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How to Keep Your Client Engaged for Years to Come
One of the struggles that we, as CFOs or business advisors, face is keeping clients engaged.
The worse thing that can happen is for the client to get less and less value out of each of your monthly client meetings. They'll start to wonder why they're paying you and then, of course, they leave.
Here's a few tips on keeping your client engaged for years to come.
Tip #1: Remember there is always SOMETHING to do to improve your clients' business This is sort of a mind-shift tip. The idea is to remember that even the world's largest businesses employ a CFO because there is ALWAYS something to do to make more money. Unless the business owner flat out says that they don't want to make more money or improve their business then you always should have a job.
Tip #2: Go DEEP into finding what drives revenue, profit & cash flow A great way to keep clients engaged is to find out what drives each of the drivers that drive revenue, profit & cash flow. Then, later, let's find out what drives those drivers. And on and on.
For example, with the "Number of Sales Transactions" driver there are several drivers that drive this driver. Drivers like leads, conversion rate, customer retention rate, and purchase frequency rate. We've just named four additional drivers that you can build out for your client to help them figure out how to improve the 'top-line driver' of "Number of Sales Transactions".
You could even take it a step further and find out what drives the, say, "conversion rate" driver. If your client is an eCommerce store you could find out what's driving that driver - like 'visits to the website' and 'visits to each page in the funnel'. If your client is a service-based business (e.g. roofing business), drivers that drive the "conversion rate" driver are things like 'number of appointments generated' and 'show-up rate'. You could even measure these BY salesperson.
Tip #3: Keep the meeting focused on the next steps (not simply reviewing the numbers) Your clients do not want to meet with an 'accountant' each month. They want to meet with someone that they TRUST, to TELL THEM WHAT TO DO, to have a GROWING and MORE PROFITABLE business.
Because of this, make sure you spend as little of time possible on the numbers and AS MUCH TIME AS POSSIBLE on helping them understand WHAT TO DO to improve their business in your monthly meetings.
You could, literally, spend all of your time in your monthly meetings talking about how your client can improve, rather than doing what most accountants do: reviewing the financials.
A mistake that we sometimes make is gloss over the next steps and then wonder why the client didn't accomplish it. It's because we didn't spend ENOUGH TIME discussing it and really getting the client's buy-in (and understanding of the 'why').
Tip #4: Always be selling Every time you interact with a client you should be continually selling the value that your service brings - even if your client has been with you for years.
One of the best ways to do this is to be redirecting the focus back to why they started with you in the first place. In other words, they were most likely facing one of the five challenges and, therefore, wanted help overcoming the challenges.
If you can constantly remind your clients as to the 'why' and show how you're helping them accomplish their 'why' you'll be able to get - and keep - the client engaged.
The bottom line is: it's more than possible to keep a client engaged for years to come. Again, companies like Microsoft and Apple both have CFOs to this day even though they are one of the most valuable companies in the world. There is no ceiling to growth - especially for our smallest clients.