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Driving Positive Changes in Your Firm

     -     Jan 28th, 2016   -     Uncategorized   -     0 Comments

As a marketing manager, it’s your mission to have your firm shine in the best possible light to help grow the bottom line – not only by attracting new clients, but also by serving existing clients with new or enhanced services. Unfortunately, some of the best opportunities for a firm to improve its value are often missed, even when they are within plain view. Time and time again, a common set of problems arise that weaken profits and strip the firm of its competitive advantage. These problems typically go unrecognized and unaddressed, leading to a vicious circle.

Consider the following common pitfalls as potential opportunities to help your firm gain a tangible strategic advantage as you compete for new business and the best employees:

Tell clients about all of your firm’s capabilities.

Accounting firms are usually hired to solve specific problems a company may be having. Once the account is won, be careful not to get pigeonholed. More often than not, new clients are not aware of the full range of services your firm offers, which means there’s a good chance they may look elsewhere, even if they were fully satisfied with your performance.

How do you take advantage of this opportunity? Be proactive. Your clients want and expect you to be in tune with their goals and find ways to address their potential needs and problems before they become major issues. There’s no need to offer a big sales pitch. Keep it simple and educate them about your solutions.

Additionally, consider giving managers and supervisors some reprieve from business development if it doesn’t interfere with their future partnership plans, especially if it doesn’t match their skill-set. Hiring a dedicated business developer is one certain way to take the initiative and put your firm in the driver’s seat.

Needs are a given. Fulfill the wants.

What a client needs can be very different than what a client wants because they are often motivated by fears and emotions. Being sensitive to these emotions is key to delivering an above-expectations solution to their problem.

How do you capitalize and score? While your company may be engaged to get a specific job done, you can identify and address their emotionally driven agenda by asking the right questions in the sales process. This will give your firm a distinct advantage if other firms are being considered. Also, when working with a client, don’t get tunnel vision and only solve the problem at hand. Dig a bit deeper to understand what emotional struggle the client is challenged with. Ask questions. Doing so can be serious fuel for firm growth.

Know what your super stars want.

Every firm has superstar or two. These are the people you wish you could clone and have more of. Often these people have very specific motivations and values, yet management rarely understands these individual motivating factors.

As an example, many marginal but vocal employees may be focused solely on money and their salaries. Therefore, it’s easy to conclude that all employees are similarly motivated. This is a big, bad mistake as many of your top performers have very different goals, priorities and wants.

How to do you understand what they want? It’s obvious that every employee’s basic needs must be covered, such as competitive salaries, good benefits and a pleasant work environment. But if you understand what really motivates your best people, you can promote the values and benefits that attract the right talent for your firm – and retain them. To accomplish this, consider having a neutral, third party interview your best people and find out what keeps them working for your firm or perhaps why they are considering a change. Use the information and insight to reward your team in meaningful ways and refocus your recruiting to attract more great talent.

The Takeaway

Some of the best opportunities to improve your firm are right under your nose. You may not even be aware of them — or may think that you’ve already got them covered.

Remember that the most successful firms distinguish themselves from their competition by looking for and seizing these hidden opportunities. They understand that taking advantage of the opportunity to change builds a sustainable competitive advantage and long-term positive gains for the firm.

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