The simple CRM lesson every lawyer and accountant can learn from Edward VII

05 Sep 2018

I was very recently told quite a good story.  Whilst hosting a very high ranking Indian guest at a royal banquet, the then king Edward VII noticed the visiting dignitary drinking form his finger bowl.  Rather than pulling him up on this obvious etiquette faux pas, the king picked his bowl up and did exactly the same.

The reason I was told the story is the chap I was talking to was trying to illustrate what ‘being a gentleman’ actually meant but it struck me that it also provides a critical lesson in effective client relationship management (CRM).

Before we get started let me assure you I’m not about to suggest you mirror all of your clients’ bad table manners while you’re out together.  I’m definitely not!  However, it did get me to thinking about one of the most effective ways I’ve found to make sure conversations with clients and contacts are always as easy and open as possible –

Make sure you’re prepared to flex to what they like to do.

If you want your working relationships to develop, you need to be prepared to invest in them.  Find out who likes what – who likes a coffee and who likes a beer, who likes a breakfast and who likes a lunch, who likes an office visit and who likes an invite to a sporting or social event – then make sure your requests to meet match those preferences.

Why?  Well there are 3 reasons:

1  The person will be more likely to accept which means you’ll get a higher acceptance rate and won’t have to spend so much time chasing up a reply (which means you can do more proper BD and less admin)

2  Your guest will be more relaxed in the surroundings they prefer which will make conversation easier (and increase the likelihood they’ll tell you something you want to hear)

3  Your guest will be genuinely flattered which will mark you out from their other advisers who probably persist in forwarding the same old invites (and increase the likelihood the next opportunity will come your way rather than theirs)

If you’d like to discuss how to improve the way you approach client development meetings and client development plans, please drop me a line and we can sort out a time for a coffee (or, of course, whatever works best for you).

Posted by Douglas  |   0 Comments

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