The part of my role I enjoy the most is meeting new people. Given the type of work I do I tend to meet with a lot of partners in professional service firms, business owners and CEOs/CFOs/CIOs and even some UFOs – sorry I just couldn’t help myself 🙂
Yesterday I met with the CFO of the Australian subsidiary of an international product/services organisation. The business is doing very well, with their local operation generating revenue of $300m+.
This particular CFO & I were chatting over coffee talking about how his organisation used the services of accounting firms. He told me that they use three firms – all well-known names in the top 20 firms in Australia. One firm he uses for audit, one for tax and the other for specialist consulting needs. This CFO has been using these three firms for close to 10 years and has been (and still is) very happy with their work and service. This CFO can be easily characterised as a “satisfied client.” He then told me, given the quality of their work, that he would be more than willing to refer them to other CFOs and business owners/executives whom may be interested in using their services. I of course then asked the obvious question, “How many times have the partners from the three firms you use have asked you for an introduction or referral?”
The CFO’s reply, “Zero James … Zero” I quickly retorted said that he must be joking. Unfortunately he was not.
Here we have three partners from the big end of the accounting profession with a client that they have served well and is pleased with their work for close to 10 years and they haven’t asked even once for an introduction? This is madness.
I asked the CFO why was this the case? He shared with me some interesting insights which I’ll share with you next post.