Just like at your accounting firm, your client’s business, needs, and priorities will change and evolve over time. Sometimes, an approach might not work; other times, business is great and it’s time to take a giant leap into the future. But whenever a big change happens for your accounting client, you don’t want to be left behind.
As an accounting professional, you are uniquely positioned to understand your client’s business needs. You already know what their books look like, after all. The next step is using your own business savvy to market your services as circumstances change. If you stay vigilant, build strong client relationships, watch for the right moments to upsell and cross-sell, and never neglect old accounting clients, you’ll be able to grow with your customers. They get an accountant for life; your business prospers. It’s a win for everybody!
Build Strong Client Relationships
The first step to understanding your client’s evolving needs is communication and vigilance. Accounting clients might not always tell you upfront if their priorities are changing, so you have to pay extra attention. Of course, you should focus on building strong client relationships for many reasons, but you don’t want to be a stranger to someone who can recommend your business and buy into new services.
Many evolutions in a client’s business can warrant changes in the services you provide to them, from growth to new product launches. To better anticipate these changes, make yourself a list of the sorts of business shifts that might lead to new opportunities for your firm.
Work on Cross-Selling and Upselling
If you’ve been staying vigilant, you might have noticed a client seems ready for an advanced service like advising. Maybe your accounting client is trying to scale their business and needs some guidance. Whatever the case may be, this is the perfect situation for upselling or cross-selling. If you have already built a strong relationship with your client, they’ll be much more receptive to your pitch.
If you’re paying attention to your client’s business developments and the time comes to offer additional services, you want to already have a plan in place. How will you frame and introduce the new offer? What changes will your client need to be made aware of? Do you have an engagement letter drafted?
Don’t Forget: Existing Clients Can Still Be New Customers
As your firm adapts, scales, and evolves along with your clients, your service offerings will sometimes undergo changes. Marketing tends to target new potential accounting clients… But you should never neglect your old friends. Develop a plan for marketing new service offerings to existing clients. This could mean developing a specific email list for this group or introducing your new service offerings in a more personal manner.
Nothing stays the same forever; as the seasons change, so too do your clients’ needs. In order to grow your own business and maintain good, long-lasting client relationships, you just have to think ahead.