I recently took a vacation to Kenya. While I was there, I made a point of sending each of my clients a personal, hand-written postcard.
Why did I go to all that effort?
Because it was a good opportunity to be in touch with my clients in a meaningful way. And the response I got from the clients was overwhelming. Here’s one of the e-mails I found in my in-box when I returned to work:
By the way, I got a card from KENYA! Now, that was nice! Handwritten and everything… Please tell Salim how thoughtful that was. He is and always has been such a nice person to work with. Him and his crew!
I often remind owners of growing CPA practices of the importance of staying in regular contact with their clients. In my experience, staying in touch is critical to a firm’s success – and yet, so many practice owners neglect it.
When I do speaking engagements with CPA firm owners, I often conduct an informal survey – I’ll ask how often they get in touch with their clients.
The common response? 2-5 times per year.
In my opinion, that is way too little.
Ideally, I like to be in touch with my clients 18 – 20 times per year – and that’s not including face-to-face business.
You might be thinking, But Salim, 18-20 times per year? That sounds like nagging!
Nagging? Not when you see what it really looks like. Here’s how all those points-of-contact with my clients break down over one year:
Receiving monthly newsletter – 12 contacts
Birthday card or gift – 1 contact
(Note: I advise practice owners to spend up to 5% of their revenues on gifts to customers.)
Card on the anniversary of our business relationship – 1 contact
Thanksgiving card – 1 contact
Thank you postcard – 1 contact
Personal visit to business – 1 contact
Personal phone calls – 2 contacts
That’s 19 right there. 19 contacts without seeming to be nagging.
Keeping in touch with your clients is important. It keeps your firm top-of-mind.
And be sure to inject variety into your program of frequent contact. Use every type of media available – direct mail, fax, e-mail, phone, personal visits. Whatever you do, keep it interesting.
Learn even more about growing and strengthening your practice! Check out my book The Ultimate CPA Practice in the New Economy: 10 Secrets to Attract More Clients, Boost Profits and Live Your Ideal Lifestyle.