A few weeks ago I was invited to an event launching the corporate offering of a well known online retailer. It was a great event – wonderful venue with harbour views, tasty food & beverages and an eclectic crowd. It was a most enjoyable evening.
However, there was one highlight that especially stuck out to me – the key note speaker was a chap named Martin Grunstein. I had vaguely heard of his name before so I didn’t know quite what to expect. Martin describes himself as “The Customer Service Expert” He was a most engaging speaker and had a unique style of delivery. Although Martin’s experience is predominantly retail, a lot of the material he presented at the event is easily transferable to professional services such as accounting.
One of his points that stuck with me was the importance of telling your clients and prospective clients what you actually do for the fee that you charge. It is vitally important that you give clear reasons as to why the fee is at the level it is.
For example, lets say that a prospective client of yours questions why your fee for a specific project is $15,000 rather than $10,000 from a competitor – or in other words why are you 50% more expensive? According to Martin, the onus is upon you as the service provider to tell the client why you are more expensive and why your service is superior.
In the above example, reasons may include:
- You as the client are assigned one contact person whom you can contact at anytime regarding anything to do with the project.
- Access to other clients of the firm who have done the same project in their businesses so you as the new client can learn from their combined experiences
- Complimentary phone support for 12 months following the project completion.
Each of the above reasons represent significant benefit to the client, lowers risk and increases the likelihood of the project being successful. It is then a simple case of saying to the client, “This is why we are 50% more expensive. Go and ask the other firm if they can do the same. If they can do it for the lower price go for it. If they have to charge more then ask them why they didn’t include these aspects in their original proposal?
Either way – you set yourself apart as the more professional and more informed provider.