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How to get information from clients when asked without chasing after them

by Sep 9, 2019Business Development, Client service, Time and headspace

How do you get information from clients when asked so you don’t have to personally chase them? After all, your life as a small accountancy firm owner would be so much easier if clients got their information to you, when asked, in the right format. Let’s be honest. You don’t have the time of day to chase after your clients just to get the information you need to complete your job for them. But how can you get clients to just send in their information when you ask them? Is that even possible? Check out some of the tips that I share with you in this video.

How much easier would your life be if you can get information from clients when you asked them for it without having to constantly chase after them?

And this is what I am going to be dealing with in today’s video. Cause clients not sending the right information can lead to lots of inefficiency within your practice.

So how can you sort that out?

Setting up client checklist

Well, the first thing is to think about the points where you need information. Then, set up client checklists so that everyone knows what they need to do.

What do you need for a client when you’re doing their personal tax return? What do you need for a client to send you when you’re going to do their yearend accounts?

And set up a checklist for that.

You may like to invest in a practice management solution. We in the club, like Senta, we give our members a 10% discount for the first year if they’re new to Senta.

Now, Senta and other systems like that, such as Carbon and many of the new practice management solutions will do these workflows and automated reminders. This will put the client onto the workflow, and at the right time. Then, they’ll automatically ask them to send in the information.

If you’ve got your checklist set up, you can put that within the notification. And so automated reminders are a great way of doing that.

Assign a team member to follow up with the client

Now, if automated reminders aren’t working, this is about cause analysis.

What’s happening? Are we not telling them at the right time?

And the next thing is to give someone within your team the task of following up with the client each month. Ideally, a client administrator can do this. So, have them check what clients need to be chased for their information.

And they need to be that polite but persistent voice.

The one that is there to say,

“We need this information, what’s stopping you?

“And can we help you get this information?

“When can you do this?”

And is gently, but persistently, helping them get the information.

Set expectations

Now, the next thing, of course, is to set expectations with clients. One of the things we’re very, very pro within the sales process is setting that expectation.

So, before you sit down with them with your new business meeting, ask those prospective clients to send you some information. Whether you call them a discovery meeting, a discovery call, set expectations.

If they don’t send you in the information, set the expectation that you’ll reschedule until that information has arrived.

If you don’t reschedule, you’ve already set the expectation that it’s all right. You don’t need to send the information when we want it.

No. You’ve got to set that expectation. And in meetings with clients, you want to set the expectation of why you need it. What’s the importance of it?

What is the impact of not setting it?

Implications

Now, if you start to get a client that’s very persistent you’ve got a choice. These are the kinds of clients that even though you’ve set expectations, you’ve re-set expectations, and you’ve re-set expectations again they still don’t send it. This is despite telling them what’s needed when it’s needed, why it’s needed, and you’ve given them a checklist.

If there’s a client that is permanently the one that you need to chase, you’ve got a choice.

One, you can disengage. Two, you can talk to them about how you’re the only client we’re really struggling with. So, we’re going to have to put your fees up to allow for that extra admin time.

You may find that they suddenly get their act together.

And then look at, is it something that we’re doing?

And you may need to just phone up a client and go, “look, we’re struggling here. What is it that we’re doing

to cause this situation?”

You may find that it’s a process issue. Or it could be that you’re not communicating with them in the right way.

But actually, when it comes to getting clients to send in the right information, yes, there’s a technology solution.

But there’s also a follow-up.

And the key thing is about expectation setting and being very assertive with clients. Let them know what you need, when you need it, and why you need it then. Then, tell them the implications of them not sending it to you.

And so that is how you make sure you get clients sending the information when you need it.