By Scott Cyron
Here's the thing about R&R: It doesn't stand for Rest & Relaxation.
How about "Retention and Recruitment?"
This profession doesn't change a lot. Ten years ago, accountants were asking the same question: How do we increase our firm's retention rate and how to we become more successful at converting prospects into clients?
I think it all boils down to these 3 areas:
- You must make a concerted effort to form valuable relationships through networking and network with the clients you have. If you do that, you will organically increase your referral sources. And, networking isn't only for the partners or heads of any size firm. EVERYONE in the firm must network for optimal results.
- You have to maintain a service mentality. Of course, you must produce quality work to keep your clients - that's a no-brainer. However, you also have to remember that you are in a service business, and while it's not the same as checking out a customer at Wal-Mart, you still have customers (clients) who rely on you for advice and guidance. So many accountants still only contact their clients a few times a year when it's around a deadline. That needs to stop, now. Your clients want to hear from you much more often, even if it's just a check-in to see how their businesses are doing.
- You must stay current on technology. Short and simple, as an accountant, if you're not letting the cloud manage your technology, you're going to trip over your own two feet. Again, I think this is SO obvious, but why wouldn't you use technology in the cloud? You might bring up two words, security and availability - however, these are no longer a concern. It's time you figure out how to move your technology to the cloud - and there are more than plenty of options out there. The bottom line is that if you spent less time managing your technology, you might have more time to spend on R&R, besides the fact that smarter uses of technology makes you a more efficient accountant. In turn, you increase your R&R.
Let’s face it: you could spend hours and hours of what is seemingly unbillable time on retention and recruitment, but most accountants don’t have that kind of time to spend. Nevertheless, everyone has to make R&R a part of their everyday activities, whether it’s spending 10 minutes each morning on LinkedIn, taking a prospect or client to lunch, or just picking up the phone and calling a client to exchange referrals.
For more, watch the on-demand NSA ConnectED webinar, “Keep Your Clients Coming Back for More”. You’ll walk away with:
- a simple 3-step rule to happy clients and customers;
- practical measurement methods, including using social media to determine your worth; and
- concrete ideas you can begin implementing right away.
About the Author
Scott H. Cytron, ABC, is president of Cytron and Company, known for helping companies and organizations improve their bottom line through a hybrid of strategic public relations, communications, marketing programs and top-notch client service. An accredited consultant, Scott works with companies, organizations and individuals in professional services (accounting, finance, medical, legal, engineering), high-tech and B2B/B2C product/service sales. Contact him firstname.lastname@example.org and visit his blog, www.absolutecytron.com#NewsandInformation #PracticeManagement