Imagine you had an effective system to profitably acquire and keep quality accounting clients who do business with you on an ongoing basis, and then actively and enthusiastically refer you to others. Your firm’s profits would skyrocket. And then everything else would fall into place, wouldn’t it?
So, how do you get to that level of business?
First look at the components of this business skill.
1.Profitably attract quality clients.
Customers are the lifeblood of any business. Without clients needing and buying the services you offer, you wouldn’t have a business to begin with. But clients alone aren’t enough. You want quality clients: those you like working with; those who want recurring services; those who generate a profit for your firm. And you want to be able to profitably attract them. In other words, the return you realize from your investment of advertising or marketing dollars to acquire new clients, should be positive.
2.Ethically improve clients’ maximum financial potential for your business.
Each of your clients has certain needs and wants. The more of those needs and wants you can help them with, the more benefits you can provide them, and the more profits you’ll realize. It should be your goal to sell as many services to your clients as they need. You shouldn’t take advantage of them or your relationship, but you should make every effort to sell them everything that you can ethically justify selling them. If you really do provide the best services in the marketplace, and if you really are the firm that can serve your clients’ needs best, then you have a moral and an ethical responsibility to make sure every one of your clients at least has the opportunity to take advantage.
3.Convert your clients into advocates who actively and enthusiastically refer you to others.
The last thing you need is a database full of one-service clients who buy the minimum amount, complain about your fees, and give the rest of their business to the firm that has a “better deal.” There’s no way to make a profit on these types of clients. Besides, they make your life miserable and drive you crazy in the process. You want clients who not only give you all (or the majority) of their business, but opt for recurring services. You want customers who are so happy and so pleased with what you do for them that they actively and enthusiastically campaign for you. The story they tell about you should be so compelling that the people they tell are nearly forced to call you and ask for your help. Those are the people who make your job fun, enjoyable, and profitable.
4. Keep your clients for life.
Reliable studies demonstrate that the more needs a business handles for a client, the longer they can expect that client to do business with them. In the insurance business for instance, an agent increases his chances of keeping an insured customer for three years or more by the following percentages:
- 45% if the agent insures only the auto policies
- 50% if both the auto and homeowners policies are insured
- 60% with auto, homeowners and life policies
- 97% with auto, homeowners, life, and health policies!
While these figures are illustrative of the insurance business, the same principle is true of most other businesses. The idea is that by serving all the needs your prospects or clients have with services you provide or have access to, you lock yourself in and the competition out.And the longer you retain your clients, the more income you will earn from them, the more chances you will have to sell them additional products and services, and the more referrals you can get from them. It all adds up to increased profits for you.
Retention of Your Clients
Retaining the clients you’ve spent so much time, effort, and money attracting and convincing to do business with you – is critically important. More than one study suggests that it costs six times more to get a prospect to buy from you than it does to get an existing customer to purchase from you again, and that it’s 16 times easier to sell an existing customer than it is a new prospect.When you add it all up, for every 5% increase in client retention, you’ll generate a 30% to 45% increase in profitability over an 18-month period. Depending on the nature of the products and services you sell, if your repurchase rate isn’t in the high 90 percentile range, you have some work to do. If you’re going to run a successful accounting firm, you must have an intense focus on your client. You must find out what they want and do everything you can to help them get it. The success of your business will depend on how well you serve your clients.
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