CPA firms of all sizes need to pay close attention to the WEBCPA report, “Accounting Firm Clients Ready for a Change,” published on November 9, 2010. The author says that there are new pressures on all of us to meet client expectations and their demands for service, while maintaining a competitive edge and delivering real value.
From the marketing perspective, it is important to get back to basics. This means reaching out to clients and reaffirming the strength of your relationship. Despite the economy it is true that most clients simply don’t want to make a change, disrupting an established relationship with their trusted advisor. Knowing this, it is the perfect time to make contact. I do NOT mean it is time for more e-mails, but rather, it is a good idea to make a phone call, schedule a visit, conduct formal or even informal strategy sessions with your clients. Business owners who do switch firms often state the reason for a change was driven by a “lack of attention.” So, to take advantage of that, leverage the power of your relationship and be proactive in addressing the concerns of your clients. They do have alternatives, so try treating each existing client with the same attentiveness you invest in a prospect. This means checking in regularly, adding real value with business, financial and tax suggestions that will help them optimize their situation. Think of your firm as “solution providers” and behave accordingly. Start now and this new approach can carry you through the approaching “busy season,” enabling you to have meaningful dialogue with clients and reinvigorate your connections.
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.