Today, we sat down with Darren Root, Chief Strategist at Rootworks & Right Networks.
Rootworks is a company of Right Networks. They focus on firm improvement and emphasize the drive of helping small to medium-size accounting firms improve every day.
Let’s jump right in.
Meet Darren Root
Darren has managed his own CPA firm for over 30..no sorry.. 35 years. He shares a passion for helping firm owners modernize and transform their practices into much more. (He enjoys 7-mile walks every morning, too).
Rootworks provides an abundance of material.
- A comprehensive library of tools/resources
- Member forums
- Value-add products
- Thought leaders
For more about Rootworks, check out their Why Rootworks page.
David Cristellow, Jetpack Workflow founder and CEO, asks Darren a question for the ages. “What are the founding principles that firms still need to keep in mind, regardless of what’s going on around them?”
Darren shoots it to us straight. Something that’s remained foundationally true is the client issues, and the need for these to be treated as a top priority.
Speed and method of delivery are variables that have changed over time. We’ve all seen the impact and time savings that running meetings online can provide,however one thing that doesn’t go away is the need to solve client issues as fast as possible.
Smart Client Management
This term comes from the dictionary of Darren Root. Darren tells us that sometimes a specific term or new term is needed in order to get people on the same page.
Darren describes this as creating a system that will help clients reach their goals. Traditionally, clients are obtained, entered into the system, and then seemingly forgotten about. Clients get the attention back when they are persistent.
With Darren’s definition, this can be navigated and ultimately changed, by entering them into a systematic approach that is centered on getting the client where they need to be.
Especially, from a holistic perspective.
Rootwork defines this as follows::
Before you can start implementing Smart Client Management, you must first think about your business strategy. And that means defining (or redefining) your business model. A modern business model focuses on three key areas:
- WHO you want to serve.
- WHAT you want to sell.
- HOW you want to deliver your products.
For the full story on SCM, check out Smart Client Management: What it is and how to implement it.
Get everything you need to manage projects and meet deadlines.
Darren shares with us what exactly business advisory services can look like, and how the holistic approach ties into them.
He says, “Business advisory services is knowing what it means to holistically serve that client, figuring out where they are, where they’re at today, and filling those gaps.”
He continues by stating that everything in between this gap becomes the product that is offered.
David and Darren discuss wealth management, risk management, college savings, you name it. Accounting firms can learn from where clients are at both from a business standard and personal scale to see what opportunities exist. Building partnerships with groups that offer other services to help fill these voids makes for great revenue potential.
Darren also suggests that if a firm decides to take this approach, it would be important to have someone who is a Smart Client Manager. Their job described simply, is to wake up every day focused on making sure the clients are continuing to move forward.
Pricing, Positioning, Posture, and Potential
We see David’s curiosity when it comes to the time commitment of these proposed new roles and how they factor into everyday job descriptions. All to conclude with the question, is it even worth it?
Darren gives a great perspective that we see with nearly every business model, businesses focus on growth.
Most firms focus on growing and to do that the traditional way. They seek new clients, submit to the onboarding process, and the list goes on before they’re truly in the door.
We see from this new way of thinking, that selling more to customers that are already in the system, is where the money and potential are.
By focusing on the clients (holistically) that are already being served, urgency is created to cater to their needs. The problem-solving isn’t centered around ‘how do we get more customers?’ It shifts to, ‘how do we package and bundle services to better serve those we already have?’
This posture no longer requires businesses to compete in the market for new business, but to create it in their own backyard.
By adjusting operations and systems, they can create a strategic advantage for the business book they already have. It’s a giant loop because the better they serve, the more buzz is created, and more opportunity and potential are byproducts of the new focus.
In short, the client’s problems are solved, and ideally, they will tell others about it—they act as a referral source due to their high-quality experience.
To connect with Darren personally, check out his podcast which is Better Everyday with Darren Root and John Mitchell.
Of course, check out Rootworks.com as well.
Make sure to leave a review if you enjoyed the show today, and as always learn more at Jetpackworkflow.com/blog.
Thanks for joining!