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The Boomer Bulletin - 2011
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What Story Will Your Clients Tell About You?

Posted By Sue Thiemann, Monday, December 12, 2011
Your biggest season is coming soon. This is your opportunity to stand out from the competition. Are you ready? Do you have a plan? Have you put in the effort to properly prepare your firm members?

As Greg Cordell, CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer) and author of Brains on Fire puts it: "Your Company is the stories people tell about it.” Everyone has a story about their annual tax preparation or their experience with an accountant’s office.  Some are stories are great and other stories are a nightmare.

What stories will your clients tell about your firm? 

We are all aware of how critical it is to look at what we do from our clients’ perspective.  How often do you stress to the firm members to produce, produce, produce? So what does the member do? Rush immediately to the tax return or accounting issue without making a connection with the client.  While often times marketing efforts are you talking about yourself and what you can do for them; stories, on the other hand, are others talking about you and their experience with your firm. Marketing campaigns embrace an "us-versus-them” mentality. Stories can say, "we’re all in this together.” Relationships create the positive stories others tell about your company.

 So let’s get down to the basics; it’s about people.  It comes down to trust. People don’t trust companies; people trust people.  People they know. People whose opinions and recommendations they seek out and have faith in. They rely on word of mouth (stories) to determine their choice in firms to employ for their business needs.  

Again, what stories will your clients tell about your firm?

Like it or not each person in the firm is a part of the story of your firm. Each person should consider their approach or conversations with your clients. It’s about reframing the conversation or the focus from the "me or my firm” mentality to the "us” (you and your clients) approach. Reframing the conversation is about going from what role does our service or product have in people’s lives to what role can we play in our clients’ lives. It’s a turn from a service or product role to a relationship role. Connect and develop a relationship with the client first and always. 

So what is the value of client relationships?  According to Jim Simon, author of Hidden Champions of the 21st Century, staying close to your clients compels performance and innovation. Strategies become driven by value – client value, not price, so these companies can charge more for their products or services. Regular contact and conversation and being on a first-name basis with your clients significantly impacts the stories told about your company. 

So, what stories will your clients tell about your firm in 2012! Make every conversation an experience in and of itself.

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