I accompanied a partner in a CPA firm about five years ago as he was entertaining one of his favorite clients over lunch. The first question the client asked was, “So, how are you doing these days?” To which the CPA quickly answered, “I am swamped. We are really having a great year – I am working crazy hours – harder than ever!”
While this might’ve been reality, it wasn’t really the ideal response. Since loyal clients are among the best sources for referrals, telling this client that there was really no room for new business was like slamming a door shut, right in the face of what could become a new opportunity.
It is hard to make time for new business when the day only has 24 hours in it. But as all the consultants remind us, it is best to, “Fix your roof when the sun is shining.” Why wait until you hit a slow time to begin gearing up to develop new business? Your goal should be to let your “A” clients know that you are always looking for more wonderful, high quality clients just like them. (And when you have more, you will be able to afford to transition some of your less profitable, less rewarding clients elsewhere, giving you more time, not less, to work on clients you enjoy). Reminding your clients that you are available doesn’t mean you are desperate or hungry, it just means you are making smart business decisions to keep your pipeline full of exciting prospects.