Top tips for attracting clients without reducing fees

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Michelle Carvill offers an insight into why clients buy and how to ensure your clients keep coming back for more.

It’s rare for accountants (or any business owner for that matter) to truly understand the client’s decision making process. The majority might suggest that price is the largest contributing factor as to why people choose them over anyone else. While the importance of price cannot be underestimated, there’s usually far more to it than that.

What do clients value?

Studies have consistently shown that the top five issues people buy on are:

  • Convenience (ease of shopping)
  • Relationship with seller/service provider
  • Product/price/time (specifications, price or availability)
  • Perceived indifference

The real...

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About Michelle Carvill


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28th Aug 2009 12:02

Well Said

Why is this stuff so obvious when somebody else says it, but many organisations are "too busy" to put it into practise?

Money is the most expensive thing any of us can give away.  Even the Chancellor can't get a discount for bulk purchase from the Bank of England.  'Giving away' your service is valued just as much if not more, and costs you far less!

Read, mark, learn and inwardly digest Michelle's article.  This should be second nature to every business.  Make it a habit.

Thanks for raising it, Michelle.

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28th Aug 2009 12:50

An excellent article

Thanks very much for this, Michelle.

A lot of it is common sense and common courtesy - we really shouldn't need to be reminded of it - but the sad fact is that in a busy business life, the "Critical Non-Essentials" to use a Paddi Lund-ism, get overlooked.

I agree with David and I'm going to read it thoroughly and digest it.


Paddi Lund;

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03rd Sep 2009 22:46

Do something different

Spot on, minor cringe though a couple of the bullet points are a little Tesco (I shop at Sainsburys) eg "thank you for shopping at ABC & Co" or "thank you for holding, your call is important to us".

In a typical practice there will be a bunch of clients who remain in regular contact instigated by them, you or agencies, enabling a relationship to develop and where avoiding perceived indifference (pi) is relatively easy however there is also likely to be a mass of one-off annual tax return/accounts "jobs" where they send the stuff, you do it, send it back to sign, get it back, submit, then forget them till next year and, for me these are high risk pi clients.

A few of these may only want to hear from you when it's absolutely necessary ie you are a necessary evil (ne), so they are treated with ri (real indifference) but, I think I've managed to shove most of these on to other ne firms.

So, with the remainder of the annual jobs it's a case of not seeing them as jobs, ie take them off the conveyor belt.  So I've outlawed editing last year's cover letter, ie do it again from scratch and mention something new, even if it's "how's the dog?" or even call them to say "sorry for the delay, tax return will be with you the way, how's the dog?".  It would be self defeating to do it every year but we'll also throw in the occasional "many thanks for keeping the books so well again"

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