I was chatting to a senior partner at a law firm the other day who told me that he was considering switching the firm’s accountancy practice because the proactive approach the incumbent firm had promised whilst pitching for the work had failed to happen. There were of course some other contributory factors which were leading him to this decision but the lack of proactivity was a big issue for him.
It’s all too easy for firms to pledge many “additional benefits” when trying to secure a new client and the promise of a proactive approach is a common one. However, when the chips are down and the pressure is on to get the hours billed or the project completed it’s an easy commitment to forget or let slip. Those firms that follow through clearly have an advantage over their less conscientious competitors and perhaps even a point of differentiation.
Being proactive for your clients need not always be time consuming or burdensome. It could be as simple as a telephone call “to catch up”, an email attaching a news article which might be of interest/relevance or an invite to an event where you can introduce them to some useful contacts. Whatever it takes, you must honour the commitment you have made to your clients and if that proves too much or too hard then think about what promises you are making in the future!
A client that feels like you genuinely care about his/her business will want to keep you on their side and will help you grow your business through word-of-mouth recommendation.
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