M2$1M OFFICE HOURS 6/27/18: If you don't LOVE every single one of your clients, keep reading...

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M2$1M OFFICE HOURS 6/27/18: If you don't LOVE every single one of your clients, keep reading...

Let's do this!! Of course you can ask me anything, and today let's focus on making sure that you are INTENTIONALLY selecting THE BEST clients to work with! All clients are not created equally (real talk here!!), so YOU MUST have a way to determine if they are an A, B, or C client - also known as a Selection Criteria. 

 

For example, an "A" client loves the service you provide, is in your direct expertise, is a joy to work with and pays on time! A "B" client may be similar to an "A" but they always pay late. A "C" client may pay on time, but they are hard to work with and also pay late, but they really love what you do.

 

If you think you have a "D" client, you know what I'm going to say... Time to refer them to someone else!!  "D" clients cost you time, money and grief because you can't do anything to make them happy, so kiss them goodbye and use that time to go find more "As" and "Bs"!

 

OK Momentumers, REPLY and tell me, do have mostly As, Bs, Cs or Ds? And if you need to create a Selection Criteria, let me know so I can help!

 

@tmichellemoore@redrosestudios@ElaineTay-TGW@NiltonServa@inthemtn@susie-harmonix@jessbru99568@Renee@Jennie@LeahIlanah@activemode, and @cruberti, please get us started! J. 

 
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21 Comments
Community Explorer ***

Re: OFFICE HOURS ARE OPEN! If you don't LOVE every singe one of your clients, keep reading...

What are some proven and professional methods to disengage with D (being generous here) clients?? My business is growing and I would like to focus on the great clients and find more of them! It's no longer necessary to accept late payments, or the "I'm so busy" line as to why the client isn't holding up their end of the engagement. I don't mind cutting clients loose, but I would like to do it in a manner that is professional and will protect me as well!

Community Explorer ***

Re: OFFICE HOURS ARE OPEN! If you don't LOVE every singe one of your clients, keep reading...

Great question!

 

I do have a script of a client firing letter, if you want me to share. But it's for the accounting industry. Have not used it yet.

Momentum to $1 Million Host

Re: OFFICE HOURS ARE OPEN! If you don't LOVE every singe one of your clients, keep reading...

Ha! LOVE that you have a "client firing letter" ready to go @LeahIlanah! YES!! If you would like to paste it here, that would be an AWESOME share! #lovethiscommunity! 

Momentum to $1 Million Host

Re: OFFICE HOURS ARE OPEN! If you don't LOVE every singe one of your clients, keep reading...

@Peter_G_Stone, way to stand up for the professionalism you offer and no longer be willing to accept clients that don't value your services at the same level.  @LeahIlanah made a really generous offer to share here "client firing letter" so stay tuned for that! 

 

In my experience, being professional and honest works best. Specifically, letting them know that in order to provide the level of service required, they too must honor the agreements they have committed to - such as paying on time, communicating in a timely manner, etc., and since they're not able to meet those commitments, it will be best to find another service provider. 

 

2 Additional thoughts are 1) give them a reasonable/professional time-frame to find another provider and transition, and 2) make sure you have CLEAR AGREEMENTS on working with your company when you engage every new client. Sending a written agreement is not enough - you need to review it with them so expectations are very clear from the start. This will avoid a lot of grief, and may even elevate a potential D client up to a C or even a B (or better yet, they will go away before you get started!). 

 

Do you have client agreements about how the relationship will work Peter? Standing by! J. 

Community Explorer ***

Re: OFFICE HOURS ARE OPEN! If you don't LOVE every singe one of your clients, keep reading...

@JulieatTheWELL, I use an engagement letter template that my father (highly experienced CPA) created. It gets modified per the customer's needs and my own. I review it with my father for ideas & suggestions before going over the final copy with a prospect. The engagements are very clear and thorough. It is more a matter of myself holding the client to the engagement and not being so forgiving of their deviations from the agreement.

Momentum to $1 Million Host

Re: OFFICE HOURS ARE OPEN! If you don't LOVE every singe one of your clients, keep reading...

