Buyers of professional services have no way of assessing your expertise as a provider. They are buying a relationship. What they can absolutely assess, however, is if they feel valued.
Buyers not only want to work with people they like and trust, but they want to feel that their lawyer or their CPA really values the relationship with them. What are you doing to demonstrate the value of the relationships you have with your customers? How do they feel it?
At Corbett, Duncan & Hubly, we want to build deep and meaningful relationships with those who share our core values. Our mission is simple: to create a five-star experience for our customers and our team members. One of the ways we are able to build deeper relationships with customers is to sit down and think about them and how we can help them–and not worry about if we can bill the time “invested.” It’s one of the reasons that we have eliminated hourly billing and that we no longer keep timesheets. We’re looking for ways to add value that the customer can feel, not just assuming that because we spent more time thinking of a solution, that it is automatically worth more to them. There’s nothing worse for a customer than getting a bill for something they had no idea was happening, or had no opportunity to decide its’ worth.
Think about a key relationship you have with an attorney, a doctor or an accountant. How do you feel about the relationship? Are they thinking about how to help you when you’re not sitting in front of them? Do you have regular interactions? Do they reach out to you with proactive information that can help you? Are they saving you money, helping grow your business or helping you sleep better at night? If they are, chances are that you really value the relationship with them, and you feel they value your business, too.
However, if all you are concerned about is the bill you’re going to receive for every 15 minutes spent on the phone or meeting with them, then you may not feel the same.
What things are you doing to demonstrate that you value key relationships? I’d love to hear from you.