Most accountants are pretty adept at sending out broadcast messages to keep clients and prospects informed across a whole range of topics, but how often does this broad brush approach land a fish? In my experience, not very often. Certainly, it covers the basics; clients cannot say they have not been kept informed.
I have spoken to a fairly wide cross section of business owners in the past few weeks, the self-employed, landlords, director/shareholders, and most have amazed me with their lack of appreciation of current tax and legislative changes.
The only common denominator seems to be their reluctance to stray from the news they read in the tabloid press or a quick click-and-delete glance through updates that litter their Inboxes – some of which, will be from your practice.
I think it’s time to combine this with a more direct approach.
If I said to you – how many clients are still struggling to keep records electronically – my guess is you could quickly draw up a list?
If I asked you how many landlord clients still keep their records in diaries or lists of expenses, some estimated, some with invoices attached, my guess is you would have more than one or two?
If I asked you how many clients still haven’t written Wills, or considered how they are going to manage when they retire, or how they will deal with the disposal of their business when they retire?
Identifying the problems that clients have already encountered, or that they are likely to encounter is not particularly difficult; nor is formulation and implementation of solutions. What is difficult, is stimulating an interest in these issues and, in my opinion, this can best be done by approaching clients directly.
The time consuming elements of this process are possibly: identifying the issues to raise, and producing a form of words to communicate these to clients without boring them to death. Fortunately, I have the time to do this for you, with a little help and encouragement. I aim to write a “Direct Approach” bundle: say ten documents, that I will add to the Landmark library.
Send me an email with your list of issues that you believe clients need to engage with in order to comply with forthcoming changes, or events. The first practitioners to suggest a topic that I select will receive a pack of Word documents that you could use or edit to make the appropriate approaches, with my compliments for making a contribution.
Time to drill down, figure out the key issues that clients need to address and kick start the simple five step approach I will also send you. I’ll eat my hat if this doesn’t produce positive results…
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