The Practitioner: Saving Mr Banks means money in the bank

ONE OF MY favourite films of recent years is Saving Mr Banks. It tells the story of the author of Mary Poppins and Walt Disney, and how for years Disney tried to win over PL Travers to allow him to make the film of the books…

For all the money, fame, and charm that Walt Disney had he struggled to get Mrs Travers to sign over the rights. It was only after he really understood Mrs Travers that he finally managed to connect with her. It was never about the money.

As soon as Walt Disney realised what was important to her he was able to do the deal. He did this by taking time to research her past, and realise what made her write the book in the first place.

Twenty years in the chasing and eventually he got his reward with a little bit of thought, rapport and understanding.

Now I’m sure we all have difficult clients, and we also must have experienced difficult potential clients that we gave up on after a tough first meeting.

What Saving Mr Banks has taught me is that anyone can win clients, even if we think they are too large for our practice. It’s not always about money and status. Getting to know the business, taking time to research as much as possible, and my demonstrating you care, are vitally important.

Even if we think our services are, literally, best in practice and our staff the best thing since sliced bread, if we don’t build up a rapport with the prospect we won’t stand a chance of winning them over.

They’re all different

Every business is different. Every business owner, therefore, needs to be treated differently.

I’ve not told the staff yet how much I love the film, or indeed the message that I’ve got from it, but I am thinking of having a movie day in the office to make everyone watch the film…

So the next time you are sat in front of a difficult client or prospect just think of Mary Poppins and say ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’!

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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