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Gutted

Gutted

Didn't find your answer?

Good start to the week, not! Got an enquiry 2 weeks ago, went to see them, got on very well, accountants acting had let client down constantly. Big client for us. Quote accepted, shook hands, engagement let sent. All good? So I thought!

Due to start mid month.

Got email today, apologising. The accountant has promised to change ways and client agreed to give them another chance.

Annoying as I'm dammed sure no client would give me another chance if I'd messed up like they have. What's more, they're an online only firm and have never met client - I quoted same fee which included regular meetings.

I didn't even under quote as May be implied. He's being overcharged (imo) for the service he gets.

I know all the 'win some lose them' type cliches, but still feel quite upset.

Happened to anyone else recently? (May make me feel better on a Monday) :-)

Replies (25)

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By pauld
11th May 2015 13:53

Price

They probably went back to their accountant and said I have just been quoted 'x' for the work (x = less than you quoted). The accountants probably said they will do it for x - say £300 and client happy. Client does not really care about accounts and tax or business may be struggling and will see this as  a cost saving exercise..

Don't take it personally...............

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By Peter Kilvington
11th May 2015 13:54

It will come back

Just keep in touch with them.

Eventually the other firm will stuff up again and you will be in prime position.

Make a schedule of contact times, not too regular, maybe one every other month and give the prospect something they need not general information or newsletters.

They were willing to buy up to today so they will be willing to buy again.

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By The Minion
11th May 2015 15:17

clients and staff

We have had this with clients and also potential employees.

Give them a price/job offer and they just go back to accountant/employer with an additional lever of "I am going, what are you going to do about it?"

What goes around comes around, leave them to it nicely and say you will be in touch in a few months to see how they are getting on. You never know they may have a friend with a business who isnt as gullible a they are...

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By Moonbeam
11th May 2015 16:07

It's a horrible feeling

I definitely feel a newsletter once a month sent by post about all the things that will help their business would be very useful for them. I'll bet the online lot don't do that. I must say I don't do that either but I know I should!

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By merlyn
11th May 2015 19:07

Not the sort of client you want

A client who would stick with an accountant who's not doing a good job isn't the sort of client you want so be happy you can fill the time you would have spent servicing them with a much better client instead.

 

 

 

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By JimLittle
11th May 2015 23:44

Seal the deal

Yes it is upsetting especially when you think the deal is done.

I have quite a few instances when the signs have been good then somehow I don't get the business and don't think its me - well maybe it is as its happened a quite a few times. Sometimes, they use my quote to get a lower quote from their current accountant which is annoying. 

I lost a client last week because I wouldn't sign off his accounts due to the lack of information and he decide to go elsewhere, I was upset only because I needed his business if I have was making lots of money then wouldn't have battered an eyelid

Really tough out there.  I don't get why anyone would prefer an online service to a personal service apart from lower fees

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By Steve McQueen
12th May 2015 07:42

Yup...
almost identical thing this week.

Small local garage paying big fee for no service to a top 10 firm.

Agree fee and shake on it and get signed 64-8.

Week later get email clearly written by the accountant saying how shocked and disappointed client is that we wrote to his accountant and how unprofessional we are to "challenge the strong relationship" he's enjoyed for years.

Yeah, whatever.

This sort of nonsense exists Im afraid. And yes, it's a cliche, but I really do console myself with:

"Some will, some won't, so what! Next!"

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By ShirleyM
12th May 2015 08:33

There is a really simple solution

Get a deposit when they sign up. If they disengage, keep part of the fee to cover the advice given and admin incurred and refund the excess (if any).

Paying a decent 'deposit' deters the half-hearted ones and the ones just looking for a lever to beat their current accountant with, and also ensures you get some recompense for your efforts if they change their minds.

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blue sheep
By Nigel Henshaw
12th May 2015 08:42

its happened to us all

yeah, I am sure everyone in practice has had this happen.

I recently had a similar situation where a potential client hung on to his accountant even though he told me he wanted to move because his accountant was due in court for 29 counts of fraud!

The fact is that despite what they say, clients are nervous about changing, in this case despite the obvious problems he had always had a good relationship for a number of years.  On the other hand this also works out well for those who develop a good relationship with their clients.

Dont agree that you should try and squeeze a deposit on the intial meeting, just move on to the next prospect.

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Replying to Truthsayer:
By cheekychappy
12th May 2015 09:03

Agreed

NH wrote:

 

Dont agree that you should try and squeeze a deposit on the intial meeting, just move on to the next prospect.

 

If I kept part of a deposit to cover administration fees, I would expect the prospect to never consider me again.

 

 

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Replying to Cheshire:
By ShirleyM
12th May 2015 09:06

Would you want them?

cheekychappy wrote:

NH wrote:

 

Dont agree that you should try and squeeze a deposit on the intial meeting, just move on to the next prospect.

 

If I kept part of a deposit to cover administration fees, I would expect the prospect to never consider me again.

 

 

We can get good clients who stay. I'm quite happy to get a fee from time wasters.  :)

ps. These are not prospects! Why keep repeating untruths ? We do NOT get a deposit from prospects!

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By ShirleyM
12th May 2015 08:56

Squeeze?

