing client base
Here are six steps to help your successfully roll out VAS to your existing clients.
- Start with clients who love you, use you often and pay reliably.
- Talk openly with those clients about what you want to do.
- Be prepared to do the work straight away.
- Charge a market rate fee, do not discount.
- Be prepared to lose a few hours to setup and testing of your new system.
- Don’t add more value in. Instead focus your conversations around the results achieved and what the clients is experiencing. Not only do clients love these discussions, they provide valuable feedback for you.
How you can Achieve 30% Growth over the Next 9 Months
In July 2003 we set a goal to increase existing client work by 25%. We did this because we believed the team could do 30% more work.
In March 2004, we had to stop taking on extra work as we had exhausted capacity. We actually hit 30%.
While this result redefined what I thought was possible for myself, it set the benchmark for the firms I work with today. To this day, I bring the lessons learned, the changes we made and my entire career’s worth of experience and place them at my client’s disposal. This unlocks substantial (and sustainable) change for clients, both on personal and professional levels.
If you’re interested in personalised consulting on VAS in your firm, book an initial consult now…
[or copy and paste this link into your browser >> http://www.timetrade.com/book/6SWV1]
A Six Step Series on Implementing Your Plan for Change
This article is one of a series addressing how to confidently begin implementing your change growth plan.
- Five ways to say ‘No’ that will free up time to do higher end work and increase your profitability – TA76
- Build confidence to implement by getting clear on what you really want – TA77
- Four ways to declutter your mind and clear your desk for maximum focus – TA78
- Lead with confidence by leveraging existing knowledge– TA79
- How to get early wins by uncovering opportunities within your existing client base – TA80
- Four ways to gain and build strong momentum – TA81
Next week we continue with “6. Fours Way to Gain & Build Strong Momentum in your Change Implementation”.
- How to get the extra push and leadership required to support you and your firm through the challenges of change and growth,
- How to manage initial setbacks and turn them into opportunities,
- A guide to prioritising activities and planning your calendar to ensure implementation and safeguard your growth plan,
- Plus, the key points from the entire change implementation series, reduced to one quick-reference list,
- And more real life, practical examples of Accountants who have designed, implemented and successfully made the step from compliance to VAS firms.
As always, if there is a specific barrier holding up your firm’s implementation, you’re welcome to share these articles with your colleagues and leadership teams.
Andrew Robertson | TwentySix Group