Most of us believe we have the answers to our clients’ most pressing questions, but we often miss the mark on nailing what our clients really want.
We think they want advice on how to:
make more money
establish a successful business
gain more clients
While those things factor into the equation of a successful business, it’s not what our clients really want from us.
What our clients really want is a relationship.
Our business is all about people. If our success is based on thriving relationships, then we need to put the time into investing in those relationships. Only then will we gain their trust and they will seek us out as their most trusted advisor.
According to the book, Delivering Advisory Services by Richard Walters, nearly two-thirds of accountants’ clients said they want more strategic input from us. But in order for us to give them strategic input, we need to do three things:
1. Understand their aims and business.
2. Reach out to them regularly.
3. Commit for the long haul.
One way to accomplish this is to provide a collaborative meeting that helps your clients take a look at what’s important to them and where they should prioritize their time, money, and energy. Offering this free, interactive meeting provides a low-risk commitment for your client and also helps you to understand their business aims.
This is a chance to establish trust with your client and to get a clear picture of their aspirations. When your client knows you care about their business, they are more likely to continue to come to you for help and direction. They seek you out as a trusted advisor. They value your guidance as an indispensable part of their business.
In order to commit to a long-term business relationship, you need to understand your client’s most important priorities and help them stay on track with their plan. Your goal is to help them achieve what really matters to them. Only then will they establish a long-term business advisory relationship with you.
In the process, it’s important to match your services with your clients’ needs and establish an agreement as to the next step. This will lead to more long-term clients who you can truly help, leveraging your business expertise and experience in the fullest possible way.
If you do this, you will not only be more likely to get a positive response from your client, but establish the building blocks to become your client’s most trusted advisor.
In essence, that is what every client wants.
If you want to know more about understanding your clients’ needs, then let’s chat. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to help you discover more ways to reach your business goals.