As businesses develop and shift priorities, their bookkeeping and accounting needs will also evolve; likewise, you and your firm are constantly innovating, building experience, and taking on more challenges with your clients. Whether it’s time to upsell your services or introduce a new product to a client, keep in mind that you’re essentially reintroducing yourself and your business. This is the perfect time to reconnect with your clients and reestablish how essential your services are to their business. Just as you would implement onboarding and offboarding checklists and procedures, it’s important to have a plan in place when the terms of a client relationship change.
So how might client needs change and how can you be best prepared?
The best way to prepare for evolving client needs is to train your staff to be alert. Watch out for signs that clients are needing a service level change. Growth in a client’s business, new product launches, as well as many other factors, can create the need for additional advising and bookkeeping services. When the time comes to make a pitch, you want to be ready to sell whatever alternative or additional services are applicable to the situation. Make a list of changes in a client’s business that might signal further opportunities for your firm.
Cross-selling and upselling are two ways you might evolve a client relationship when the time is right. Need to grow your new CAS program? If you’ve been paying close attention to your existing clients, you might have noticed they’re beginning to need more advanced services, such as advising. Make sure you have a strong relationship with your customer before trying to upsell. Then, plan your pitch and have an onboarding checklist ready should they accept. How will you introduce and frame your advising services? How will this addition affect your payment and workflow? Have you prepared a new engagement letter? After all, the more essential you can make yourself to your clients, the better, and the demand for CAS services is growing. Get ahead of the game by having a plan in place.
New service launches
When your firm begins offering a new service, you want to make sure you are both advertising this service to existing clients and guiding them through onboarding similarly to the way you would new clients. Just because you’ve known a client for a while doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get the red carpet treatment. Before you launch a new service, consider reaching out to your existing clients and incentivizing loyal customers with special offers. “Create a targeted list of existing clients” or “send a personalized email advertising your new service” might appear on a checklist in this situation. Leading up to the launch of a new service, you may want to take extra steps to make your clients feel valued by your firm.
People — and businesses — change. Just as checklists and preliminary planning can help other processes at your firm run smoothly, thinking ahead can help you land the sale when your client needs an upgrade. Remember: you provide a lot of value to your clients, and the surest way to run a lucrative business is through client satisfaction. By centering your plans around your clients and their needs, you can make sure you never miss an opportunity to build stronger client relationships.