In his book Psychology of Persuasion, Kevin Hogan tells us that people are more likely to do what you ask if they believe you have their best interests at heart.
We can easily apply this to our CPA practices. After all, building a business relationship means we have to show our client that we’re looking after his or her interests. It’s the kind of trust that can only be nurtured over time, and it requires taking an interest in our clients as human beings. As Built to Last author Jim Collins says, “Don’t be interesting. Be interested.”
Exactly. Turn your attention outward. Remember to look at your clients as individuals. Learn about them. Be curious. Listen to them. The more you understand what they like and dislike, the better able you’ll be to tailor your services to them.
For example, you may send a client a link to a particular news story that may interest him, or swipe an article from a magazine and pop it into an envelope for her. It makes a client feel special when you obviously know what interests them, or when you recognize their personal achievements and family events. It’s the personal touch that keeps clients wildly happy, and referring their friends and business associates to you.
Need more ideas on how to make your clients feel special? Here are four easy ones:
- Use their name. Simple, but powerful.
- Talk with them about non-business subjects.
- Tell them early about your new services.
- Respond promptly to their calls and e-mails.
Depending on your relationship with a client, you may even incorporate personal visits. This isn’t something I do often, but some CPAs I’ve mentored have done this with great success. Some clients may be more receptive to this than others. Use your best judgment.
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Until next time,