You want your clients, certainly the better ones, to stay with you. By implication therefore you want them to appreciate that you care about them, that you are interested in them and that you want to help them as much as you can. Those are just some of the reasons for Keeping
As a teenager, before I started studying to become an accountant, I was a children's party entertainer - and I continued doing this for about 25 years. When I look back I realise that I quickly learned 3 key lessons that now, many years later, still inform my thinking and advice to
Accountants have a distinct advantage over most other service professionals. Your clients need your help on an ongoing basis, at least once a year and often more frequently than this. This leads some accountants to be a little complacent about client retention - certainly as compared with most solicitors and financial advisers.
It's all to easy to assume that all clients want the same things. But unless you ask, you won't know for sure. It's probably true that most clients want their accountants to help them pay less tax and to keep them straight with the authorities. Probably true. For most. But these may
In an educational context we refer to the three Rs as being those crucial elements that all children need to master. That is, Reading wRiting and aRithmetic. This is somewhat ironic given that only one of the three topics actually starts with an R. (The phrase is used apparently because each of the three
Do you ever think about how your practice and your client base might be impacted by changes and developments over the next few years? Historically most clients stay with their accountant for many years. They generally move only when they feel their accountant doesn't care enough about them, puts their fees up
Do you consider yourself to be a confident person generally? What about in terms of your ability to attract and win over prospective clients? And to keep clients happy and willing to pay you the fees you deserve for the work you do? Whilst many accountants I work with have a fair
Many an otherwise savvy sole practitioner tells me about similar problems with their client base. "They won't pay higher fees, they don't want additional services and they leave everything to the last minute" If you have clients like this, you're not alone. Often it's a direct consequence of how desperate you were
When I ask accountants what they would like to be different in their practice, one theme is more common than any others. They frequently express the desire to have better quality clients, to increase their average fees and to be doing more interesting work.One sole practitioner accountant I was mentoring expressed this quite
So many accountants tell me that most of their new clients come from word of mouth and client referrals. In most cases however this seems to be a function of luck rather than planned in any way. Have you ever thought about how you could make it easier for your contacts to
Over the years I have worked with hundreds of accountants. I have also judged hundreds of entires for multiple accountancy awards. Having completed the judging process for a recent competition I reflected on what it takes to win and to be successful generally. Let me be clear here. I am talking about
Not everyone who calls me for my input becomes a client. I sometimes offer some simple advice to accountants who are not yet in a position to need or afford my mentoring services (even though these are much more affordable than you might expect). One of the accountants I spoke with recently
Ok, maybe not real 'commandments', so I wonder if you agree. And if there are any where you know you could do better. If so, then maybe focus on what you could do to improve your client service in this regard over the next few days, weeks and months. 1. Ask good
The following observation on Facebook reflects a common perception. ‘It’s a shame that nowadays it isn’t enough to just be good at what you do. You need to be good at all this other stuff (marketing etc.) otherwise you don’t get anywhere.’ My response was as follows: — It has NEVER been
This is a very different blog post to usual. I hope it will be of interest to accountants and tax advisers generally even though it does not contain any of my usual insights, guidance and advice. Thirteen years ago, in July 2008, I authored the lead comment article in Taxation magazine: Why
What do people say about you when you’re not in the room? What would you like them to say? Few accountants seem to think this through. If you are clear about what you want people to say though you are likely to find success a lot faster than anyone who is ‘just
The following list is a salutary lesson in what NOT to do if you want to keep your clients. You could also use it as a checklist to have counterpoints to raise in each case when talking to prospective new clients. If they are moving from a previous accountant, they will appreciate
Too many accountants struggle to distinguish themselves from their competition. This is a shame as it is what makes each of us different that makes us memorable and the reason why we are referred and recommended. And then why we are engaged by clients. Challenge this if you must. Tell me that
No one is 'just an accountant'. And you know that already. But how clear do you make this on your website, your online profiles and when you are networking? Lots of accountants make the mistake of assuming they only need to evidence their credibility as an accountant. And it's true that sometimes
I wonder if you make an all too common mistake. We all hope that clients will want us to provide a range of services to them. And we hope that clients will recommend and refer us to other prospective clients too… But, as I frequently point out, ‘hope’ is not a strategy.
I was asked recently for my top five marketing tips for accountants and so I had a quick look at the marketing related posts on this blog. In so doing I realised how much has changed over the years. When I first started mentoring accountants I had to avoid the M-word (Marketing).
You might think that business is all about facts and figures. In truth, as the world and business get more uncertain and complex, successful leaders need to embrace soft skills to get the best out of their people and themselves. These are the opening words on the back cover of a book
It is rare for an accountant to tell me outright that they want to be more efficient. But this wish is often implied by other things they say. Often their concerns are focused on time management issues, a desire to overcome procrastination, a need for more and better systems or for another
If you’ve been around a while I am sure that you find the constant articles, posts and commentators telling accountants you have to move into advisory services both boring and repetitive. I’ve been debunking the hype here for well over ten years. Many commentators have also been naively forecasting the end of compliance work.
Unlike some commentators, I entirely accept that many accountants have some clients who want nothing more than a basic compliance service. And that you get very frustrated to be told by consultants that you should offer your clients "advisory services". After all, you know your clients don't want, cannot afford and will