A Client Visit a Day Keeps Competitors Away!
Well...while we all know that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, I believe a client visit a day - or at least with some regularity - can help you fend off competing firms. Clients, like everyone else, want to be valued and want to be well treated.
I worked with a firm that scheduled "Managing Partner" lunches with every "A" and "B" client throughout the year. As the Marketing Director, I joined him on these visits. Each week we had lunch at a location selected by the client. We typically went their site first - took a tour - and then had lunch where a wide range of topics was discussed.
These lunches were designed with nothing more in mind than to give the client an opportunity to meet with the Managing Partner and to share ideas and interests. There was truly no hidden agenda - we were not looking for fires to put out, but rather simply to learn more about our best clients.
Here's an interesting statistic: 100% of the clients we contacted to arrange lunch agreed to do so. They were flattered, and happy that we were coming out to their location to learn more about them. It didn't matter if they had been with our firm for one year, five years or twenty-five years, all were equally pleased to be contacted. As for us, we gained terrific first hand insight into clients and extended their level of comfort beyond their relationship partner.
The cost? About two -three hours of time and usually $100 or less for lunch. The ROI? Amazing.
Have any of you tried this? The relaxed atmosphere of summer is a perfect time to start such a program - and the good news is it works for firms of any size. Good luck - let me know how you are doing!
Sally Glick, CMO, Principal, Marketer of the Year in 2003 and AAM Hall of Famer in 2007, will lead a lively discussion of the constantly expanding roles of marketing and the professional marketers that drive this initiative in accounting firms of all sizes.