The First Time She Is Celebrated...

As I mentioned in the title, my daughter, Lily, turns 8 today. We adopted her this summer from Uganda, and she was found at a very young age at a refugee camp on the border of Sudan. Until this summer, she had spent her entire life in a large orphanage in a small town in West Uganda.

Today, for the first time in her life, she gets to be celebrated (a bit on why this relates to you in a moment).

But you should have seen her face when we woke her up this morning ... you see, she's been counting down the days since this fall, after watching her siblings all be celebrated on THEIR birthdays, and I know how hard it was for her -- but she was an amazing sport about it all, loving them each so well. We're planning a surprise party for her tonight after dinner (shhh, don't tell!).

Here's why I tell you all of this (aside from the fact that I like to give you a window into our world):

Your clients, likewise, crave affirmation, celebration and acknowledgement.

And tax season is the perfect time to give it to them. And, in fact, doing so gives you one of your most powerful opportunities to seal your relationship with them, for life.

Train your staff (and/or yourself!) to learn this art of acknowledgement. Because you and they will be getting a clear picture of how your clients' businesses and families did -- from a revenue perspective, and, of course, other metrics.

Afer all -- how many other people do they really allow to see these sensitive financial details? Not many.

Just a few things you can celebrate with them:

  • Increased profits in their business
  • Promotions reflected by an increase in pay
  • Paying their mortgage down further
  • Robust charitable donations, in the midst of tight circumstances
  • Adding employees to their business (and providing a living to their families!)

And more -- I think you get the idea.

Now, it's probably also true that some of your clients are NOT doing so well. So this is your chance to acknowledge their struggle, and affirm their persistence in it.

Sometimes people just need someone to believe in them. And when it's done in the context of their being fully known (from a financial perspective) it carries that much more weight.

So, I know that with Christmas and Hanukkah looming, many tax professionals are taking the next couple weeks "easy". But even if that's your plan, I suggest you make a point NOW to train your staff on this crucial opportunity which you and they will have to form an emotional connection with your community of clients, these next few months during tax season.

Feel free to share this email with your staff, if you think it will help. [Or just steal my words and pretend like you wrote it yourself! You have my permission:)]

God bless you -- enjoy these holidays.

(Oh, and if you're interested, my wife posted something on her blog about my sweet Lily's birthday right here:
http://everybitterthingissweet.com/2011/12/her-first-birthday/ )

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