How we handle these conversations can affect our ongoing relationship with the client for the good or the bad. They can lead to more business at best or the loss of a client at worst. Ultimately, having empathy for them as business owners is crucial during this process.
To effectively communicate with our clients about any change and help them navigate the potential disruption to their business, we first need to understand the client:
- What are their pain points?
- What do they struggle with in their business?
- Where do they want to be in the next five years or longer?
- What are their goals?
- When is their busy season and the best time to implement a change?
When we know this critical information, we can relate how the change we are proposing (or in fact are doing) fits into their agenda and benefits them, and helps them meet their goals or solve a problem they face in their business. If you are using the same type of technology or process in your business, you can even share how that has helped your own business.
For example, a client may be content writing checks to many of their vendors. As you adopt better processes, it becomes more of a challenge to provide timely and accurate information.
Carla Caldwell, founder of Caldwell Consulting & Training, strategically guides accounting teams to become a modern practice. She works with business owners (especially non-profits) to bridge the gap between growing business and specific accounting solutions. Carla also helps accounting and bookkeeping firms implement the tools that help them be more successful – from value pricing and process development to the apps that support their systems.