There are perhaps very few professional activities which are both more satisfying and more profitable than focusing on your favorite clients. With the possible exception of time spent with your team, it could be the very best use of your time…certainly ranked at or near the top. By implementing some very simple strategies, you can multiply both your total number and your time spent interacting with these clients. This is an incredibly powerful way to improve your practice. I’ve broken the strategies into 3 broad categories:
- Identifying who your “A” clients are. This is really obvious right? Many of us get too busy for our own good though and as a result miss the simple and the obvious. You ARE going through your client list at least once a year and picking out your best clients aren’t you?
- Nurture your “A”’s. This is where your team’s creativity comes into play. I suggest start with a brainstorming session with your entire team. There are a billion different ways to demonstrate appreciation for your clients. Think of some that are fun for you and exciting for your clients. It usually boils down to spending more time with them. It means giving exceptional service and going the extra mile. The goal here is “service worthy of a referral.”
- Ask for referrals! Again-brainstorm ways to do this. Asking for business requires salesmanship and the key to salesmanship is originality…finding ways to ask that are comfortable for you. Maybe it’s simply getting in the habit at the end of a client meeting to say something like…”You are one of our best clients; we’d love to have more clients just like you. Anyone come to mind?” The key is to find a way to consistently do this.
We have had buyers of accounting practices successfully implement these strategies with pretty amazing results.
Done well, you will be pleasantly surprised with the impact this can have on a practice over time. Not only will you make more money, you’ll have a blast doing it which in my opinion has far more value.
About Brannon Poe: Brannon is the founder of Poe Group Advisors and has been facilitating successful accounting practice transitions throughout the US and Canada since 2003. He is also the creator of Accounting Practice Academy. Brannon is the author of the Accounting Practice Insights Blog and hosts the Accountant’s Flight Plan” podcast with other top thought-leaders in the accounting profession. Brannon is an E&Y alumnus. He has worked with some of the most successful and seasoned CPAs in the industry and has been privy to the behind-the-scenes methods that these clients have used to build highly profitable practices along with capable and independent teams. Brannon has authored multiple books, including Accountant’s Flight Plan – Best Practices for Today’s Firms (published by both the AICPA and CPA Canada) and On Your Own: How to Start Your Own CPA Firm, Second Edition (published by the AICPA). Brannon is passionate about entrepreneurship and is the president-elect of EO Charleston (Entrepreneur’s Organization)