To have long-term happy clients as an attorney, CPA, or financial advisor, it is instrumental that you not only provide value to your clients but also demonstrate your value to them.
My first job was at Nordstrom. There, I learned the importance of customer service and always taking the best care of your clients at any cost.
This principle has carried with me throughout my career, whether my “client” was an employer or a company client. I always work hard to provide value by increasing my client’s revenue. Growing revenue is what clients hire me to do, so that is what I work tirelessly to do.
The problem with this is that I do not consistently demonstrate my value. I am guilty of assuming that the client knows my intentions and that I am doing my job.
Though revenue increases, if clients have not seen the process of what it took to get there, it can be hard to prove to them that the revenue increase they are seeing is a result of my direct efforts.
Marketing attorneys, CPAs, and financial advisors successfully includes building trust and proof of the professional’s knowledge. Building trust and evidence of expertise can take months or years to accomplish. It is a long-term investment that also adds to the challenge of demonstrating value.
Even though you know the excellent work you are doing for your clients, you must show them the process of how you have gotten to the desired results to be effective.
You cannot assume the client knows your good intentions and the hours of work you have put in unless you detail the process for them and spell it out.
While demonstrating value is relevant in my industry, this is also relevant for all professional service firms – attorneys, CPAs, and financial advisors.
When you are a professional, you know your knowledge base and how you have added value to your client, but the client cannot always easily see that.
I have seen professional service providers assume that clients should know what they have done for them as if they have done them a favor, but when a client pays hundreds of dollars an hour, you cannot assume that the client will see the value. The client wants to know what it took to get there and have the process spelled out.
The most successful professionals are the ones who can effectively demonstrate their value throughout a client engagement. Establishing the value will ensure you keep your clients happy and have long-term relationships.