The economic climate is rocky, but that doesn’t mean you can’t serve your clients well and even expand your client list. While many of your competitors may be hunkering down waiting for the pandemic to be over, you can use this time to show up for your customers in meaningful ways.

Chelsie Groslie Cheney, CPA, the director of strategic initiatives at Eide Bailly, says that now is an ideal time to help your clients move forward. When you show that you put your customers first, you not only stay top of mind in challenging times—you position yourself as a trusted resource.

Keep reading this issue of Promotional Consultant Today for Cheney’s guidance on how to grow your professional services during a downturn.

Answer frequently asked questions. When budgets are lean, it’s not always the best time to be offering your services. However, it’s always a good time to listen and offer your expertise, according to Cheney. She gives an example that in her business, her clients were worried about how to get financial relief. So her business development team set up a feed on Chatter where they could surface questions about the Paycheck Protection Program. This enabled her team to crowdsource among experts to promptly help her clients.

Host webinars. To help more clients, you need a way to scale your expertise. To do that, Cheney recommends webinars, which allow you to present to potentially thousands of people at the same time. Her business hosted a webinar with 4,000 attendees, which was about 20 times the normal audience size. This amounted to thousands of people her business could follow up with and potentially turn into new clients.

Start conversations and offer customized support. Instead of providing cookie-cutter solutions, talk to your clients about what they need and strive to provide personalized guidance. For example, Eide Bailly created its own internal initiative that focuses on filling the needs of larger clients, who typically need more tailored support.

Work as a unified team. Even if you and your sales reps do not work in the same office, you can still collaborate. Cheney says that her team has found success working with a program they have dubbed “The Hive,” since it represents the collective consciousness of their teamwork. In “The Hive,” Cheney and her team members can share a single view of the client and their activities among multiple teams.

Get back to basics. As you begin to adjust to life during the pandemic, it’s important to avoid returning to the old ways of doing business. Remember the basics: You are here to serve your clients well and put them first.

The pandemic has required businesses to change the way they engage with clients. While you have always cared about your customers, now is a time to intensely focus on providing value. By remaining laser-focused on making your clients’ lives better or easier, you cement yourself as a trusted advisor. This is the first step to growth, no matter what the economy looks like.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Chelsie Groslie Cheney, CPA, is director of strategic initiatives at Eide Bailly, where she is focused on orchestrating transitions toward new ways of working and supporting clients.