13 Nov, 2020
What do clients need us to do?
This informal CPD article What do clients need us to do was provided by Capitalise an Adviser-led capital advisory platform, designed to help businesses build stronger, healthier balance sheets.
Capitalise accountant in residence Kirsty McGreggor takes a look at the effect COVID 19 has had on professionals and their clients.
This pandemic has resulted in advisers being thrown ever closer to their clients. As lockdowns come and go, business support seemingly changing by the day and trading conditions constantly in a state of flux, the nation’s business owners are turning to their professional advisers to provide them with information and possible solutions to allow them to trade through this period.
However, it’s become much more than that. Brilliant advisers across the country have been stepping up to provide a sense of calm, ensuring that their clients have a plan and a direction of travel, and if necessary, adapting that time and again when businesses find that the goalposts have moved.
Accountants are not just ‘doing numbers’. Lawyers are not only ‘reading the small print’. So how do professionals expand their role beyond the obvious and evolve into a trusted business adviser?
1. Communicate the facts but also give insight
It’s easy to reproduce the government’s communications and share this with your clients. But they will receive the same information from a multitude of sources including other professionals and the media. Where advisers can really add value is when they provide some insight about how those facts could affect their clients. That narrative will have far more impact on business owners and will be more memorable.
2. Have the confidence to ask the difficult questions
Rather than working on a single project and moving on, most advisers want to support their clients through their whole business journey. However, this means that you have to dig deeper and understand your clients’ personal goals as well as their business goals. Advisers who have the confidence to ask about these and challenge their clients when things aren’t going so smoothly, will become those professionals who the business owners trust. Creating this bond ensures that the longer-term relationship is ‘sticky’ as these businesses become forever grateful for that support.
3. Hold clients to account
All business owners are busy. When times are tough they often can’t ‘see the wood for the trees’ and distractions are numerous. These occasions are when an adviser really earns their fees and demonstrates their value, ensuring that their clients can see the path ahead clearly and keep to their plan. That can mean calling clients to task, to remind them of their obligations, their intended actions and gently encouraging them to refocus and deliver that plan. It can be awkward and it takes some confidence to handle these conversations appropriately. But your client will thank you for it in the long run.
Trusted advisers who see their role as wider than their technical appointment will be able to recognise that, in giving encouragement to their clients, they can be a calming influence when the rest of the trading environment is so uncertain.
And doesn’t everyone need a little piece of calm nowadays?
We hope this article was helpful. For more information from Capitalise, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.