Times of uncertainty or change are often characterized by stagnant growth or even a decline in productivity, however the recent shift to virtual client engagement has refocused the business development community in new and interesting ways. As efforts to recruit new clients and bring in new business continue, an increased emphasis on strengthening client relationships has been at the forefront of many accounting firms’ agenda.
“Real-time visibility to relationship strength is critical,” says Dan Griffiths, Partner at Tanner LLC. “During periods of uncertainty, any client relationships that are not on solid footing put firm revenue at much higher risk. If we’re unaware of at-risk relationships, we’ll get blindsided when revenue starts leaking out of the firm.”
Reinforcing client relationships has proven integral to many firms’ marketing plans since the beginning of the year. A push to remain connected drives many communications strategies, including information on crucial legislative updates, an understanding of all available options, answers and insights on state-specific issues, and general support.
“We’ve seen that communication has become even more important this year while our clients are anxious and feeling the weight of uncertainty when it comes to making very critical business decisions,” said Sarah Cirelli at Grassi & Co. “We have put a dramatic focus on making sure our clients have direct access to their advisors and any other professionals who can help guide them through everything they are experiencing.”
The Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) has supported member efforts as they shift their business development tactics. The fall digital magazine, Growth Strategies, was dedicated to the various areas of concern in the ever-evolving BD sector, including networking in a virtual world, aligning marketing and business development to fuel growth and a shift to new service package offerings.
In addition to Growth Strategies, AAM has also committed to providing virtual education sessions that provide “campfire”-style discussions and webinars dedicated to the growth of client relationships. Below is a roundup of this month’s events, but be sure to check our events listing for updates and new offerings!
November 5, 2020: AAM High! Webinar: How to Equip Business Development to Grow & Maintain Relationships
Engaged clients buy faster, stay longer, and advocate for you passionately. Why? Because they have positive memories of working with you - be it from a superb solution, excellent support, helpful content, or an exceptional interpersonal experience. In short, engaged clients are characterized by having a positive relationship with your firm.
So how can you better equip your business development team to create and nurture an engaged network? This webinar will dive into the value of tracking and scoring relationships and discuss best practices for delivering that intelligence to your professionals when and where they need it.
- Brett MacDonald, Sales Director
- Contact Brett here.
- Brett is an experienced and highly skilled sales director with 10+ years in the commercial and enterprise sectors. He comes from a background in marketing management which he has also intertwined into his expertise.
- Dan Griffiths, Partner at Tanner, LLC
- Contact Dan here.
- Dan Griffiths, CPA, CGMA is a partner at Tanner, LLC, a Salt Lake City-based CPA firm with 160 team members where he leads the firm’s advisory service lines. Dan is a business coach and consultant, and facilitates over 75 owner, board, and executive team retreats each year across a variety of industries. He specializes in business strategy, strategic planning, digital transformation, and leadership development. From 2016 to 2020, he served as a member of the AICPA Board of Directors.
- Danny Estrada, Director, Enterprise Solutions at Introhive
- Sarah Cirelli, Marketing Practice Leader at Grassi & Co.
- Contact Sarah here.
- Head of Marketing and an internationally recognized marketing strategist, Sarah has spent over thirteen years executing growth, marketing and business development strategies to professional service firms, non-profits and growing businesses. Perhaps best-known for jumpstarting her career with the accounting profession's famous viral video sensations and strategic social media strategy, she now spends her time leading a talented team of eight to execute various growth and marketing initiatives for the firm and its clients.
- Sarah’s key responsibilities include leadership, practice growth, brand management, go-to-market strategy, niche development, pipeline management, ambassador advocacy, business development, culture enrichment and more.
- Accounting Today has honored her as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People” in the accounting profession two years in a row and helped land her a spot as a hand-selected attendee at the first-ever Forbes Under 30 Summit before reaching the age of 30.
Why is this important to accounting firms?
“Successful firms have learned that BD and marketing have to work in synchronicity to contribute to a positive growth environment,” said Sarah Cirelli at Grassi & Co. “When these two are aligned, firms will have a strong competitive advantage.”
What can attendees expect to take away or learn from participating in this session?
This webinar will help accounting marketers better understand how engaging and investing time in client relationships should be emphasized among all employees, not just those who define themselves as directly dealing with “sales.” They will learn what “relationship intelligence” means, how to protect revenue streams, and why it drives effective account planning.
To request a recording of this session, please contact Heather Scott.