1: Be HumanGet to know your clients on a personal basis. You should be “genuinely interested in [their] success,” notes Bernadette L. Harris, a Tax and Forensic Accountant with By The Book Accounting. According to her, developing a human interest in them will not only keep existing clients happy, it’ll help to attract new clients. Have a real conversation with people, both established and prospective clients. Ask them questions and really listen to their answers. They’ll appreciate the attention and know that you’re being genuine. This will give you an opportunity to dispel any misconceptions they may have and find out if your services really are a fit for them. Be honest about what you can and can’t do for them.
2: Be a Guide and Adviser - Not Just a Number-CruncherIn a survey of small businesses by Wasp Barcode, participants ranked their professionals in order of importance to their business. Accountants ranked number one. That’s above attorney, banker, insurance agent, technology firm, and staffing service. But when asked what bothered them most about their accountant, the list included some pretty serious offenses:
- Being reactive rather than proactive
- Lack of guidance
- Failure to provide advice
- Failure to educate the business owner