Sometimes a new client has moved from another accountant. Sometimes you are the first accountant they have ever appointed.
In either case the sooner you can ‘wow’ them the more you will STAND OUT and the more likely they will be to talk about you (positively).
Given that most accountants claim that the best source of new work is client referrals, the sooner you can get them talking (positively) about you, the better. What do you do to show your clients that you value their business and you want them to come back?
A few years ago I visited a firm of accountants to discuss their upcoming staff conference which I had been invited to address. As I entered the reception area I was greeted by a welcome sign. It was welcoming: “Mark Lee”. I remember thinking ‘wow!’ It was a simple enough thing to do and maybe I’m easily impressed. But it had the desired effect and I’ve never forgotten it.
There are many ways you can do something special for your clients and business contacts to remind them they are more than a name and a number.
When a client calls or visits what could you do to give them a really positive feeling about you and your firm? What could you do to evidence that you really care?
Other examples I have heard of in a similar vein include:
personally signed birthday cards, anniversary cards, new home cards etc
going the extra mile beyond simply sending a quick email reply.
picking up the phone to talk through an issue that has been raised by email or letter.
providing a reserved/named parking apace.
providing their favourite drink when they attend meetings at your office
calling to confirm meetings and to ensure they can find the office/venue easily and that they’ll have all they need with them.
providing an agenda for each meeting you have with them.
offering them USEFUL branded gifts that they will talk about and maybe show friends and family.
arranging to send them a gift of a book relevant to their area of business, that you know they don’t already have.
a genuinely free tax planning meeting and advice (even though this may be factored into the annual fee, it needs to feel like a free bonus benefit).
featuring and promoting them in a client newsletter.
It doesn’t always take a lot of effort to make a big impression. What it does take however is the mindset that you want your clients to feel valued. By providing that experience to them, they’ll recognise that you STAND OUT. They will then have reason to talk about you positively when with friends, family and business associates. Thus you will raise the prospect of being remembered, referred and recommended.
If they ever later get tempted away by the promise of a low cost alternative, they will also quickly appreciate that you get what you pay for.