Safe harbour

Is your firm a safe harbour for your clients or are you just another vessel weathering the storm in open seas?

What do your clients need right now?

Aside from its literal meaning as a sheltered port, the word harbour is also used as a metaphor. In this wider context it is described as a safe haven.

Surrounded by sea walls a harbour is insulated from the worst effects of any turbulence on the high seas. It is a place of safety where ships’ crews can draw breath, relax and consider their options free from unremitting activity where survival is the only game in town.

Your clients need this space. They need to be able to stand back and consider their options one-step removed from the daily survival grind.

COVID challenges have been their storm for the last eighteen months; non-stop turbulence and disruption. What they need right now is an opportunity – perhaps with a seasoning of permission – to take a break and consider their options.

How could your firm meet this need?

One obvious way you could create calmer waters is to offer clients a meeting to discuss their options. We would suggest this as a first step towards providing relevant advisory services in the coming months. We would recommend that this initial meeting be provided on a complimentary basis, face-to-face if possible, perhaps an outside table at your local pub or restaurant.

The aim would be to offer an opportunity to discuss clients’ anxieties in an environment where those concerns are not in evidence. Suggest switching off phones when you meet. And ask lots of open questions.

If you can help clients reveal their problems you can start to consider how to create and offer solutions.

Any “pro-bono” costs of providing this opportunity will be more than offset by increases in goodwill, and who knows, your conversations may lead to the provision of additional advisory services.

Which clients should you approach with this offer?

Select your A and B clients for this offer; those that appreciate your advice and are usually willing to pay for it.

Don’t offer to clients who always want something for nothing and take an age to pay your bills.

Where do you turn for this advice?

Although finding a safe place to meet may be difficult until COVID restrictions ease, we are willing to speak with any practitioners who have concerns about the future direction of their practice following the challenges of the last year.

Pick up the phone. Bob Edwards – our founder – can be contacted most days on his mobile 07879 896073, or email

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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