It’s great to have a break upon us for two good reasons. The first is that you have a break from the already-accelerating year. It’s built up momentum fast. The second reason is that, between the celebrations of whatever variety you choose, you have time to get ahead of your clients’ priorities. How? It’s time to send out a communique, via email, to your clients.
Now, stay with me here. Many accountants tell me they dread the avalanche of work that results every time they send a group email to your clients. It’s as if clients only need the smallest nod from you to start knocking at your door. Then you worry you won’t have the staff to respond to everyone. I am going to suggest some skilful ways to communicate that create more of the business you want and less that you don’t want.
But before I do, just a reminder that accounting is a relationship business. Always assume your clients can be poached by a new accounting practice. Without those relationships, your practice loses its market value and your retirement plans go up in smoke. Keeping in touch with your clients is the best way to protect your relationships w ith them. So, back to the issue at hand: skillfully communicating with your clients this Easter and showing that you care.
- Use the Easter break as an excuse to communicate. If you haven’t time to send out an email before the break, send one out just after with a now-that-Easter-is-done message about what your clients need to consider.
- Use your Easter communique to adjust your clients’ priorities. For example, it’s tax time, and your clients will want to know about what the ATO is targeting this year. Of course, this is stuff you are right on top of. Also, remind them of your advisory offers. It’s a new financial year, and you can help with their plans to make it more profitable. Doing this, you get more of the work you want––advisory work––alongside the compliance.
- Communicate with your A-List and B-List clients first and tailor the message. Your best clients are those who use your brain for advice. Communicate with them first and remind them of the value you provide to improve profits and revenue. Or just target the B-List planting a seed for the EOFY, just around the corner – again.
Setting up a regular communication cycle
Accountants tell me their clients get nervous when they get an email from their accountant; they assume it is bad news. Set up a regular cycle of communication––say quarterly––and they will get used to hearing from you, without worrying.
Keep your emails simple: three simple, valuable points is enough, with a focus on the issues that matter to them the most.
And remember to take time out. Don’t forget how hard you are working even though you are not digging trenches. Rest is good for your brain, which has been working hard. Come back from the break refreshed.
Happy Easter, Happy Passover, Happy Timeout
Magnus Yoshikawa | Jadeja Partners
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