I love that you are taking responsibility first @Peter_G_Stone - that is a sign of true leadership! It's also great to have the experience of your father as a support system. As you grow in your own practice (within or outside of your father's firm), I would encourage you to take your client relationships to the highest level with thoughtful conversations about what a successful working relationship looks and feels like. The magic in this type of dialogue is that uncovers uncommunicated expectations while simultaneously connecting BOTH PARTIES to a mutually enjoyable and accountable outcome... aka.... the sweet spot!  See the value?

Community Explorer ***

Re: OFFICE HOURS ARE OPEN! If you don't LOVE every singe one of your clients, keep reading...

@LeahIlanah please do share! Better yet, I have some email addresses you can send it to Smiley LOL

Momentum to $1 Million Host

Re: OFFICE HOURS ARE OPEN! If you don't LOVE every singe one of your clients, keep reading...

Here is the "Client Firing Letter" as a sample. @LeahIlanah said it was sourced from a public Facebook group, so it's OK, to share. ****DISCLAIMER!! Be sure to review with your own advisors/legal counsel and USE AT YOUR OWN RISK! ****

 

SAMPLE CLIENT FIRING LETTER:

 

[TODAYS DATE]

[CLIENT]

[CLIENT ADDRESS] [FEIN]

 

Dear [CLIENT REP],

 

Effective [APPLICABLE DATE] we will be resigning as your accountants. We have come to this decision with great reluctance, but we are resigning because of (Choose One)

 

Your continued failure to pay our fee for services in a timely manner,

We have a conflict of interest between your company and our other clients,

Our continuing staffing problems have made it impossible to properly serve your needs,

We are changing the types of services that we will be providing in the future,

We are concerned about your failure to act upon the recommendations we have made,

Our desire to cut back on the number of clients we will be serving in the future,

 

We wish to remind you that we will not be performing any services for you after that date and that there may be tax returns, elections, or other compliance matters that will need to be dealt with after that date, which we will not be providing. We recommend that you immediately seek a new accountant, and we will cooperate fully in providing information to your new accountant when your unpaid bill (current balance $[INSERT AMOUNT]) is paid in full. We will need the written authorization release typed below returned to us with your signature in order to provide information to your new accountant. Without your written authorization, we are prohibited by our professional code of conduct from disclosing or discussing confidential client matters with anyone outside of our firm.

 

We appreciate the opportunity to serve you in previous years, and we wish you success in your future pursuits.

 

Sincerely,

[ACCOUNTANT]

 

Authorization to Release Information to New Accountant:

I authorize you to respond fully to any inquiries from our successor accountant,

, with any information, they may request regarding my business or personal tax or accounting situation.

 

Signature for Company & Personal Release

 

Additional Language For Situations in Which Work Remains Uncompleted or Fees Are Due

What about those situations where the work has not been completed, or the fees have not been paid, or both? The relationship has deteriorated to the point that the owners of the firm no longer wish to work with the client or the client's continual slow pay, argumentive nature or questionable or poor business practices have destroyed the relationship.

This client letter needs to be more direct, but it also needs to inform the client of what needs to be filed immediately, for the past, or for the upcoming few months. The opening paragraph could be something like this:

 

After long and careful consideration, we have decided that, after two-and-a-half years of providing accounting services for you and your entities, we must now end our relationship with you as your accounting firm. Our reasons for doing so at this time include our deteriorating ability to work together harmoniously on important matters, your failure to timely provide requested documents to us, as well as your reluctance to compensate us in a timely manner for services we have performed for you.

 

The remaining paragraphs should specifically list those items which are already past due, those items extended and coming due, and the upcoming year's list of items that will be due. This list should address all forms the firm has prepared in the past for the client, or which are past due that the client is aware of.

 

Additionally, the past due amount, if any, should be listed or addressed in some manner. This letter is also useful for the procrastinator client that it is time to get rid of now.

We would like to bring to your attention once again the following items which are past due and need to be filed:

.

Corporate Tax Returns for 2008 and 2009 due on 3/15/09 and 3/15/10 respectively, as previously discussed with you.

Your 2008 and 2009 Individual Income Tax Returns due on April 15, 2009 and 2010 respectively, as previously discussed with you.

Taxes due on your 2007 Federal and State of Indiana Individual Income Tax Returns. We have asked you for information necessary to set up a payment plan with the IRS and State Taxing Authority but have not received anything from you.

