Prospecting in your own back yard can prove highly rewarding
This article explores a way of unlocking additional profits for your firm by providing more services to current clients. In particular, it discusses how to identify opportunities, which may have been overlooked. By focusing on a group which is already predisposed towards you it’s likely the marketing effort required to convert these opportunities into fee-paying assignments will be considerably less than for prospective clients.
To set the scene
Before embarking on this process, it is very helpful if you have –
- Profitable services which can be marketed, sold and delivered in discrete packages
- Excess capacity in the form of team members who have been trained in providing these services.
After all, there’s no point overloading already busy Principals!
Introducing the Client Matrix
In its simplest form, the Client Matrix entails compiling a grid which features the names of your clients in the left hand column, with headings for the services you provide in the columns out to the right. Row by row, mark off those services for each client which are actually provided and identify which of the gaps present opportunities.
The aim of course is to highlight areas where your services are not currently being provided. Insurance advisers for example, might nominate clients who don’t have trauma cover on all members of their family as one such service. For accountants, it might be business clients who haven’t yet been provided with a cash flow budget.
In practice, this review works well with a committee comprised of those that are strong proponents of the additional services, together with team members who have the primary client relationships. The benefit of the committee is that it overcomes the risk of prejudgement which might otherwise occur if simply left to those with the client relationships.
The Client Matrix is very compatible with running a campaign on a particular service area, as it pinpoints clients who haven’t yet received the service. Marketing can therefore by very focussed, just as specific sales conversations can be refined, tested and passed on to other team members.
Providing more services to each client is also a great way to strengthen your firm’s relationship with each client. Bankers talk about this in terms of “share of wallet”, which essentially says that the more services clients have with you, the harder it is for them to leave.
Further, the Matrix also helps to overcome the “silo effect” present in most multi-partner and/or multidisciplinary firms, whereby the services clients receive tend to be restricted to the core skills of the person who has the primary client relationship. The Matrix helps to bring all skills and services that the Firm has to offer to each client.
Murphy’s Law applying it will be those clients who haven’t been offered these extra services where the problems occur. Ready examples with significant implications include insurance reviews, business succession and estate planning. That being the case, what does that leave your firm if it comes to light that the affected client hasn’t been offered services that other clients have received?
By undertaking an objective and systematic review with the matrix structure, you overcome the curse of assumption i.e. “They wouldn’t be interested”.
In the simplest instance such a matrix can be readily prepared using a spreadsheet. However firms with multiple client facing advisers, a large client base and/or numerous service offerings may prefer the features of Prospector1, which provides greater searching and reporting capabilities, along with predefined processes to follow in order to raise the issue with the clients identified.
Irrespective of how you compile your matrix grid, the key is to keep it up to date as services are actually provided and as new clients come on board.
The client matrix provides a systematic way of “shaking the trees” for further revenue opportunities which can and should be undertaken for your clients. It can be compiled quite quickly and at virtually zero cost. Certainly, it provides a trigger to be more proactive with your clients, whilst being very helpful in utilising your capacity and with setting your marketing and training plans.
Scott Charlton is a Director of Slipstream Coaching, a company dedicated to assisting financial practitioners achieve their potential. Since 2002, Scott has been applying and refining a practical approach to performance improvement based upon his own experiences as a professional practitioner and from coaching hundreds of financial services firms.
Scott is an author of three books, written for professionals in practice. He is also a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, a member of CPA Australia and an Associate Fellow of Australian Institute of Management. For more information on Scott and his professional activities, refer to www.scottcharlton.com.au. Scott can be contacted by phone 0409 870 330 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Developed by Smarter Business Processes. For a product fact sheet or more information, refer to www.smarterbusinessprocesses.com.au/