One of them was a Realtor (“Hazel”), who unlike the overwhelming vast majority of her competitors was having another fab year.
We have a substantial base of Realtor clients. They are independent contractors, usually make a lot of money (until 2007), are poor bookkeepers, and understand they know nothing about taxes.
Most have had tales of woe this year and we have helped many of them just stay in the game by coaching them on sales, marketing and good business practices.
So it was a shocker to have one walk into our office worrying about paying too much in tax this year. As usual, her current CPA ignored her (despite the fact that Hazel knows everyone in town of any importance). Doesn’t return calls, never any advice, tardy on promises, yada yada… (This is the easiest business in the world…).
“Why are you having this bang-up year?” my partner asked Hazel.
“I was a waitress for many years,” she proudly responded.
“How has that affected your success?” I asked.
“If you’re going to make it as a waitress – and some make very good money – you have to learn how to take care of the customer and give them what they want and need. You have to make them feel good about doing business with you,” she smiled.
Having been a waiter after I became a junior at a CPA firm to support my family and make some extra dough, I knew exactly of what she spoke. That's why Chemistry is 50-80% of making the sale and keeping the client, as we discuss in The "I-Hate-Selling" Book.
Maybe there should be a mandatory 3 month internship at Denny’s for every aspiring CPA. They could learn some vital business lessons, earn some extra cash, and we could boost the quality of client service for the profession.
We’re going to be serving home-made chocolate chip cookies this year during busy season, with a small oven right up front in the foyer. What is your firm going to do to make your client guests feel welcome and comfortable?