As difficult as it is to land great accounting clients, the greater challenge — retaining them — starts the moment you ink your first agreement. Any new client will immediately wonder if you’ll follow through on your promises or treat them as an afterthought. While the proof will ultimately come through your performance over time, sending a thoughtful, well-designed “welcome kit” at the outset may help convince them they’ve made the right decision.
A good kit contains basic information about your firm, how it works and the nature of your agreement with the client. A great one generates warmth, confidence and excitement about the work you’ll do together. Whether you deliver it in person, via mail or digitally will depend on the nature of your business and how you typically interact with your clients. Likewise, the contents of the kit will vary from company to company. Here are some basics to consider:
A welcome letter. Don’t discount the importance of your opening letter. It contains any number of clues the client will immediately assess. Whether the kit is sent on paper or delivered via email, the letter should have a professional appearance and be signed personally by the leader of your firm. Instead of boilerplate language and generalities, include specific references to the client’s business and priorities.
The agreement. The welcome kit should clearly document the nature and dates of your agreement. It should spell out precisely what you plan to deliver and when. And any client steps, such as making an initial payment or signing contracts, should be clearly spelled out and made as convenient as possible.
Small gifts. Modest but tasteful gifts, such as a box of gourmet chocolates or even a calculator, in a nod to your profession, can surprise clients and help cement your relationship. You also may want to include pens or other items emblazoned with your company logo to keep your brand top-of-mind.
Referral incentive. Some experts suggest including a referral incentive for the client to send potential business your way. Maybe it’s something as simple as a 10% discount on the next job you do for clients after their referrals become your clients, too.
A list of your team members (and how to reach them). Use the welcome kit as a way to introduce your team at a deeper level. Let the client know which staff members they should reach out to for specific services and how best to get in touch with them. After all, emphasizing your availability may be the best way to demonstrate that closing the deal was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
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