The first part of a business is about the people in it and the relationship that they maintain. The services and products are secondary. As it is not the norm that your work speaks for itself, it takes good relationships with people and clients to spread the word about how good your work is and the recipe towards keeping any good relationship is strong communication. This is very true for accountants and their clients.
In order to keep your clients loyal as an accountant, you need to build a trustworthy and long-lasting relationship with them. This is to ensure that they keep them coming back to you for your services. By doing this, you not only cement your reputation and gain referrals, but it will also help your self-employed clients to manage their business financials better thus helping them succeed.
Here are some communication tips to help maintain and build a good relationship with your self-employed clients.
Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!
You should always reach out to them to let them know that you are available to their return calls and emails, as self-employed people are usually pressed for time and are really busy. You should always look for a way to make things easier on your clients by making it easy for them to contact you.
While online communication is fast, convenient and expected, face to face meetings with clients show that you are ready and committed to assist them.
You can see how your client is responding, even if they’re not speaking. It’s also easier to follow up on points and take a conversation where it needs to go. You should invite both your regular and new clients for in-person meetings so as to establish a connection with them and to build rapport.
One of the most understated things in communication is eye contact and body language and that can only be understood in face to face meetings
Quit trying to sound smart
Everyone knows that you are smart, your client included, and that’s why they hired you in the first place. You need to understand that the average business owner lacks the ability to understand the intricacies of financial dealings, hence, using esoteric terms do not exactly meet the customer’s needs.
Be their super hero
As an accountant in of your main roles lies in your ability to pull out a card when all hope seems lost. In other words, you are supposed to be a super hero, except, you have no cape and deal with figures alone. Based on statistics, over 50 percent of small businesses fail within the first five years, while two thirds pack up in a decade. It is your job to make sure your clients are not among these statistics.
Tell yourself the truth
In a time when the means have become the end and the end the means, it is very easy to “go with the flow” and be selfish about success. However, you must avoid the temptation of failing to be truthful to yourself and your client.
Being friends with your clients lets you in on a part of them which you may not have ordinarily come across had you maintained the “work only “ façade.
Be entirely honest with regards to resolving their business challenges.
Be open and honest with them about how to resolve their business challenges.
Share your knowledge
As an accountant, you should always be ready to share your knowledge and expertise. When your self-employed clients come to you for advise that you have a wealth of experience and skills on, you should help. This knowledge sharing positions you as much more than a service provider. You become a trusted mentor and advisor, really working to boost your clients’ full trust and confidence in you and their business.