Following on from the last post I now finish relating the story of Ron & Jim. Here is where we left them …
“I have to be honest here Ron. When you said at that first meeting that we’ll get together over lunch, talk some business and get to know each other I thought it was one of those empty & passing lines people use all the time.”
“Why do you say that Jim?”, Ron replied.
“Well my last accountant who was a great bloke and seemed to do an OK job for me didn’t take me out to lunch once. So its nice to have lunch and to get to know each other better”
“How long were you with your last accountant?”
Sadly, Jim said “14 years.”
There it is 14 years! Jim the client and his accountant hadn’t once met and broken bread together. I was almost too scared to ask Ron how many times Jim had had a coffee with the accountant (I’m probably thinking 14 – a tea or coffee was probably offered to Jim each year he visited his accountant’s office!)
I don’t know about you, but I think something special happens when you share food and drink with someone. It doesn’t have to be fancy – coffee & cake or sandwich & an OJ – it could be anything. What happens when you break bread with another person is that the barriers tend to come down. You’ll find that you will be talking about subjects and situations that you will never think would come up. That is the wonder of the meeting – because through that open conversation you as the accountant will definitely get to know the client much better and learn the things that excite, motivate and inspire them. You will also gain insight into those things that concern, fear and disappoint them.
Set against this background you will be in a much better position to help their business operate better and grow.
So … should accountants eat lunch? The answer is a resounding YES!
Until next time.