Last week I led a coachingclub group of Accountants (8 firms in the room who act as a non-exec board of directors to each other with a coach/chair) and I sensed that they were uneasy about 5 key strategies I was suggesting they implement:
- Price every job – not matter how big or small – up front and in writing
- Increase all prices immediately
- Asking clients for a deposit (as a minimum) or the full amount before commencing work
- Visit every client proactively and promote additional value added services
- Asking some clients to leave the firm who are not suited to the new vision/direction
When I put these on the board I could see more than uneasiness – it was F.E.A.R. So I dug a bit and found out they were scared of the following: My comments are in brackets….
1. “What if I get the price wrong?” (You will – all the time. The price is always wrong while ever they say yes. With practice and courage you’ll get better)
2. “What if they say ‘no’ to my new prices?” (Guess what? Some will – get over it. You have been too cheap for too long. You are not a charity or a community service and you do not sell commodities. You are worth more. Once you believe it you’ll put your prices up)
3. “We have never done that before” (And that’s one of the major reasons your cash-flow is up the gazooba (technical term) – what other people think of you is none of your business. Give it a try – you’ll be pleasantly surprised)
4. “What will they think?” (So let me get this straight. You are under-servicing your clients and many are willing to buy additional services from you – and you are wondering what they think of you …. give me a break. At worst these visits are a good customer service call)
5. “But they have been clients for the last 10 years”. (yes they have and for all those years you have been writing the job off and putting up with the clients BS. Life is too short to put up with clients who do not fit your ideal client profile)
C’mon. It’s time to toughen up. It’s not your clients business. It’s your business. You’re taking the risk with your butt on the line – it’s you who should be setting the rules.
Thee who makes the rules, wins the game.