Do your clients share your values? Do you share a happy working relationship? Does it even matter in accountancy?
With 11% of clients looking to switch accountants in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, now is the time to look in the mirror.
In a recent survey of how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) feel their accountants performed during the COVID-19 crisis (conducted by PracticeWeb with Insight101), just 29% of respondents said their accountant has the same values as them.
While at the same time, a company having brand values that resonated with the client, was in the top 5 reasons for choosing their accountant.
The value of identifying, defining and seeking out your ideal client, is infinite.
The benefits of knowing your ideal client
Satisfaction: We all want to enjoy our work. We want to be as efficient as possible and provide the best service possible. With a good client match, this comes naturally, allowing all parties to enjoy the process.
You’ll find them and they’ll find you: Once you’ve defined your ideal client, you’ll know everything about them. Including where to find them. This allows you to target your marketing, saving you time and money. Equally, if you are clear on who you are and what you do, the right clients will find you.
Effortless communication: Like-minded people who share your values and your vision will respond positively to you. Your ideal client will be easier to talk to and an honest, valued, lasting working relationship will come naturally.
Value: Clients who are the right fit will value you and what you do for them.
Sustainability: Ideal clients will stick with you for longer and refer you to their friends. They are the sustainable part of your business.
In accountancy, the right fit is the foundation to providing a complete package that clients can rely on. This was something many found to be lacking during the COVID-19 crisis, with just 11% reflecting that they didn’t realise how much value their accountant offered, until now.
With a good match and the basics of compliance in place, a successful, integrated relationship will thrive. This is the basis for an accountant becoming regarded as part of the team and a trusted advisor.
How to begin defining your ideal client
Taking time to reflect on your own values and journey is key to defining your ideal client, or client avatar. As a brief exercise to get you started, try this:
Select three clients who you love working with. Think about those clients who leave you feeling great at the end of a phone call and who you know value what you do.
Then think of three clients who are more challenging to work with. Perhaps you often must chase them for information or communicating with them is difficult or unpleasant.
For each, take some time to reflect on why this is. Analyse the type of business and the people within it; try to understand their attitudes, both to business and in terms of a world view; consider whether you connect with them on an emotional level.
Identify a theme: Based on your reflections, pin down what makes a client relationship work, and what doesn’t. This should be the starting point for your strategy for moving forward.
Insight 101 recently spoke with Kath Docherty, from C&M Accountants, about her experience of taking time to reflect on her brand and her ideal client.
Kath analysed her client list and streamlined it to better fit her brand values. The process of defining her ideal client gave her the confidence to do this, and ultimately to strengthen her business.
‘You fit my ideal client profile’
This is something that every client loves to hear and another reason why knowing your ideal client really does make a difference.
Take the time to reflect: Define your client avatar and align it with your brand and your values.
If a potential client isn’t the right fit, don’t be afraid to say no!
Having the confidence to choose the right clients for you will help you build a strong, sustainable business that can be enjoyed and valued by both you and your clients.
For help on your journey to connecting with your ideal clients, get in touch now.
Founder, Insight 101