If you want to eat Turkey,

Don’t hunt among the sparrows.

No, this is not about Xmas (I am the first to mention it though, sorry).

 Increasingly, Accountants are facing greater competition; regulation; technology and more demanding Clients.  To survive and thrive in this environment, you need to embrace the challenges that you face and differentiate.

Traditionally, Clients have been engaged purely because they have walked through the door and asked to see an Accountant about their business; there has been no attempt to attract specific types of clients, only a sign outside saying, “Accountants and Business Advisors”.

All too often I see firms where the Clients are managed by individual Partners and when they are either away on business or on holiday, nobody else is allowed to deal with even the simplest of queries.  The fear of losing a Client seems to be the overriding factor and not the standard of service.

Progressive Accountancy Firms realise that a team based approach, where the Client is at the centre, can provide not only greater levels of service satisfaction but also more fee earning opportunities.

By segmenting your client base across the firm and encouraging sector and industry specialists; you will build credibility in the eyes of not only your clients but also prospective clients in similar sectors and industries.

The client must be the ownership of the firm and not the individual Partner in order to cultivate a culture of growth and greater Client satisfaction within your firm.

The larger organisations have known this for years and they do not see the client as the ownership of individual Partners, they offer a team based approach and have in-house specialists who operate within specific sectors and industries.

These firms realise that there are many fee-earning opportunities in the life of a business and they build and create strategies with different teams to assist their clients to grow and develop their businesses.

Progressive Accountants work predominantly with their Key Clients (highest fee-paying clients) and develop strategies with them to assist them in the development and growth of their clients’ business.  They are regarded as a genuine partner/adviser for their Clients.

By working with Key Clients and specialising in specific sectors and industries, you will not only find greater satisfaction in developing and assisting your clients, you will also attract more similar businesses and therefore your fee earnings will be greater.  Your firms will grow more rapidly and your work to earnings ratio will be greater.

Segment your client base, have sector and industry specialists in-house and work predominantly with your Key Clients and differentiate your firm from your competition.

Take a Consultative approach with your clients and assist them to achieve their objectives.  Your technical competence is not in question, your business knowledge can earn you far more than you realise.

Actually, provide the “Business Advisors” part of your title and grow your clients’ businesses; the larger fees will mean you will work smarter not harder.

So, if you want to eat Turkey, don’t hunt among the sparrows.

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