Big take-aways from Practice Growth Formula workshop
The most important things that came out of our recent event
Last Wednesday, we kicked off our two day Practice Growth Formula (PGF) workshop. We worked with 6 accountants from all over Australia, from firms with 2 partners up to 25 partners.
It was a hands-on and practical workshop where we focused all of our attention on creating an implementable practice growth plan for the attendees to take back to their firm.
When the attendees walked into the workshop, they came with these kinds of challenges:
- Compliance and routine work is being commoditised so they have to find ways of selling more of the high value consulting but didn’t know how to get more clients to buy;
- Team members were doing things inconsistently. In fact, even the same team member working on similar things across different clients may do things differently each time because there were no systems.
- The sales process takes a long time and client wins largely resulted from trial and error. That is, they had no idea why sometimes they won and other times they didn’t.
- There was no clear consistent vision for their firms so efforts to grow the revenue base were all in different directions.
Outcomes from the 2 days
When they walked out after 2 days, they:
- Were clear on the direction they wanted their firms to go;
- Knew the things they needed to do to get them there; and
- Had an outline of the processes and systems they need to implement to get consistency, quality and efficiency.
Looking at everything we went through at the workshop, I believe that 2 of the take-aways made the most impact and I’ll share one these with you now.
Key take away 1 – Our clients demand that we put in more effort upfront
You will probably appreciate that clients are demanding more from us in today’s competitive environment. One of the things they demand from us is that we change the way we engage with them.
The traditional approach to sales and client service is to put in the most effort at the end. That is, we tend to:
- Make the most effort towards the end of a sales meeting when we’re starting to discuss and get agreement to start a job.
- Spend a lot of time after a sales meeting in preparing a fee quote and then following up to get feedback from the client.
Our clients, though, expect us to put in more effort upfront. This includes putting in the effort to:
- Create an attractive service menu that clients can actually understand, instead of having to decipher all the details put into the average fee quote.
- Help them make the best decision during the sales meeting by asking them some of the difficult questions that others may shy away from.
This idea challenged our attendees perspective because it forced them to truly step into their clients shoes. And once they did, it became clear that they could be doing more to service our clients. They needed to implement some critical changes to the way they conducted their business to show their clients that, YES, they were willing to put in the effort up front.
“When we fail to implement change it’s our clients who suffer”
I heard that remark at a conference I was at the other day and thought it was so true.
The thing is, when we commit to changing the way we do things, our clients are rewarded. And so are we. It’s only by giving our clients what they want that we can get what we want.