As an accounting professional, it’s essential to establish valuable, long-term relationships with quality clients. Not all business is good business, and you don’t want to waste time or resources on clients who are not a good fit for your firm. So, here are some strategies for getting to know potential clients and deciding if you’re right for each other. 

Get to Know Your Potential Client

When it comes to picking the right clients for your accounting firm, you’ve got to know far more than just names. It’s important to understand their business goals, their pain points, and what they’re looking for in a bookkeeper or accountant. Establish a list of questions to posit to potential clients in order to discern all information relevant to a possible relationship. Also, encourage them to be honest. If you aren’t a good fit for one another, it’s best to know that upfront. Be sure to cover all of your bases. Even details like what apps a potential client uses and needs an accountant to be fluent in are important to know. 

Make Sure Potential Clients Know YOU

A good relationship takes balance and communication — and your client relationships are no different. Mysteries might be fun to read and watch, but it’s never fun dealing with a mysterious professional. Just as it’s important for you to know the details of your potential client’s business and goals, your potential client will want to know the same. Be clear about what you do, what you specialize in, and what you’re looking for in an ideal client. 

Do A Trial Run

One of the best strategies you can implement at your firm to ensure potential clients are a good fit is a trial period. This is the time when you review a client’s books (without changing anything) in order to create an accurate picture of what work you would be doing for them. Now, you can give your clients a more precise cost and time estimate. You can also decide to back out if the work is beyond your current capacity. 

Be Honest With Yourself 

It’s okay to say no to business. At the end of the day, no one knows your firm better than you. Do you have the capacity and resources to take on this client? Do they match the profile of your ideal client? Is there anything about this potential client that you just don’t like? Even if it’s just your personalities that aren’t meshing, that’s a valid reason to turn down the sale. If your gut is telling you “no”, it’s a good idea to listen. If you try to make it work against your better judgment, you’re probably going to be offboarding the client down the line. 

With a new year approaching, set a goal to only accept clients who are a good fit for your firm. You don’t have to always say yes. Your goals, your capacity, and your compatibility with clients come first. 

Don’t forget to check out our recent blog post on reviewing engagements so you can decide if it’s time to break off ties with any existing clients — and let us know down below what 2023 goals you have for your firm!