The Higher Your Fee The Lesser Your Involvement

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Sounds counterintuitive, I know. But as you become more accomplished and have a track record of helping clients improve their businesses out of sight, your value increases dramatically. Equally, if you have decided to build a business within a business around your business improvement services, constantly look for ways to drive down your personal labor intensity. Your value lies in your clients having access to you when they need it, rather than you turning up on their doorstep every week.

The key is getting a capable team of people around you who can do a lot of the analysis and preparation work required to support your business improvement projects. People who can crunch numbers, help a client define key performance indicators, create systems to extract and report upon key management data, run small workshops and pull together budgets and cash flows. Partners should not be doing this work.

We have a friend, Taki Moore, who is acknowledged as the marketing guru for business coaches. Taki has a wonderful turn of phrase when assessing a potential project; he will reject it if it ‘stinks of effort.’ This is all about your work-life balance. As you advance in your career, you should be working fewer hours for higher returns.

So how do you do that? Well, first of all you need to accept the fact that it is not all about you. By empowering your team and systematizing your approach, you can de-you the process. I have related how I ended up facilitating my first planning session. But I was not a one-off. Within three months, we had another manager doing a super job running planning sessions and team workshops with her clients.


You don’t need to be there for everything

If you have sold a project or are the lead person on the project, that does not mean you need to be involved in every single aspect of it. Introduce your excellent team members and explain that they will be primary points of contact for the client in differing areas. Pre-frame for the client right up front that they won’t be seeing you every week but that you will be there, for example, for the monthly face-to-face meetings. And ensure that when you are with the client, you are really on your game, going hard with accountability and bringing ideas to the table so that your client looks forward to, for example, two hours of power with you once a month.


You can create a documented sales system that works and a sales education process to enhance your client-facing team. This is one of the CORE20 principles you can learn at our KickStart 2-day Strategic Business Planning Workshop.

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About the Author


Colin Dunn

Director & Co-founder at PANALITIX

Colin is a Chartered Accountant who, having spent almost 10 years with one of the fastest growing and most innovative firms in the UK, has since invested over 20 years helping business owners to improve their businesses with a focus on attracting new clients, better managing existing clients, developing new products, building an engaged team and strengthening internal business processes.

Colin's primary focus at PANALITIX is on product development and business improvement content. He is the author of the bestselling book “Accountants: The Natural Trusted Advisors".

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