Client Retention

Maintaining Rapport and Trust In a Virtual World

“The foundation of the client relationship is in jeopardy.” “How can I build rapport with someone if I’m never face-to-face with them?” “I need to shake someone’s hand to feel related to them.” When we talk about moving toward a more remote service and staffing model and embracing Anytime, Anywhere Work™, we often hear objections […]
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Moving from Transactional to Transformational Client Service

Most of us, if asked, would say that we are committed to delivering exceptional client service. However, when asked what exceptional client service looks like, we hear things like “delivering the engagement on time (or early) and within (or under) budget” and “being available and responsive to client requests and questions.” I assert those represent […]
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ConvergenceCoaching Turns “Sweet 16!”

Wow! It is hard to believe that on April 1, our ConvergenceCoaching team celebrated our 16th anniversary. What a wonderful and blessed journey we’ve enjoyed so far! Since co-founding our firm with my dear friend, Jim Metzler to growing to an 11-member team focused on making life-changing differences for our clients, I am so grateful […]
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What Are Your Business Model Deal-Breakers? Six Non-Negotiables to Consider

There’s a lot of talk these days about the need for a new public accounting business model. In fact, we’re spending a lot of time ourselves driving change to many fundamental business model elements including pushing for not-to-exceed pricing, unlimited paid time off and uber-flexibility, and turning over the reins to younger leaders earlier. And […]
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What Grade Would Your Clients Earn?

The succession of Baby Boomer professionals is a topic on the minds of most firm leaders today. A significant component of the succession process for many is the transition of clients. There are many best practices when transitioning clients, including those covered by my colleague in this CPA Insider blog. What I find, however, is […]
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Tried and True Referral Relationship Tenets – And a New Idea!

As firms focus on growth, referral sources continue to rank at the top of the list for developing new client opportunities. Referral relationships take time to develop and nurture and are built on a foundation of trust that we tend to protect like a parent protects their children. Because we hold referral relationships so dear […]
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Transition is All Around Us

Here in Nebraska, it’s easy to see the signs of summer transitioning into fall. It’s a wonderful time of year filled with many sunny crisp days and red, orange and yellow foliage. This time of year signals the transition toward the holidays and the time to usher in a new year is right around the […]
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Four Activities To Boost Your Personal Brand

Your personal brand is your “professional reputation.” It’s affected by the way that you present yourself – your skills, knowledge and technical expertise – and how others (colleagues, clients, prospects and even personal connections) perceive you in return. We recently held a web seminar on the topic of “Personal Marketing Strategies for Summer” where we […]
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Stop Giving Away Your Services!

As far as we’ve come as a profession, we still encounter CPAs who struggle to bill for services delivered (and/or time incurred) beyond the scope of their original engagement. And, young people are not being taught the valuable skill of managing scope and resetting expectations with overruns, so the issue perpetuates. Even worse yet, your […]
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Do You Know What Your Clients’ Silence Means?

When I teach topics like deepening client relationships and delivering exceptional client service, I discuss the importance of proactively meeting with clients outside of your regular engagement to further your relationship, identify any potential service issues and uncover new opportununities to add value.  Participants nod their heads in agreement and some even approach this discussion […]
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Two Simple Questions To Ask Your Clients

Every CPA we meet is committed to delivering exceptional client service. However, as we embark on one of the busiest times of the year, it’s easy to get caught in a transactional rut working on client engagements and miss the opportunity to spend a few minutes on your relationship with each of your clients. Since […]
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Close More Ideal Business by Selling to Target Accounts

Anyone who walks in the door willing to engage your services is not necessarily the next RIGHT client. Conceptually, most of us agree with that statement.  However, very few of us practice this in reality – especially given the slow recovery from our recent economic downturn and the struggle many firms are experiencing retaining their clients […]
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Stop Using Words People Don’t Hear

One of the best pieces of speaking advice that I’ve ever heard came from a World Champion speaker and speaking coach named Craig Valentine. Craig tells his coaching clients to resist the temptation to begin their speeches with what he terms “unpleasant pleasantries.”  Many people will start their speeches by saying things like “Good morning, […]
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People Development: More Important Than Business Development

I don’t know about you, but I did a “double-take” when I read the title to the recent blog published August 17th by my colleague, Michelle Baca, entitled, “Why Your Clients Shouldn’t Come First.”  After all, isn’t our primary mission in the CPA profession to serve and add value to our clients?  I mean, who in their right mind […]
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Find out How to Serve Your Clients Better this Busy Season

Many of our CPA friends will be meeting with a large number of clients over the next several months.  To maximize this face-to-face time, take the opportunity to find out how your clients feel they are being served, what your team may be able to do better, and what additional services you could provide them […]
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Simplify Your Client Satisfaction Surveys

Client satisfaction surveys are important to provide you the information that you need to retain your valued clients, address questions and concerns clients may have before they turn into major problems, and identify possible opportunities to provide additional services.  Sadly, many firms do not conduct surveys. So, if the planning, construction and implementation of the […]
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“Wow” Your Clients – Ask Them for Feedback!

Many firms we know are renewing their commitment to quality and exceptional client service in 2009.  It’s not that they haven’t been committed to it in the past, but candidly, with the abundance of work and shortage of staff we’ve experienced in recent years, most of us have not gone above and beyond to deliver […]
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Network While the Sun Shines!

As we enter the summer season of “making hay,” we’re receiving a lot of requests and having many discussions with firms across the country about their renewed commitment to business development.  It made me think of the importance of the activities I highlighted in my January 28, 2009 post, Must Do Busy Season Marketing Activities, […]
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Worried About The Economy? Get Proactive!

I believe in the power of positivity. I want to believe that the worst of our nation’s economic times are behind us.  That said, I believe that all people in a position of firm leadership or ownership should be proactively assessing their firm’s economic growth and cash management strategies and exploring opportunities to improve both. […]
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