It’s that time of the year again when clients around the market start paying attention to their finances again, and begin grilling their professional accountants about what they do on a daily basis. For many financial professionals, explaining the intricacies and duties of their job to a client is one of the most challenging hurdles confronting them, and countless careers have been dampened because of an inability to meaningfully educate your clients.
If you’re looking to get the most out of your client and to provide them with the best services possible, you need to be educating them about what you do. Here’s how you can educate your clients for maximum value in the accounting profession.
Existing clients have hidden potential
Many accounting professionals don’t see the purpose of extensively reviewing what you do with an existing client; after all, if a client has hired them in the past, they’re clearly satisfied and have few concerns about the quality of their financial advice. As a matter of fact, however, existing clients are a treasure trove of hidden potential, and accounting professionals can seriously increase the revenue their firm is collecting from existing clients if they champion how useful they are to said clients.
This is because many clients are only mildly involved with your firm thus far, and could be compelled to invest more in your financial services provided they’re given sufficient reasons to do so. Convincing your existing clients that they need to up the amount they’re investing in their financial security isn’t easy, however, and you’ll need to follow a strict game-plan to succeed. First and foremost, begin by emphasizing the many things you’ve already accomplished for your clients, and extensively review what you do for them on a day to day basis. This could mean setting up an LLC in the US to handle business over there.
Creating a presentation with the help of e-learning software and online tools that are heavy on visual cues is a useful tip; after all, most of your clients rely on your services precisely because they can’t understand the technical jargon of the accounting world. Thus, if you want to prove your value, you need to get creative and break down everything you’ve done for them in laymen’s terms. This is crucially important because accountants who fail to educate their clients are getting out-competed, and need to remind their clients why they’re valuable unless they want to fail in the market.
Essentially, you should view educating your client as a PR effort that bolsters your image in their mind’s eye; your clients are likely to be unsatisfied if they don’t understand what you do, so clearly illustrating your value to them is the best way to keep them happy and yourself employed.
Think about client selection
A major part of educating clients that many inexperienced financial professionals haven’t considered is selecting clients in the first place; as time goes on and innovation keeps disrupting financial markets, accountants will want to only involve themselves with clients who are good students, as wasting your time trying to educate an obstinate client who’s unwilling to learn will do nothing good for either party involved. In order to surpass the problem of “teaching the unteachables,” you should only be establishing long-term relationships with those clients who are open to suggestions and eager to learn about exciting new topics.
Of course, not every client you’ll interact with will be a stellar student, so accounting professionals will inevitably have to learn how to deal with begrudging clients, too. Teaching is never an easy job, and some clients may inevitably grow frustrated and angry. Learning how to manage angry clients who are difficult to deal with is thus an imperative part of educating all clients successfully.
Dealing with an obstinate client, like dealing with a stubborn school-child, involves patience and clear communication. Effective education is a rare thing, as skilled teachers are few and far between, and most accountants will have to brush up on their personal skills and lecturing savvy if they want to effectively educate clients for many years to come. Educating tough clients is the only way to really ask yourself if you’re making the most of your existing clients.
While some clients will be a tremendous pain to educate, making the most of your existing business relationships means enduring some challenges every now and then. Accountants who are looking to derive the maximum value from their clients need to be regularly hitting the books with them, and keeping them up to date on the latest changes to the market. Accountants with older clients in particular will want to regularly touch base with them to review recent innovations that could have a drastic impact on their investments. Keep a level head and focus on clear, concise communication, and you’ll be educating your clients with success in no time.