By Lauren Williams
Manager of Advisory Services
Firms who are the most successful in using ProfitCents to build value-added and consulting services are the firms who do so strategically. Rather than mailing a standard letter to your entire client base introducing the new consulting services or narrative reports you plan to offer, consider taking a more selective, personal approach with a predetermined group of “Key Clients”.
Develop specific criteria which can be used to identify your “Key Clients”. Are your Key Clients those who generate a certain amount of billable hours or revenue for your firm? Are they businesses of a certain size or in a certain industry? Perhaps your Key Clients are businesses your firm provides certain niche services to or has an opportunity to provide certain niche services to?
Once you identify your Key Clients, initiate a “Discovery Process” to assist you in thinking strategically and purposefully about each of these clients -- their business, their industry, their goals, the resources (including ProfitCents) and services your firm has to better serve them, and how to position these services in a way that communicates relevance and benefit to each Key Client.
This Discovery Process may consist of surveys, questionnaires or conversations with your client and is intended to measure their level of satisfaction with your firm and to paint a more complete picture of their business.
Through this process for each Key Client, you will better understand: the business’s day-to-day operations, processes and policies, challenges and opportunities, the fears and uncertainties held by the business owner, their level of financial sophistication, their vision and goals, and most importantly: how you fit into the “puzzle” of their business.
Once you have obtained this increased level of understanding, rather than simply telling your client that you have prepared a narrative analysis report of their business you will be able to provide context. Context as to how that report and that meeting are part of a larger, comprehensive approach or plan for assisting their business in achieving its goals and for moving their business from where they are now to where they want to be. Rather than trying to sell a report or a service which your client may or may not be able to independently connect to their goals, this approach allows you to focus on using the features in ProfitCents as part of a larger means for better serving your Key Clients.