Right now, someone in your office is going beyond the call of duty. At this moment, one of your staff people (let's leave partners and their egos and over-inflated w-2's out of it) is treating your clients as their own.
Somebody in your office should be recognized as your firm's "Valentine."
A "valentine" in our firm is an employee, client or referral source who does more than we could expect. Throughout busy season, we recognize one, if not two, employees on a weekly basis with a $50 cash bonus. Their name is posted onto a large sign, with the reason for the selection. As a result, we have staff trying to out-position each other to be on that list.
Wouldn't you want your employees trying to out-do each other for the clients' and firm's benefit? Or are you against friendly competition (note: if you are not disposed to competition in your office, you are not a businessperson by definition; competition breeds excellence).
This year we are also going to honor our women employees by giving them all chocolate flowers and other assorted goodies on February 14th. We search for any reason at all to celebrate our people, especially at this challenging time of year.
On Valentine's Day, we talked one of our staff to bringing his fiancé to the office so he can serenade her in front of all of us. We will provide the bouquet of roses.
Last year, we delivered a bouquet to a precious client who had overcome some health issues and was just returning to work.
A few years ago, we had a "Show us your Baby Contest" on Valentine's Day where we invited all clients, employees and anyone else to our conference room for an ice cream social and portrait photography by one of our clients. 18 babies, aged 1 month to 2 years showed up (we closed the conference room door!).
These ideas come not from me, but from our staff who understand how precious our clients are and how important they are to their own personal job security. Our mandate is to have as much fun as possible during busy season, while servicing the daylights out of our clients and referrals.
What is your firm doing to celebrate Valentine's Day?
Allan S. Boress, CPA, CVA is the author of 12 published books on marketing, selling and managing the business development process for CPAs. The "I-Hate-Selling" Book is available at www.ihateselling.com