How to connect with and keep your clients (Sponsored)

Aug 30, 2019

When thinking about how to get new accounting clients, it pays to try and understand their mindset. Most businesses struggle into life as a small one- or two-person operation. Their setup is simple, uncluttered and straightforward, but there’s no budget for hiring help, so the owners do everything – including bookkeeping. It’s a do-it-yourself culture. 

As the business grows, the owners come under pressure. There are more transactions happening and more records to keep. Money flows in and out of the business faster, and they often lose track of it. You can expect them to be feeling overworked, tired, and anxious. 

Owners will be feeling some pain

As their workload grows and they slip behind on their bookkeeping, business owners worry that:

  • they’re not meeting their tax and compliance obligations;
  • they don’t really know how much money they’re making; and
  • they’re making decisions about things they don’t fully understand (like debt).

And, they’ll feel pressure to:

  • work faster to meet the growing demand for their goods and services;
  • catch up on business admin on their weekends; and
  • try and fix their work-life balance.

This is the state of mind of your newest client. Be ready to support them through this time.

Make an emotional connection

Small business owners can start to feel very lonely during the growing pains. As a result, owners often feel isolated. The best thing you can do when meeting them for the first time is to show some empathy. Don’t focus on the debits and credits of accounting. Try instead to give them a sense of comfort and understanding.

Being human isn’t just a nice thing to do; it’s the right thing to do. It’s also a competitive advantage. Business owners don’t expect it from an accountant, so it’ll set you apart. Start by asking new accounting clients what keeps them up at night, or what they wish for their business. They’re business questions, but they’re framed in an emotional context.

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(This article is sponsored by Xero.)