Powerful client interaction is very rarely attributable to a person on your staff who is naturally able to engage clients in the right kind of conversation. The kind of interaction you want everyone on your staff to have with every client is the conversation that encourages clients and prospects to continue to do business and, perhaps, even bring in more business.
In many cases, members of your staff need to know what a client might say in a brief phone conversation with a receptionist that is important to the CPA who handles that client’s work. For example, the client might mention that her life has been turned upside down due to the birth of their first child. The CPA needs to know this so a conversation can be planned after tax season about how to set up a college fund.
All of your CPAs should be trained and given a checklist of key life events that significantly change a client’s financial picture. Perhaps a client tells you his wife is starting divorce proceedings. You should know, from previous years’ tax preparation, that the client co-owns the business with his wife. You should schedule a meeting with this client immediately after tax season to discuss and plan for
- What will happen to ownership of the company?
- After the divorce, can either spouse buy out the other?
- Can your client manage personal and business cash flow needs without some influx of cash?
- What happens to the family home? Who will get the house? Who will be able to deduct mortgage interest?
Is everyone on your staff adequately trained to have conversations and take note of changes apparent on a tax return to schedule the conversations after tax season to meet client needs and sell additional needed services to your clients?