There is no pressure and we don;t take a deposit at the initial meeting. We take the deposit at sign up (thought I had said that already). They can choose us and pay a deposit, or someone else who doesn't need a deposit. However, if we didn't get a deposit, or get them straight onto direct debit, then we may end up providing 12 months advice and support, or longer, before we see any fees.

There is no resistance from the genuine and decent clients. This method weeds out a lot of PITA clients, and that can only be a good thing.

ps. we are signing up new clients by the bucket load lately. I wish I knew what we were doing right!

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Replying to LeighM:
By ShirleyM
12th May 2015 11:42

It wasn't sarcasm

ShirleyM wrote:

ps. we are signing up new clients by the bucket load lately. I wish I knew what we were doing right!

I really would like to know what we are doing right, so that I could make sure it continued. I can't see that we've changed anything recently and the new clients are coming from the usual sources, so it may just be that the economy is finally getting back on track in the northern ex-mining areas ... but I would like to know for sure.

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By cheekychappy
12th May 2015 09:17

We can all get good clients. The fact is that people change their mind or are talked into staying by their current advisors.

 

Until they send us back a received a signed engagement letter, they are still a prospect. Simply sending them one doesn't make them a client until they have accepted the terms of the engagement.

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By ShirleyM
12th May 2015 09:19

Thank you!

You have finally acknowledged that we don't take deposits from prospects at the initial meeting, therefore your criticism was without foundation. Also, don't assume that because you send out engagement letters, that everyone else does it too. We meet the client and get the engagement letter signed then.

Each to our own, do it whatever way suits you and your practice, but please read the posts properly before you start criticising comments that weren't even made.

Why do I bother trying to help?

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Replying to WJP:
By cheekychappy
12th May 2015 09:34

You are very welcome

ShirleyM wrote:

You have finally acknowledged that we don't take deposits from prospects at the initial meeting, therefore your criticism was without foundation. Also, don't assume that because you send out engagement letters, that everyone else does it too. We meet the client and get the engagement letter signed then.

Each to our own, do it whatever way suits you and your practice, but please read the posts properly before you start criticising comments that weren't even made.

Why do I bother trying to help?

 

The OP says LOE sent then client changes their mind. You might want to read the OP's dilemma before lecturing us. Taking a deposit on "sign up" would not have helped the OP as the client had changed their mind before that stage.

 

Why do you bother trying to help? I've no idea. Try reading the question before answering and you might come across as more helpful.

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By howlin wolf
12th May 2015 09:25

Attitude problem

Someone clearly has an attitude problem today. " I wish I knew what we were doing right", oh please !!!

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By ShirleyM
12th May 2015 11:28

I should maybe have made it clearer

That I was responding to those who had signed up clients, and then they had returned to the 'old' accountant.

Makes no odds. You will find some other excuse to take a dig. Maybe we shouldn't bother trying to help anyone. I know I won't bother in future.

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Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
By cheekychappy
12th May 2015 11:48

Excuses

ShirleyM wrote:

That I was responding to those who had signed up clients, and then they had returned to the 'old' accountant.

Makes no odds. You will find some other excuse to take a dig. Maybe we shouldn't bother trying to help anyone. I know I won't bother in future.

 

I am not making excuses to have a dig. On the contrary, it was you that went on the offensive when I agreed with the views of another member. I won't engage on this thread any further if you feel that way.

As an accountant in an ex-mining town of S Yorkshire, I share the experience that things are improving and client numbers are steadily increasing.

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Replying to Wanderer:
By ShirleyM
12th May 2015 12:02

Really?

cheekychappy wrote:

I am not making excuses to have a dig. On the contrary, it was you that went on the offensive when I agreed with the views of another member. I won't engage on this thread any further if you feel that way.

So you just agreed with the criticism, even though the criticism was based on imagined comments? I pointed out the inaccuracy. If that puts me on the offensive (I would have though defensive myself) then so be it.

OK! I'll not make any more offensive/defensive comments and just accept the unjust criticism.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
By cheekychappy
12th May 2015 12:04

Pingu Woman

ShirleyM wrote:

 

OK! I'll not make any more offensive/defensive comments and just accept the unjust criticism.

 

I think that is for the best.

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By The Minion
12th May 2015 11:34

Come on ShirleyM

Your'e bigger than that!

Ignore the comments, i usually do.

It would be an empty place without your quizzical penguin:)

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By LJCASE
12th May 2015 11:43

Keep in touch...

I create my own quarterly newsletter targeted specifically to my clients and in your situation I would keep in touch with them by sending a copy - just to remind them you am around.

I'd do it just a couple of times tho. I once had a client who was with me for years and then suddenly left because he wanted a mortgage, His girlfriend wanted him to use her dad (not in practice) to prepare (or should I say 'fiddle!) the accounts for a mortgage.

I kept in touch by sending him the newsletter (and in fact Xmas card) and then received a text asking why I was 'hounding' him!

 

 

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By howlin wolf
12th May 2015 12:04

WOW

What a PITA !!

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By Manchester_man
15th May 2015 19:08

Thanks for all the comments. I think it's the initial frustration that is the worst bit. Now, I'm more thinking that if he wants an accountant who obviously doesn't value him and if he is such a pushover that the firm who caused him problems can talk him into giving them another chance, he's welcome to learn his lesson.

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