I have this little test I do with Accountants to see if they are servicing their clients properly. Here it is.

Grab any clients’ income statement for 3 years, their balance sheet for 3 years and then explain the ‘story’ of the client to 2 other Accountants in your office. So tell them what the client does, how they do business, what their structure is etc. The other 2 Accountants are then to brainstorm (and you can be part of it as well) the answers to these 8 questions:

  1. What ideas do you have to help this client grow revenue or wealth?
  2. What ideas do you have to help this client increase their profit?
  3. What ideas do you have to help this client understand and improve their cashflow?
  4. What ideas do you have to help this client protect their assets?
  5. What ides do you have to help this client with succession planning or selling their business?
  6. What ideas do you have to minimise tax for this client in the future?
  7. What ideas do you have to help this client to financially retire?
  8. What other opportunities are there to provide extra services to this client that they are not already using?

Don’t spend more than 30 minutes  per client brainstorming. When you do I can guarantee that you have ideas (services) that you can take to your clients that will help them in some of these 8 areas.

These are all needs (services they should be buying) that are currently unmet. They do not know that you know the answers. The client certainly does not know what you know – otherwise they would have done it.

When you do this with all of your clients you will find that 100% of clients have unmet needs. Does it mean they will buy them from you? Not necessarily – but at least you should give them a shot at buying the service(s). Not offering additional services to your clients (especially when you know they need them) is doing your clients a complete dis-service.

You must service your clients properly. If you do not then there are plenty of ‘hungry’ accounting firms that will.

I was chatting with my buddy Michael Sheargold (super coach to the super star Real Estate Agents) 2 days ago and he told me about a real estate seminar he is running around the country as well as Auckland.

It’s called SuperCharge Your Results and designed for real estate agents and principals.

I floated the idea of being able to secure some complimentary tickets (they are $197 per person) for my blog reading Accountants to “gift” to your real estate clients.

Of course given the great relationship Michael and I have, he said sure thing! So you have up to 4 complimentary tickets to give to your real estate clients – very cool!

Now my recommendation here is that you become the hero (in your clients’ eyes) and give them a quick call and let them know what you’ve been able to organise for them.

You’ll also see a pdf of the brochure for you plus for more info about the event you can pop onto…

I’ve organised a special code so all your clients need to do is book in on the site and then pop the coupon code of ACC7 to take advantage of the relationship you have with Michael.

Or Michael has just popped an extra video up on Youtube at…

On average I do over 100 flights per year all over the world. I have been doing this for 17 years or so – so probably 1700 flights and who knows how many different airport security checks.

This morning was different. I was at Newcastle (NSW, Australia) domestic airport at 5:40am ready for my flight back to Brisbane. I grabbed a coffee and then went to security fully expecting to toss it out before passing. I was still a bit sleepy I think!

I was pleasently surprised – as you can see – to be presented with a coffee holder to hold the coffee as it passed through the scanner thing. The security staff where cheerful (another simple concept so many airports forget) and even the explosive check guy was friendly as he swabbed my case and person. Never in my years of travelling have I experienced a level of service like this from an airport security team.

It was an overall pleasant and delightful experience for a weary traveller. If an airport can get it right for service – how about you?

Coffee-holder-newcastle-airport-

Today Nat and I went to the Home Show in Brisbane. We are building quite a large house on 5 acres (on the top of a mountain) at the moment and we needed to see what ‘new stuff’ was out there. I was particularly taken with the home automation companies where you can run your entire house from your portable device – anywhere in the world. There was everything you could imagine to design, build, gadget and furnish a home at this show today.

We are spending a lot of money on our home and we are serious buyers. So you would think that everyone we spoke to would be interested in who we are and what we are building. Not the case.

Between us we visited 30 exhibitors collecting brochures and chatting with the reps. How many of them got our details to follow up……just 1.

We would have given our details to every one of them if they had asked. Instead only 1 asked. I gladly gave him my details. There were hundreds of companies represented spending tens of thousands to attract people to their exhibit. And only 1 in 30 bothered to ask so they could follow up.

And we wonder why businesses fail. No one asks. It’s not hard this game of business. Have a good product / service, do some marketing and ask for the business. Far out. Why do people not do this?

There was even one company (home automation company) where we had a good chat, I collected a brochure and even shook the hand of one of the 2 fellows. I asked them if they were the owners of the company. Yes was the reply. They acted like they were there under sufferance like an employee who wants to leave. And they own the damn company. My home automation spend will be somewhere between $150K and $250K on the new house. Big mistake, big … huge. That’s a line from the movie Pretty Woman.

What opportunities are you missing out on? Are you asking everytime? For an Accountant (my primary market) I think there are 7 questions you need to ask yourself every time you do a client project. The answers you take to your client as a new idea.

1.What ideas do you have to help this client grow revenue or wealth?

2.What ideas do you have to help this client increase their profit?

3.What ideas do you have to help this client understand and improve their cashflow?

4.What ideas do you have to help this client protect their assets?

5.What ides do you have to help this client with succession planning or selling their business?

6.What ideas do you have to minimise tax for this client in the future?

7.What other opportunities are there to provide extra services to this client that they are not already using?

Ask, ask, ask, ask. What’s the worst that can happen – they say no. At least you asked.

There has been much chatter on my private forum regarding existing clients and nurturing them. I.e: visiting them with improved customer service. Find out what they need and then deliver it. Many firms have met with a few and had some success yet no firm has met with all of them.

When you do this let’s remember a few things here:

1. Clients WILL say no. When you pitch ideas to them not all will accept. If you have done the best job possible, if you have the clients best interests at heart and you have given them some ideas with the greatest of sincerity and care – and then they say no. Not your problem. Get over it and move on.

2. My definition of a ‘good client relationship’ is when clients call you before they do things related to your speciality – finance, planning, tax etc. If they call you before they do whatever then you have a chance to advise them otherwise – or reassure them. How many clients do you have of that nature? Small percentage I would guess.

3. If you do not build a good relationship with your clients then someone else will

4. As I said to my 10 year old daughter before she had to give a speech to assembly….. remember these 3 rules with speaking..

1) You have the microphone and as such you are the most powerful person in the room

2) You always give 3 speeches – the one you intend on giving, the one you actually give and the one you give to yourself later

3) The audience doesn’t know what you are going to say so whatever you say is correct.

You have the power here – the trusted relationship. You already have the microphone!