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Trent Taylor explores the extra value re-engagement unlocks for both your practice and your clients.

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For many of you, re-engaging clients might be a simple process. You ask the client if they’re happy with the work you’ve completed for them over the past 12 months. They hopefully say yes, and if they do, you explain that your fees will be increasing by around 3% in line with inflation.

Once you’ve explained this to them and they’ve agreed with the reasoning behind the slight price increase, they’re ready to sign on the dotted line.

The vast majority of practices follow this straightforward approach when re-engaging their clients. But do you know that this could actually be costing you a significant amount of money—and see your client miss out on crucial value?

This post will explore what re-engaging clients should actually look like, the questions you should ask during this process, and the extra value it will unlock for both your practice and your clients.

The perfect approach to re-engaging clients

Practices generally make sure to have an in-depth conversation before engaging any new clients. Why? Well, it gives you the chance to learn more about their businesses and goals—which helps you identify the services they might need and how you can be of value.

But businesses change quickly, so the answers you received last year might now be completely out of date. You should therefore adopt a similar approach when re-engaging existing clients. Book a 60 - 90 minute meeting (either in-person or virtually) where you cover:

  • The services you provided last year;

  • What they thought of your work;

  • Their goals for next year;

  • How you can help them achieve their ambitions (i.e. the relevant services that you offer).

Armed with this key, must-know information, you can then set about devising a plan for next year.

The mutual value from effective re-engagement

The above re-engagement process provides both you and your clients with a ton of additional value. From your side, you can upsell clients on new services that end up totalling far more than the 3% inflation-based price increase you’d otherwise have received.

Imagine a client tells you they’d like help expanding their operations. They want to open a few more retail stores and will therefore also need to hire some new staff members. Hearing this, you propose that they sign up for an advanced financial management package. This includes regular monthly catch-ups with your team where they’ll run through the client’s finances before advising them on next steps, payroll assistance for their growing team, setting up credit control systems to improve their cash flow, and so on.

But it’s not just about the extra service you’ll be providing them

You’ve gone beyond simply helping your client stay compliant with the ATO. They no longer just look to you for paperwork and admin assistance—instead, you’re a trusted business advisor that’s proactively helping them achieve their goals.

You took the time out of your day to listen to their specific ambitions before tailoring your services accordingly. This demonstrates your true value to their business, which then goes a long way to creating long-term customer loyalty.

A no-brainer for customer-centric practices

Customer-centric practices want to provide their clients with value. However, they also want to work on exciting projects and to be rewarded for their hard work.

So how can you do all this while making your clients happier than ever with your services? By effectively re-engaging them according to the process listed above.

You’ll find out their specific dreams and goals on an ongoing basis, which helps you stay on top of any sudden changes or pivots. Not only will this show that you’re committed to helping them grow their business, but it will give you a great opportunity to upsell your clients on potentially lucrative—and invaluable—services.

I’ve also personally found that when you do have interesting work to be completed (such as forward-thinking financial planning), you waste less time going through the motions of completing compliance-related tasks. You’re excited to tick them off the list because you can’t wait to dig into the exciting added services that you’re now offering.

Conversely, your client relationships go from strength to strength. You’ll show a genuine interest in their business, providing a wide range of crucial services to help them achieve their ambitions. In turn, they’ll reward you with their loyalty and with their wallets.

What’s not to love?

That said, it’s crucial that you have the right tools at your disposal. Ignition gives us all must-know information in one single place (such as our array of services and their price), which we can then show clients before creating tailored engagement letters in minutes. If they’re happy with the proposed engagement, they can then digitally sign on the dotted line right there and then.

So before you get started with your new re-engagement process, make sure to check out Ignition first.

Trent Taylor founded Teach it Forward back in 2010. Teach it Forward works with proactive and passionate accounting firm owners to serve clients better, make more cash while working less hours – and have done this successfully for 13 years. Trent works with and teaches leading Accounting firms how to grow their businesses with a powerful mix of training, coaching and mentoring, producing compelling results.

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Angela Gosnell
Angela Gosnell

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Published 22 Jun 2021 Last updated 19 Mar 2024