Most accounting firm owners are fairly clear on upping the standard when they are taking on new clients. We learn from our mistakes (hopefully!!!!), so when we see how existing clients’ poor behaviours and attitudes impact on us, our team, and our client base, we raise the bar. I compare it to developing a “Red Velvet Rope Policy” for your firm. Who gets in and who doesn’t?
Your Red Velvet Rope Policy should identify;
• What type of people do you and your team really enjoy working with?
• What is it about your favourite clients that you enjoy or makes them easier to work with?
• What type of characteristics or behaviours will you not accept in your clients?
• Looking back at some clients that you fired what is it about them that you don’t enjoy or makes them difficult to work with?
• What is the minimum fee or profitability that we need to generate before accepting a client?
• What sectors or industry types do we love working with and what sectors or industry types will we not work with?
The Red Velvet Rope policy and raising the standard and prices for new clients is challenging but it is easier than changing the boundaries and behaviours of existing clients and raising the standard and raising the prices.
On Monday the 20th of February we did the 4th part of our 2023 Practice Management Masterclass. You can access the recording and downloads at this link https://theprofitpro.com/practice-management-masterclass-2023
We had a really good session and there was good interaction.
One of the main discussion points was around non-ideal clients and how their behaviours and habits have a negative impact. Ashley shared her experience with one client, who has been a client since the very start. The client has been pushing the boundaries and pushing the boundaries and is leaving everything to the last minute and then expecting a turnaround straight away even if at the weekend.
Unfortunately, this is a common reality for so many firm owners. The clients who got us off the ground can sometimes become non-ideal clients as our business grows and the boundaries break down.
What got us here, is not necessarily always going to get us where we want to go.
The response of the other attendees of the Masterclass to Ashley’s dilemma was unanimous. Reset the boundaries, raise prices and if the client does not change their behaviours cut them loose. I then went on to talk about our Price Rise or Termination process for clients just like Ashley’s.
Think about this for a minute ……………………….
• Do you have any clients where the boundaries have slipped and you need to reset them?
• Do you have some long-term clients whom if you were to take them on today they might not get through your Red Velvet Rope?
• Do you have any clients whom you need to do a Price Rise or Termination Conversation with?
I have created a process called the Price Rise or Termination Conversation to help raise prices for existing clients or help show them the door.
If you want the template and process that we have created for the Price Rise or Termination Conversation just email [email protected] and put Price Rise or Termination Conversation in the subject line and we will get it to you.