Making Your Clients, Referral Sources and Staff Feel Special 

    by Dov Zaidman CPA, CITP, CGMA 

    Making Your Clients, Referral Sources and Staff Feel SpecialAt ZBS Group LLP, we carefully foster a culture where our clients and our staff feel like they are special, because they are.  Our tag line is “We treat every client like it's our only client.”  Whether it’s a client, prospect, referral source or staff member, we want them to feel special and know that we’re here to help them.

    For us, this starts with our physical environment.  We created an environment in our office that is pleasant to both our staff and our clients.  We recently moved our practice into new space that we designed and built from scratch, so we focused on making it very comfortable and welcoming.  When clients come into the reception area they are made comfortable and offered a cup of coffee, tea or other beverage of their choice.  My clients know that they can stop by and get an espresso at any time and the invitation is often accepted because the relationship we have with our clients is both as financial partners and as friends, too.  We develop friendly relationships with our clients so they know they can call us for reasons other than accounting or tax.

    For our clients to feel that they are unique, we have to be available and accessible to them – just like you would reach out to a friend.  I make it a point to speak to our major clients and our referral sources often.  My goal is to find out what is new with them, discuss new business opportunities, problem-solve current challenges they are facing or help them navigate major decisions.  This deepens my relationship with them and allows me to get to know them better so that I often engage in finding new opportunities to work together or to find additional ways we can be of service to them.

    Communicating What Services We Offer

    We target our marketing messages and activities to let prospective clients know that we understand their unique needs and issues.  For example, instead of promoting general tax and auditing services, we target specialty services like business valuation, litigation support or audit services in specific industries.  Then we tailor the message to a business, attorney or individual who might have a specific need because of a merger, estate transaction or divorce.  This kind of targeted messaging has proven to be very effective using Google Ads.  If the message is general, it is simply a branding activity that gets our name out there.  If we focus on a specialty service or industry, the ad then becomes a lead generation activity that brings new prospects that we can turn into new clients for the firm.

    We support our advertising and other marketing activities with our website and social media presence.  We have a company page on Facebook, profiles on LinkedIn and an interactive website with newsletters, guides for life events, investment strategies and other resources.  These tools and information are value-added to our clients but they also demonstrate to prospects the types of information and solutions we make available.

    Despite these social media and marketing platforms, the connections we make with investment bankers, security attorneys and our clients are the best sources for new clients.  Because of our investment in networking and building referral relationships, we have contacts referring us to new clients regularly.  And, since they already come referred, we develop a high close ratio with these prospects so a large percentage of them turn into clients.  I also have made it a priority to ask clients for referrals.  I know that a satisfied client will be my greatest source of referrals, which is a way to continue building my practice.

    You will build life-long client and referral relationships and loyal employees when you invest in people by:

    • Making them feel at home and comfortable with you – be approachable and available
    • Learning about what’s important to them by listening and asking questions more than talking
    • Tailoring your message to your prospects, clients and referral sources and telling them how you can help them solve a problem or achieve a goal based on the services you offer
    • Being proactive and asking for referrals to build your practice and expand your relationships

    Dov Zaidman CPA, CITP, CGMA is the Managing Partner of ZBS Group LLP, a small practice with three partners and three associates in Plainview, New York. For more information about ZBS Group LLP, visit

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