STEP 1 of 10: MEET WITH THE KEY DECISION MAKER ON A REGULAR BASIS
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
First of all, no matter what type of relationship you are trying to nurture, all the self-help books will tell you communication is key. Due to today’s modern technology, texting and emails have become the norm in this fast-paced world of ours that revolves around our devices. Consequently, we have digressed rather than progressed with our communication skills. The dangers, in these words on a screen, are that context and emotion is easily lost and/or misinterpreted. As a result, this loss of context can lead to a downward spiral in the relationship very quickly.
SET UP A STANDING APPOINTMENT
So make it a part of your contract to meet with the key decision maker on a regular basis. Therefore, depending on the role you play in your client’s company, this meeting could be held as often as once-a-month but should be held at least quarterly.
It is important to note that I am not talking about a standing meeting to go over your deliverables – that is a separate issue all together. Rather, what I am talking about is meeting with your client to gain a thorough understanding of their business. What key decisions are they working on? Does the business face any challenges right now? Is the business trying to streamline any processes? Are there challenges keeping your client awake at night? What are some of the problems they are trying to solve for their clients? Find out what recent successes they are celebrating. Have a discussion about some of their recent lessons-learned. Do you need to improve any of the services you provide? The list goes on, and on.
KNOW YOUR GOALS
In conclusion, the goal of these appointments is to introduce an open line of communication and build loyalty and trust. Furthermore, they serve as a reminder to your client that you bring a lot of skills and experience to the table that they may be able to tap into to solve their problems. So it is important that you don’t let your client forget about you and move in a direction that doesn’t include you. Finally, you are a value to your client, use this 1:1 to remind your client what value you can bring to their business’ success.
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About the Author
Janet Adkins is the Founder/CEO at got accountants?. She has over 26 years of diverse experience in the accounting, finance, and banking industries. As a graduate of the University of Michigan specializing in Accounting Information Systems, she has a passion for helping small-medium businesses embrace the technological advances being made in the accounting software industry. Her team devises customized software solutions, helps streamline and automate workflows, and puts together reporting packages complete with company scorecards, key performance indicators, and mobile dashboards so that business owners are successful, stress-free, and have more time to do the things they love.