By Ed Mendlowitz
Call Me Before You Do Anything: The Art of Accounting
So are Ralph, Dennis, Judith, Alan, Susan, Fern and Ken. Successful client relationships start when you treat each client as if they were your only client or your best client or most important client.
MORE: Mendlowitz: Why My Firm Merged with WS+B | Client Checklist: Top 10 Issues for Real Estate Investors | Blown Loan Covenants and How to Recover from Them | A Long Time Ago, at a CPA Firm Far, Far Away … | Working Hard? Or Hardly Working? | Beyond the Numbers: Be a Friend | When Discounts Don’t Work | It’s Not Always about the Money | Perception Becomes Reality | Call Me Before You Do Anything | The Value in Value Consulting | The Making of a Consultant | Learning to Delegate: Slow is Faster | A CPA Looks Back Across the Generations
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Clients know they are not your only client, but they need to be treated as if they were. When you do that, you will have a client for life.
Early on, I got a new client because she was very unhappy with her accountant. When I took over the work, it looked like the accountant did a great job. I really couldn’t find much to improve upon and asked the client why she switched accountants. She told me
- that she never felt that her work was important to the CPA,
- that she always seemed to be pushed to the back and
- that she never had her calls returned promptly.
Actually, the work was great, even though it required more hand-holding.
This taught me the importance of making clients feel important.
Returning calls promptly is one way. Responding to emails – even to just let the sender know it was received and possibly a reply date – is also essential, along with calling clients to let them know you are sending something to them and explaining if there is an unusual result, and an occasional call to see how things are going.
I got this client many years ago and she still is a client. And I treat her as if she were my only client!