From modelling that we have undertaken, without a doubt, the variable that has the most impact on profitability is footfall.
Footfall in this context is defined as the number of times a customer passes your threshold – in a defined period – to buy something from you.
From a practitioners point of view they are the occasions when services are delivered, and the way to achieve an increase in footfall is to engage in a serious program of cross-selling.
What limits cross-sales?
Accountants like hiding their abilities. They wait for clients to approach them with a request for advice. They don’t want to appear to be too pushy.
This attitude is odd because it assumes that clients, by some process of divination, are aware of solutions that a firm can provide when many can barely articulate the problems they are coping with, that they need to solve.
By simply asking clients short, open questions, “how are you?”, “how are you coping with cash flow?” etc, accountants could quickly identify issues to which they could find appropriate solutions, and then offer these solutions.
Clearly, you would need to convince your client that there is some value in the advice being proposed, and that your costs are more than outweighed by the financial benefits or the personal benefits (being able to sleep at nights).
Leverage and footfall
Often, advisers will be able to broadcast a cross-sales opportunity to more than one client. For example, they could offer to provide a formal business valuation as part of the annual accounts review. In this way cross-sales campaigns can leverage additional services to many clients.
Test this process
We will shortly be adding a Practice Road Map calculator to the LandmarkPD site. When this is up and running you will be able to enter your own practice data and see how any changes to your practice circumstances in the past year are likely to impact your bottom-line results in the coming year. The calculator offers a number of what-if variables – one of which is footfall.
You will be advised when this facility is uploaded.