We are very careful who comes in as a client, and usually if we get a bad feeling on the initial call we don’t proceed.
This article is an example of where we got our client selection wrong. In fact… it’s possibly one of the worst ones ever. ‘The worst?!’ We hear you gasp! Yup. One of the important things a firm needs to do when they start working with us, is to listen and follow our suggestions.
The path to success is a simple one. Not always easy, but very simple.
Here’s the thing… Most clients who work with us nail it. They smash it. And we exceed their expectations by a big margin. But not all. Not all staff succeed, despite us giving them the tools and the opportunity. And the same goes for clients. We’ve had about a handful of clients who failed over the years, which isn’t bad given we serve more than 80 businesses. So they are a minority. But… 100% of the minority who failed did so because they didn’t listen.
Obvious, right? So what went wrong? Everything.
‘Hang on! Aren’t we supposed to be selling our services? Why are we revealing things like this? Won’t this hurt our sales?’ It might hurt sales, but that doesn’t bother us. We’d rather keep it real. And transparent. Most people appreciate that, and it’s the way we work anyway.
So… Last year we had our initial call with this firm. To have the call with us, they had to go to the shop and buy a webcam. Nobody had one in the office. Skype was also foreign to them.
That should have been a big red flag, right? But we didn’t put the brakes on…and decided to give the firm a chance.
So what went wrong?
1. They launched their offshoring project right at the beginning of busy season.
That’s fine, but not if there’s no time to do training.
2. They rarely spoke to their employee. How is it possible to train and coach an
employee if you don’t speak to them? It isn’t.
3. There was basically no training given. Most of the feedback was done via email.
How effective do you think this was? Email sucks for communication. Jobs were
passed to the employee with limited recourse to ask questions or seek guidance too.
4. After two months they complained to us it wasn’t working. Right now, are you thinking
as I am? Exactly. Time to move the client on.
5. And to just prove the bad fit – they wanted to end the engagement immediately. No
notice. Umm… and what about the employee they hired? Zero regard for the person they hired. They just wanted to switch it off… I think they just wanted an excuse to run
away from their commitment.
Sometimes firms want to know about other firms who failed. It’s a good question.
And it’s a very simple answer. They failed because they didn’t listen, and then implement what we teach them. They failed because they didn’t communicate with staff.
The good news is another one of our clients will take the employee into their successful team, and we’ll punt the other firm from our business FAST. ‘Are we being a bit harsh aren’t we?’ No. Decisive.
We could have done a better job with our client filtering in the first place though, so that’s on us ultimately. But once the error is realised – decisions get made quickly to restore things to normal as quickly as possible.
Where to From Here
If you are ready to be at the forefront of the accounting profession by building an offshore team, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or book an appointment with our team to get you started