The one thing that I have uncovered is that a lot of senior accounting professionals are not good at having conversations with prospective clients. It may be that they don’t like being out of their comfort zone or lack confidence in building new relationships or they simply haven’t been given the necessary training. I’m just not sure.
One of my clients, is a senior partner with a big 4 accounting firm. A few weeks ago I asked him what % of partners in the top 10 accounting firms within Australia, in his view, are able to proactively engage with prospective clients and build a mutually beneficial relationship. What do you think he said? 50%, 60%? He told me, in his opinion as a 30+ year veteran professional, it was around 10 to 20%. Wow! That is not good. I’m concerned that the professionals coming through the ranks – the graduates, supervisors, managers, directors and the rest not being shown good role models by their Partner-Principals.
Its not too late. Anyone – young or old, male or female, graduate or partner can change and improve the way they work. The first thing to change is to learn the art of conversation.
You might be thinking to yourself, “Come on James … you’re being waaaaaaay to simplistic!” With respect I don’t think I am. Sometimes I think that professionals be they accountants, lawyers, management consultants, engineers, architects, financial planners etc… tend to over-complicate their interactions with clients and prospective clients.
Let me leave you with this one thought –
There is no such thing as a worthless conversation, provided you know what to listen for. And questions are the breath of life for a conversation.
This was a quote by the American author, James Nathan Miller who lived and worked in the late 1800’s.
See you next post,