“Know yourself. Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”
– Ann Landers
After I wrote last week’s note about finding the hidden profit centers in your firm, we had something significant happen in our family: we sold our house.
It’s a bit of a long story, and I’ll spare you all of the details, but this process has me thinking deep about you, your clients and your prospects–which I’ll get to in a moment.
We’ve actually been eyeing a move for about 3 years. In fact, we had our house on the market in 2007 for about 9 months–right as the “bust” started, and we had nary an offer. Then, we adopted two children from Ethiopia … and we just felt like we needed to stay rooted where we were. So moving out of the area fell off our radar–until this spring.
Well, it happend fast this time, and we’re packing our bags for the Kansas City area–where I’ve got a concentration of staff, and where there’s a church community we’ve admired from afar for many years– and will be moving in mid-August. We’ve been looking forward to this possibility for over three years, and it’s finally here!
But here’s the thing: It’s not as exhilirating as I expected it to be.
And, this dynamic is actually pretty common for many people (including your clients)–but not often discussed. So, I’m going to be pretty candid this week about what happens behind the scenes of some serious “success stories”, and even more pertinent–what happens in the minds and hearts of your clients.
+++ Client Story of the Week +++
Hello Nate and BuildaHerd Team,
I have received a great deal of positive feedback and requests for appointments from your email marketing service. Dr. Rosie Milligan, a highly respected community leader, said “excellent”. Good Job, Good Job!
LC Green, Jr.
Get started with the service L.C. uses…
Coming Down From The High
I’ve been involved with some pretty incredible success stories…
* Directing the marketing of a firm which grew from $50K per year to over $4.3 mil.lion in less than ten year
* Adopting our children … getting married (if you knew my wife–you’d realize what an incredible “success” this was!)
* Watching hundreds of tax professionals “get it” and grow their firms under the coaching I provided, working alongside Chauncey Hutter, Jr.
* Starting and selling my first business for a profit before the age of 30
* Selling six figures+ worth of services in ONE day–twice
But the point I want to make TODAY, is one which is hardly ever talked about in the business world: getting what you *think* you want is never as good as it seems it should be.
Frankly, even for the most grounded individual or business owner, we all lust after the greener pastures of “what’s next”. You do … I do … and so do your clients.
Now what we CAN’T do for other people is give them firm, spiritual or emotional foundation to realize that lusting after success or breakthrough will never solve the gnawing sense of unease in their hearts and minds. That’s something no man can provide for another.
And no service can provide it, either.
So look–in our context, getting their taxes prepared or handing you their books can be like walking around naked in the school playground for your clients; everything in their life or business is exposed to you or your staff. (By the way–you should definitely understand this factor for your clients. It’s never easy to hand over your intimate financial details to anyone. That should influence how you market your firm.)
And getting them finished isn’t always a huge “high” (even when there’s a fat refund headed their way).
But what it IS is a relief … an arduous and painful task completed.
Which is why it’s so critical that you follow up with your clients on a regular basis. The human emotions of wanting something done–and the inevitable “come down” when it IS done–can be a graveyard for a provider/client relationship.
Unless, of course, you stick with them. Show them that you’re about “more” than just getting their business. Give them the gift of a relationship which is beyond the transactional details. Send them a “thank you” note, keep in touch over email or through direct mail. Connect with them socially.
Show them that just because the task is done, you’re not “walking away”.
That’s not just a recipe for success–it’s a recipe for significance. And a key business reality to embrace–especially in this online, digitally-fractured age.