Accounting firms often struggle to attract and retain the best clients — the ones who are loyal, easy to work with and, of course, profitable. However, identifying these clients is a challenge. 

This article explores how you can work out who your best clients are so you can attract more of them. 

Identifying your best clients

To attract and retain the right clients for you, you’ll be unsurprised to hear you need to work out who they are first. To do this, you should look at various factors, some of which may be more important to you than others. Broadly, they are:

  • profitability
  • loyalty
  • ease of working with

Let’s explore these in more detail. 

Profitability

We shouldn’t need to explain why getting more profitable clients will benefit your firm, so we’ll jump right into it: how can you tell what a ‘profitable client’ is? 

First, we recommend you analyse your sales data to determine which clients generate the most revenue for your business. However, remember to include the cost of acquisition: clients who are expensive to acquire may not be as profitable as they first appear.

Analyse the behaviour of your clients, too. If you have clients who consistently purchase high-margin services, it may indicate that they’re the correct type of client for your firm over those who buy low-margin services. 

Lastly, think about the lifetime value of your clients. Do the clients who spend longer with you eventually start buying more of your services? If so, these might be your best clients — which leads us nicely to…

Loyalty

Clients who spend a lot of time with and buy from you are loyal customers. They’re great for any business, so use the lifetime value of your clients to identify your most loyal clients as well. 

Next, check customer feedback — loyal customers are likely to recommend your business by word of mouth or posting reviews, so determine which type of clients bring in new business for you. 

You should also check engagement levels. Who engages with your brand regularly, whether it’s through social media, email marketing or in-person events? Those clients are probably among your most loyal. 

Ease of working with

Amanda C Watts, a business consultant and author, warns against what she calls ‘vampire clients’. “They’re the clients who drive you nuts, suck your energy and constantly quibble on prices”, she writes. 

Not only are they less likely to be loyal or buy as much, but they probably also waste time that you could have spent on more profitable activities. 

We don’t need to go into detail about who your vampire clients are — you’ve probably got an idea already — but think about what, if anything, unites some of them. Are they from a specific industry? At particular points in their business journey? Or approach business in a way that contradicts your principles?

Getting more of your ideal client

Now that you know your best clients, it’s time to get more of them. To do that, you should create a marketing strategy directly targeted at them.

Here’s a simple step-by-step list of the essentials:

  • Create content that resonates with your ideal client: develop content on your perfect client’s needs, goals and pain points to grab their attention and demonstrate your expertise. Types of content could include blog posts, eBooks, webinars or videos.
  • Use targeted advertisements: platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Google can advertise your content to specific audiences.
  • Networking and referrals: Become a ‘mini-celebrity’ among your audience by attending industry events and engaging with other professionals in your field. 

We wrote a blog not too long ago about social media and digital marketing if you want to learn more about attracting the ideal client to your firm. 

Retaining your ideal clients

Attracting new clients is essential, but it’ll only count for something if you can keep hold of them. To do that, you’ll need to continue providing excellent customer service and building solid relationships with your clients.

Here are some ideas:

  • Communicate regularly: Stay in touch with your clients and keep them informed about updates. Consider sending monthly newsletters. 
  • Exceptional service: go above and beyond for your clients. Respond to emails quickly, offer free advice and provide personalised recommendations.
  • Reward loyalty: offer incentives and discounts to loyal clients to encourage them to stay with you and refer others to your firm. 

By focusing on client retention, you can build strong relationships with your best clients and create a sustainable business. 

Have you found value in today’s blog? If you have any questions about this topic, make sure to read our blog on creating the most profitable firm by finding your best clients. In the meantime, please feel free to get in touch.

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