The Practitioner: Heading off client’s ‘value’ query at the pass

WHAT A GREAT spring we had, and let’s hope the summer continues in the same vein.

Spring generally has the feeling of growth and change and this year was no different – that something is about to change. I’m not sure if it’s going to be for the better or worse, but I get the feeling that a client is going to do something big.

If I was a betting man I would put money on a certain client of ours being on the brink of cutting our monthly fee in half, or perhaps even worse than that.

I’m a firm believer of ‘moving towards what you expect’ and for this reason I’m not letting those thoughts consume my everyday thinking too much.

It all stems from a new in-house accountant that has been taken on board by the client.

For the first couple of years of his business we have provided monthly information and been a vital source of providing financial information to him. With the new person now having been taken on however our role has changed significantly. Everything we can do, she can apparently do better!

We are still doing monthly accounts, but the last time we attended the client’s premises to prepare the monthly figures she indicated to us that the owner would discussing our fee with us before our next scheduled visit.

I am relying on our good relationship to date counting for something in terms of loyalty as well as being satisfied with the work we are doing for him.

My plan now is to not to sit and wait for the call of doom from the client, but instead to prepare a new plan for how we can retain the same fee while providing additional value-added services.

It’s probably time for our service to evolve with this client if I’m being honest, and maybe I should take it as a lesson, and review the services we provide to clients before they decide to review us…

The Practitioner’s uncensored thoughts come from within their own practice – having left a regional firm in the heart of England

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