You also have the following items coming due:

The 2010 Corporate Tax Returns for [name], are due 7/15/11.

 

This has been discussed with [name] and [name]. I have requested information but have not received anything.

Your 2010 Individual Income Tax Return extended until August 15, 2011. This has been discussed with [name]. We have requested information but have not received anything.

- End -

Momentum to $1 Million Host

Re: OFFICE HOURS ARE OPEN! If you don't LOVE every singe one of your clients, keep reading...

Ha!!! That'll cost ya @Peter_G_Stone!! Right @LeahIlanah? Smiley Wink

Community Explorer ***

Re: OFFICE HOURS ARE OPEN! If you don't LOVE every singe one of your clients, keep reading...

100% see the value @JulieatTheWELL! Just a matter of gaining more experience with these dialogues to make the process stronger.  

Community Explorer ***

Re: OFFICE HOURS ARE OPEN! If you don't LOVE every singe one of your clients, keep reading...

Juliet just posted it to the page. Do you still want a copy to your email?

Momentum to $1 Million Host

Re: OFFICE HOURS ARE OPEN! If you don't LOVE every singe one of your clients, keep reading...

Fantastic! Intention + Practice = Profit! Whoohoo!! Keep me posted @Peter_G_Stone!!

Community Explorer ***

Re: OFFICE HOURS ARE OPEN! If you don't LOVE every single one of your clients, keep reading...

Whats the best way to get clients? I’ve tried Instagram, facebook to reach potentional customers but hasn’t worked.

Momentum to $1 Million Host

Re: OFFICE HOURS ARE OPEN! If you don't LOVE every single one of your clients, keep reading...

Hey @Tripp82 and welcome to Momentum to $1 Million Office Hours!  Please tell me about your business and who your target market is, and then let's get you some clients! Also, be sure to tag me at @JulieatTheWELL for the fastest reply! J. , 

 


@Tripp82 wrote:

Whats the best way to get clients? I’ve tried Instagram, facebook to reach potentional customers but hasn’t worked.


 

Community Explorer ***

Re: OFFICE HOURS ARE OPEN! If you don't LOVE every singe one of your clients, keep reading...

I have client agreements in place. But they forget quickly because they do what they are best at - growing their businesses. And I usually understand and honor that, and are compassionate. 

 

That compassion though comes to an end when I start feeling disrespected. 

Momentum to $1 Million Host

Re: OFFICE HOURS ARE OPEN! If you don't LOVE every singe one of your clients, keep reading...


@LeahIlanah wrote:

I have client agreements in place. But they forget quickly because they do what they are best at - growing their businesses. And I usually understand and honor that, and are compassionate. 

 

That compassion though comes to an end when I start feeling disrespected. 


That can be so frustrating @LeahIlanah! You know what they say, "Don't mistake kindness for weakness." Argh!  Do you have quarterly or bi-annual meetings with your clients? Those can be great times to remind them of the agreements so THEY can maximize your services. Would that be helpful?

 

 

Community Explorer ***

Re: OFFICE HOURS ARE OPEN! If you don't LOVE every singe one of your clients, keep reading...

Quarterly? Biweekly?

 

More like daily to weekly with most of them. Some are monthly but those are not the problem.

Community Explorer ***

Re: OFFICE HOURS ARE OPEN! If you don't LOVE every singe one of your clients, keep reading...

Peter, did you find the letter here on the posts, or do still want me to send it to your email?

Momentum to $1 Million Host

Re: OFFICE HOURS ARE OPEN! If you don't LOVE every singe one of your clients, keep reading...

Sounds like you’re absolutely on it @LeahIlanah, and when all else fails, the firing letter is just a click away! Smiley Happy

Community Explorer ***

Re: OFFICE HOURS ARE OPEN! If you don't LOVE every singe one of your clients, keep reading...

Hey M2Mers.

 

Is there a sample client agreement anyone can share?  I am not looking for the firing letter (don't have any clients to fire yet) but, an initial agreement.

 

Any help is greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks

 

Chakra

Momentum to $1 Million Host

Re: OFFICE HOURS ARE OPEN! If you don't LOVE every singe one of your clients, keep reading...

@CPY_NJ DM me @JulieatTheWELL with exactly what you need and I might have something for you... J.