On Building A Real Herd

It's one thing to have a client list. It's a whole 'nother thing to have a responsive and loyal list. That's what we call around here a "herd".

So, how do you build that kind of loyalty? A bunch of ideas for you today...

1. Personality

One of the first things you need to understand is that your clients and prospects WANT to see you as a real person. In our industry, all your competitors seem to be out to out-bore each other. Now, there are legitimate arguments for not creating a
"brand" based on your personality -- the most compelling being what happens when you go to sell the company to some great big, giant, big dumb firm, or another tax pro? Is it an impediment or is it not an impediment?

My argument is that you can cross that bridge when you get there -- and it's MUCH easier to buildyour firm with a real personality behind it.

2. Philosophy

People either attach or fail to attach to a belief system -- and for your purposes, you've got a ready-made one all tied up in a bow: being "anti-tax". Even if you're politically left-of-center, or many of your clients are, the fact is that nobody likes paying more taxes (not even Warren Buffett!). You see, relationship's are all about emotional connection. When you have a belief system that you stand for and represent, it will consequently result in your clients and prospects beginning to feel attachment to what you're doing.

Your beliefs need to be interwoven and reflected in everything that you do. I have my own beliefs, and most of my clients and prospects get a feel for it. When I make business decisions, I look for ways that we can be consistent--  not just with 'how to' but with 'why to' do something. This creates a philosophical connection

Do you have a philosophical component? Do your clients know what it is? And are they attaching themselves to it? There is a mission aspect to this because people tend to want to be attached and feel involved with something. Again that has a higher, more meaningful purpose than just growing their business, making more money, and certainly more than transactions between parties.

3. Frequency

How frequently do we need to be in a client's life? I say that you should be in their life as much as humanly possible. The value of a client is either going up or going down in every single day. Therefore, if your primary connection with your clients occurs once a month (or once a year -- yikes!) then there are 29 (or 364!) days of value lost in that herd before you try and pump the value back up.

That's a bad equation.

As Dan Kennedy has said, repeatedly: "no matter what religion you pick, it doesn't matter what outfit they wear or what hat they have on their head, what God they worship, what set of commandments they follow -- the one commonality in all of religions is they try and get everybody to a meeting once a week."

Well, there's a reason for that. Frequency begets longevity. So there's a reason good reason that church meets every Sunday (besides God's Sabbath commandment, of course -- perhaps He had this in mind?).

It's because seven days is about as far as they can let people go without losing them all together.

So consistency is really about creating the standards of things happening -- which creates a level of expectation and anticipation.

So, I've got plenty more to say on this topic, but I'm going to leave it there for now, and come back next week with more ideas for you.

You gotta build a herd!

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