How can you help clients who don’t respond?

You’re coming up on a deadline, you’ve done your side of the bargain (and
some) but you’re waiting on them to get their information back to you. If
they delay either you end up working long hours late into the night, or you
have to “let them down”. Although as it’s their fault, that’s not really a fair
description, but that’s how they see it. Is that when you’ve asked yourself
how can you manage your clients?
It feels as if you’ve got to crack the whip just to get your clients to allow you to do your job!
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3/25/2018 How to manage your clients, avoid stress and improve client service.
How to manage
your clients while
they sit and wait for
Christmas
Have you ever felt like that?
Most accountants get that feeling every year. My accounting friends have just emerged from their
annual nightmare.

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Known affectionately as SATR season or the silly season. It’s when most of their
clients hand them data (late) and expect their tax returns completed on time (as they don’t want a
penalty from HMRC).
Do you have a silly season too, or maybe you just regularly suffer clients who create the
same issues?
I strongly suspect the causes, (and cure) of the problems in your business are the same.
A seasonal nightmare?
What causes this problem? Like Christmas, it comes at the same time
every year and everybody wants something. For retailers the problem is
that we all want to eat like pigs and expand our waistline as well as being
worried that the shops will be shut for a whole day.
So, it’s the client fault then? Errr, NO. If you know that clients tend not to be ready on time, it’s your
job to help them (unless you like the stress laden deadlines).
When should you fix the problem?
The best time to fix the problem is NOW. Yes, right at the moment when you’re desperate for a
break. Now is the time to at least capture your learnings, create your strategy for next year and get
things ready.
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3/25/2018 How to manage your clients, avoid stress and improve client service.
How to manage
your clients is about
not giving up – just
like when you learnt
to ride a bike – You
fall off, and go again.
That’s why you should create your plans NOW. The motivation is higher now to stop this from
recurring than it will be until just before it all happens again.
You can manage your clients.
Yes, I know you’ve tried before, maybe it didn’t work – SO WHAT!
When you first learnt to ride a bike did you give up after the first couple of
attempts and limp home with a bruised and bleeding knee? No, you got
back on and tried some more. Why? Because you knew it was the right
thing to do.
How to manage your clients
As with all good stories, start at the beginning. If you want them to give you tax return information
in December, plan for it, ask for it and chase for it long before.
Create a campaign and a process. The campaign will use different media, some automation, some
motivation and will need you to remember why you want it to work. You might think of it like a
marketing plan, perhaps that’s what it is. Download our free marketing plan template, it’s free and
waiting for you. Click here for instant access (email address required).
When you first take them on, discuss how you’ll work to their benefit and what their benefit will be.
Make the return of vital information part of that discussion.
But I’m shattered and want a break.
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3/25/2018 How to manage your clients, avoid stress and improve client service.
How to manage
your clients so you
enjoy success like
this cyclist
If you’re delivering a project for them, discuss up front when you need items from them, and how
you will do your side of the bargain – if they do theirs. Create a shared project plan for each client.
A project plan?
OK, maybe that sounds pretentious. List the steps, what date each of the
main ones need to happen and include their responsibilities. Agree the list,
remember you’re the expert. Start at the date they need the final
product and work backwards.
Now you can manage them. That’s remind, incentivise, cajole or any other word you choose.
Incentivise?
Maybe it’s about pricing (do you flex your pricing according to the time/ quality/ price equation
you?).
You could include your pricing strategy in the incentives. Maybe you’ll have penalty clauses (these
are becoming more popular among Accountants), or won’t give a price increase if things are done
on time, etc.
What else could you do to incentivise them to produce the goods on time?
Author Credit:
Written by Jon Baker The 5-50 Coach. I help professionals grow their firms from 5 to 50
employees, sustainably, profitably and still have fun. Have you got your “next step kitbag
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