Client Relationships – Taking the Long View

I read recently a great article in BRW where Anthony Bell, founder of Bell Partners who at the tender age of 39 is the only accountant to make BRW’s Young Rich List, discussed his personalised and long-view approach to developing client relationships, and I was so inspired and impressed, I would like to share it with all of you.

When asked what makes a good accountant, and where other firms go wrong, he cited the need to develop a strong relationship with clients.  What was surprising was that Anthony has clearly invested a great deal of time and personal effort in building long-term relationships with clients and their families both on and off the clock.  For example, he is godfather to 16 children, 14 of whom are children of his clients.  Now that’s a serious commitment!  He says that when he talks to colleagues, he asks his managers how many of their clients got married this year and of those, how many wedding invitations they received, and from his perspective, ‘none’ is the wrong answer.

Now clearly this approach is not for everyone, and I do believe in the need for there to be some separation between work and personal life.  Blurring the two can mean that you never feel that the work day ends, but from my own experience, forging strong relationships with the members of my Advisory Board, my treasured Queens, the royal family (our clients) as well as other partners, I too have found that both my personal and work lives have been enriched.

What it all boils down to is the quality of relationships.  By working hard on developing meaningful relationships with clients, partners, suppliers, media contacts and all of the many people who help me to run Publicity Queen, it means that when I need a level of service above and beyond the normal, the strength of these relationships means I can call in a favour or two.

The flipside of that scenario is the need to be appreciative and thankful of the support we receive.  For example, when we work closely with a media contact and they give one of our clients a good run, such as the front covers we have scored in The Australian Financial Review, The Courier Mail, City News and mX, or like the national media coverage we will get for the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal on “Hey Hey It’s Saturday” this Saturday night, we thank them personally.  And when we receive outstanding support from our suppliers, we make sure they know they are appreciated by giving a gift to show our appreciation, as we did recently for our IT gurus at BizTopia who always go that extra mile to help us out.

As we approach the Christmas season, where we traditionally count our blessings and give thanks, let’s keep in mind all the people who help us to build and grow our businesses.  There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child, and I believe it takes a village to grow a business too, so make sure all the people in your village know they are appreciated and valued.

Publicity QueenYours in PR,

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