In today’s busy business world we are often encouraged to be assertive, front foot forward and always, always looking for opportunities to promote ourselves. In the right context there is nothing wrong with these traits. However, I’m a big believer in the power and wonder of showing oneself to be more human.
In the great majority of my dealings with business owners, MDs, CEOs & CFOs I’ve noticed they tend to buy accounting services from people that they connect with, like and want to trust. Items like the firm’s brand and the individual’s technical expertise are taken very much as hygiene factors, that is to say, their importance and significance is only really noticed when they (the factors) are not present.
Look at your own behaviours when purchasing products or services. For instance, I live in a suburb in Sydney that has over 25 hairdressers/barbers competing for people’s haircare needs. My wife goes to a certain hairdresser, not because of their skilled staff, nice decor or cappuccinos – most of them have all that. No, she goes to a particular one because she likes the lady who cuts and styles her hair. They talk, learn about each other and have a laugh. I don’t think they have a lot in common in terms of their age and their interests, but they seem to have gotten to know each other and have developed a level of trust and understanding over a long period of time. I dare say that if Mary (the hairdresser) left that particular salon – my wife would follow her to her new one. My wife’s relationship is with Mary not her employer. My wife’s decision is not particularly influenced my Mary’s amazing skills or her stunning banter and repartee – my wife just likes Mary and trusts her with her hair.
Now I’m not saying to all you accounting professionals out there that when you leave your current firm your clients will blindly follow you. Notwithstanding the non-compete clauses in your partnership and employee agreements, clients will of course make their own decisions what to do. The take away lesson here is that by exercising the human touch clients tend to be more loyal and sticky with their advisers who treat them as people – believe it or not!
See you next post,