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Why and how to re-engage in three simple steps

INCREASE EFFICIENCY 3 mins 09 Mar 2015 by Brendan Allen
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Does this look like you at the end of the financial year?

At the end of each financial year, as if processing all your lodgements on time is not stressful enough in its own right, you may have, in the past, struggled with your yearly re-engagement process. If you are still creating your proposals in Word and manually emailing the documents to clients, probably have a firm understanding of the unique difficulties that can come with re-engagement.

If you use an older quoting platform, then you know that creating individual letters and sending them out is time-consuming. Let's face it - sending re-engagement letters can feel like a big waste of time and effort.

Why dedicate time to re-engaging when I can spend that time doing work which is actually going to bring money into your practice?

Why re-engage?

Before diving into the steps in re-engagement, let's look at why you need to re-engage your clients:

  • The end of the financial years is your best chance to increase your prices. Have you ever dreamed of increasing your revenue by 10% year? Incrementally increasing your pricing is the way to do it! While you can't ask for the full 10% at once, but you can safely add up to 3% more revenue from existing clients, without raising eyebrows.
  • The end of the financial year is also a good time to remind your customers of what you do for them and to have a conversation with them about their satisfaction. Remember, a conversation is a two-way interaction, and it requires more listening than talking. Ask about the services they received in the preceding year and hear them out. Opportunities are born through listening to others.
  • It's also an ideal time to talk about compliance. Yes, that important thing that you might have skirted when engaging clients. From gathering the required signatures for your service agreement to the details and nature of the relationship, you should restate the key compliance factors that affect your practice.

So how do you manage your re-engagements while you've got all your End of Financial Yet (EOFY) lodgements with which to contend?

How to re-engage (in 3 simple steps)

Re-engagement is often either something that (depending on your inclinations)

Here are few simple steps that can help:

  1. Get an early start. For yearly re-engagement situations, start in April. Block out a day on your calendar each year to begin the re-engagement process. If your engagements don't all sync with the financial year, allocate half a day each month to do the upcoming month's re-engagements.
  2. Update Terms and Conditions. If you are increasing your prices in conjunction with re-engagement, make sure it's in your terms and conditions so your clients aren't surprised by the change in prices.
  3. Use the automated tools. Using Ignition, you can automate re-engagement using the "Rollover" feature. Rollover makes it easy to review existing services and up-sell new ones when it is time to re-engage your clients.

On the other end of the client life cycle, you know that automating your initial client on-boarding and engagement process is surely beneficial. But using this same technology to re-engage your clients on a yearly basis sustains the relationship by making sure that no client slips through the cracks during what could become a "time of transition" – if you let it.

Since selling is increasingly a part of the accountant's job, taking the steps above will help your practice stay profitable, moving always onward and upward!

Leveraging yearly re-engagement to up-sell is important for those progressive firms looking to go beyond basic compliance work and start advising their clients more actively. By taking a consultative approach to how you handle your client relationships, you will soon find your profits skyrocketing as a result of not only more clients, but also more income per client.

One other overlooked advantage of a yearly rollover is the ability to increase your fees across the board. It happens to all industries and accounting is no exception. It's the perfect time to level any practice-wide fee increases professionally and tactfully. Imagine what you could do with that extra 3% increase across all your services each year?

Maybe a trip to Tahiti? Or a new car in your driveway? Maybe some much-needed rest and relaxation?

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Meet the author

Brendan Allen

Manager, Key Accounts Team  Ignition

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Published 09 Mar 2015 Last updated 19 Mar 2024