Signing the contract is only the beginning. Going through the process to onboard new clients is where the real money is, and Chad Davis from LiveCA will show you what to do. On top of that, Chad will also show you how his firm manages to stay profitable despite having an all-remote team. On this episode of the Growing Your Firm Podcast by Jetpack Workflow Software, David Cristello and Chad Davis dive into:
- Chad's dream profit margin, but why he's not obsessed with getting there
- How they manage a remote team through unique metrics (such as "mushy points") and more
- How they created a world-class experience to onboard new clients
ADDITIONAL LINKS:LiveCA Slack.com Josh Zweig interview
Understand This One Thing, and You'll Always Have a Smooth Client Experience:Chad Davis, Partner at LiveCA (with past Jetpack guest, Josh Zweig), is a CA (Canadian equivalent of a CPA in the United States). He started off his career as most in this industry do --- he got a degree, an MBA, became a controller, did accounting gigs like accounts payable and P/L work. At the time, he worked in the Grand Cayman Islands. His clients were all around the world --- this was his first taste of working in accounting but remotely. He discovered that he mostly enjoyed the technology side of accounting moreso than just doing the financials. Chad dove headfirst into tech consulting. This led him to his boldest move yet... He convinced his wife they should set roots down in Canada and launch a technology consulting business. As you can imagine, there was plenty of risks built in here. As most accountants, Chad isn't a massive risk-taker...but he was here. And that wasn't even the craziest part of the story. They moved and launched the business with zero clients and zero connections. The first year as a full-blown entrepreneur was tough. Chad wasn't an experienced salesman, so it was tough to handle. Then, something clicked... He realized one important thing inside his tech consulting business... Everyone has an issue. They need that issue solved. We all have problems. The way to show he could solve it was push to demos of tech products so they could see the solution themselves. This worked well, except Chad was underpricing like mad. That led him to work more on the right process to onboard new clients. More on that in a second.
A New Partnership That Changed His Onboarding ProcessIn 2013, Chad got an interesting message through the Xero website. It was from a guy named Josh Zweig. Josh was a 'Skype Accountant' who, like Chad, worked remotely with his clients. Josh needed help on the tech side --- Chad had clients needing straight accounting. After some back and forth questions, they realized it was a perfect match to work together. They started with updating the onboarding process to better retain clients --- and better retain clients they like! At a top level, Chad's method of providing a demo was a good start i.e. listen to a problem, show solution, demonstrate the solution. This builds trust...the foundation of a long-time customer. At a deeper level, the onboarding of a new client was smooth and broken up into 3 parts.
- Introductory discussions --- go over pain points, the issues, top 5 expenses at the client's company, plus any other problems they've had with accountants in the past.
- The value conversation --- go over a plan of action, determine the outcome that best fits their business, prep the demo to show, and keep the solution top-of-mind for them. Then, they go through the top applications while keeping a close eye that the tech is covering their needs/wants completely
- Actual pricing and finalizing contract --- show them the outcomes again, reveal multiple packages for the client to choose. The key here is to 'reduce surprises.' Your pricing should also reduce their expenses in total.