Are you prepared to lose clients?

There are circumstances, usually beyond our control, that determine when a client ceases to be a client. The most obvious is an untimely visit by the grim reaper. This aside, the reasons for loss of business usually falls into two categories:

  1. Dissatisfaction with the service you provide or the price you charge, or
  2. Other issues.

In this post I’d like to consider the impact of one of these other issues.

Other issues for losing clients

How long is a piece of string? Retirement, sale of a business, moving out of area, insolvency, “had enough”, sickness, other family matters, and that old chestnut: deteriorating market conditions.

Regarding the last of these, are there any upcoming changes that might trigger a downturn in economic activity?

In passing, you may have noticed a lot of comment recently regarding the protracted debate about our exit from the EU. I will avoid the use of the “B” word as it’s now a bigger turn-off than “tax” and I would like you to finish reading this copy…

Contenders for the leadership of the Conservative Party are both, seemingly, committed to the possibility of a no-deal outcome come 31 October, how might that impact your clients’ businesses? And whilst you may consider that talking down economic prospects is either politically or practically inadvisable, what if – regardless of our personal opinion – we really are on the verge of a dislocation (a slow-down) in economic activity?

Optimists will say any slow-down will be temporary and the upside, when it arrives, will more than compensate for any post-exit blues. Pessimists will lean towards an increasingly depressed and extended period of recession with no apparent light at the end of the tunnel, and certainly not in our lifetimes.

Are you prepared to lose clients?

When did you last survey your clients to see who has active trading links with the EU and has concerns about our withdrawal from the EU? More importantly, wouldn’t it be prudent to draw up a list of these clients and contact them to offer a business health check?

As far as I can see, this is a win-win outcome. Attending to structural weakness now (cash flow, solvency, profitability planning, risk assessments) has no downside. Left unattended, any downturn will tempt insolvency and loss of income, whereas assessing risk and strengthening the Balance Sheet, will not only assist clients to have a better chance of surviving bad-times, if the good-times roll they will be first out of the starting blocks. First come is best served.

I can help

I have added two resources to the Landmark site in recent months. They are:

  1. Brexit information packs (assuming a no-deal outcome), videos and risk assessment tool for your website: see here, and
  2. Fee Builder, includes promotional material for business and personal financial health checks: see here.

I suspect that those of us who are content to ride out this issue – it will just be a minor blip – will temp not only fate, but also the longevity of their active client list.

Bob Edwards

Bob has been working with practices across the UK offering novel ways to improve cross-sales and increase new client acquisitions. He is also interested in "step changes" in legislation that offer challenges, and therefore opportunities, for practitioners to provide new recurring and one-off support services to clients.

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