Terrific Attitude Really Makes a Difference

On Sunday I was in Chicago, having breakfast with my son, daughter-in-law and two young grandchildren (ages 3 and 1) at a local restaurant when I encountered some of the best marketing I have ever experienced! You might ask what a restaurant has to do with a CPA firm, and I would say that every business has one thing in common: the goal of being able to distinguish their services in a meaningful way, whether a restaurant, a manufacturer or a professional service provider.

So what did they do that was so special? They anticipated our needs. It was as simple as that. We walked in, with a baby and a toddler. In moments we were seated, a basket of crayons, paper, small toys and books was placed on the table, and a large piece of butcher paper was placed under the high chair to capture the inevitable mess the baby would make! What a clever idea - and what a fast way to clean up after we left. Next, the waitress brought over a dish of sliced bananas for our toddler and asked if we needed anything else. All this BEFORE we even ordered.

The service was quick, friendly and very children-focused. The food was wonderful - we had a wide variety of dishes, but that is not what will bring us back as repeat customers. Even the most delicious waffles, omelets or gourmet pancakes would be wasted if the kids were fidgety and difficult. The restaurant, from the hostess seating us to the wait staff and busser, all gave 110% to ensure a terrific experience.

So - think about what this means for your firm. Do you anticipate your clients' needs? If not, sit down together and discuss what else you can do - along with excellent technical service, to build loyal clients. You might even ask your clients what they would appreciate - who knows what ideas they might have!

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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.

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