Times are tough all over, and when you lose your best client it can feel like the end of the world. Is it really?
The event is such a calamity that no one even likes to think about it. It happens sometimes, though. If your accounting firm were to face the awful event, what would be the best way to get through it? MarketingProfs explores the dreadful possibility in this online article. Knock on wood and take a look at these six tips for handling the worst:
- Call the client. Get yourself calmed down and centered, then reach out to the ex-client. This doesn’t have a whole lot of appeal but it’s important for two reasons. First, there’s a chance that you may be able to clear up a misunderstanding or solve whatever problem drove this formerly stellar client away. Secondly, even if you can’t fix it (whether it’s hurt feelings or their own budgetary concerns), you need to find out if any aspect of the decision to leave was based on something your firm should know about and change, to make sure the situation doesn’t repeat itself with other clients.
- Study the numbers. Another step that you’d just as soon avoid, to be sure, but this one is critical. Take as many deep breaths as necessary and make a thorough analysis of the new financial reality. Look at your revised revenue stream and your expenses so you have a realistic assessment of what is possible and for how long. No matter how bad it is, you can do a better job of making decisions when you know how the numbers crunch.
- Take care of your other clients. Demoralizing as it is, this is no time to sink into a funk and let the business collapse around you. Spend extra effort connecting with the clients that remain, thinking creatively about new and better ways to serve their needs. It’s possible that you can expand your services that way, and the enhanced focus can only help those relationships.
- Use your network. Remember all those colleagues and connections you’ve cultivated? Reach out to them now and ask about suggestions for potential new business. As you know, an awful lot of work comes through referrals from people who know what makes your services special.
It’s never good news, but losing a major client doesn’t have to mean total disaster. Your firm can survive this and emerge stronger after a regrouping period and a bit of wise reflection.
Can you share any experiences about how your firm got through a shocking loss of a client? We’d like to hear what worked for you.