How easy is it for clients to engage you?

accountants client experience Sep 10, 2021
Australian Eastern Water Dragon

In the photo, you’ll see an Australian Eastern Water Dragon

The males are pretty territorial, and we have a couple that roam around our garden. At this time of year (spring in the Southern Hemisphere), the males fight to determine who ‘rules’ the territory.

Our daughter, for reasons known only to herself, called this one John.

We have four chickens, and recently our neighbour acquired a Rottweiler, so my wife put up some wire fencing to separate the chickens from certain death. She carefully left plenty of space under the fence for the wildlife to get through.

This morning, John decided to ignore that space and try to squeeze through a hole in the fence that was not big enough for him and got stuck. We rescued him with bolt cutters and thankfully he’s fit, healthy and still very feisty.

Like many things I observe in life, it reminded me of accountants.

John could have taken the simple path but, for reasons known best to himself, he chose a complex alternative and got himself stuck.

Many accountants are extremely good at creating complexity, typically by talking in jargon or ‘tax speak’. Too often, accountants are excellent at sounding like an expert, but your client has no idea what you’re talking about!

Next time you’re talking with a client, check yourself.

Are you simplifying the complex so that you can relate to your client on their terms? The more you do that, the more likely the relationship will strengthen even further, and they will embrace your recommendations.

On the other hand, if you blind them with jargon and tax speak, expect polite nods and blank looks!

Having spent almost 10 years in a business advisory capacity in a fast-growing UK firm, Colin Dunn FCA has spent the past 25 years training, coaching and consulting to accounting firms globally. Read more »

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