How to grow profit by coaching your team to run high value client meetings

Sarah BroderickCOO & Co-Founder, Connect4

When was the last time you thought about how you deliver a client meeting?

If you’re like many seasoned leaders, it’s been a while. You learned skills and habits over time that construct your effective delivery workflow. Your clients gave feedback and, along the way, you’ve found successes that work for you to make meetings progressive. 

That, however, took hundreds of hours in client meetings, and you may not have that resource to give your team as your business grows. The good news: there’s a way to coach your team to succeed in your place at every client meeting.

Are you brave enough to dare to lead the way? 

Deconstruct your client meeting workflow

When coaching a team, the most important component is to have a playbook. Breaking down your own success executing a particular skill and verbalizing it enforces thinking through the ‘whys’ behind your process. 

This can be tough, but it’s worth it. Especially when your business is growing and you need your team to deliver on your expectations. 

I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.
Brene Brown, Dare to Lead

To build better, you need to start by deconstructing how you run your meetings. Break down each meeting into the steps you take. 

Getting started is easy. Take 10 minutes today or tomorrow to think back to your last 5 client meetings. Sketch out the steps or the workflow for those meetings. 

Here are a few questions to help: 

  1. What do I do to prepare for a meeting that’s been booked? 

  2. How do I deliver the meeting to progress my relationship with the client?

  3. Are there actions I take after a meeting to communicate expectations? 

These are likely your tactics—the repeatable components of your personal meeting playbook.

Next, it’s time to think of the strategy elements of these client meetings. Revisit your list and layer in the following:

  • How did I know and manage the client’s expectations based on the services or offering rendered? 

  • What did I do to uncover churn risks, upsells or cross selling opportunities? 

  • If I wasn’t there, what would my team need to know, plan for or do?

That’s the hard work. Now, it’s time for the fun.

The power of creating a playbook for client meeting workflows

Defining your business’s playbook is an act of leadership. Empowering your team and trusting they’ll deliver in their role is the mark of a good leader. When you’ve prepared your team, no matter how difficult it is, move out of the way. You will likely be delighted, and sometimes surprised, by the outcomes.

You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the levels of your systems.
James Clear, Atomic Habits

It’s all about building a repeatable workflow your team uses to consistently deliver progressive, high value client meetings. It means you, as the team or business leader, don’t need to deliver every single monthly meeting for every single client.

But, this takes coaching and planning. This is where purpose-built workflows can help you and your team work smarter, not harder. So where do you start? 

It’s now time to look at your deconstructed client meeting workflow and start building your team’s playbook. This process involves building around 3 key components: 

  • Prepare: the steps to take before the meeting

  • Meet: the guide for delivering in the meeting

  • Act: the progressing actions to communicate 

How top accountants build their playbooks

Let’s learn from others on how they created their playbooks. 

Nephos Accountants and Myna Accountants

For Joe David, founder of Nephos Accountants and Myna Accountants, scaling a business is all about building a team and processes.

To successfully scale two businesses, building solid playbooks and systems to empower his teams is foundational. 

Nephos Accounting is Joe’s first business. He’s been running it for 7 years and has reached a team of 12 that leverage technology to provide the best advisory service to clients. 

In 2021, Joe started Myna Accountants in response to a growing demand for accounting expertise in the nascent world of cryptocurrencies for individual investors, startups and software platforms that use blockchain technology. 

To develop each team’s playbooks, Joe looks at his processes and technology to continually improve the way his teams operate. First, he tests technology himself to sort out his steps to deliver prospect and client work. Then, he transitions into building out his playbook and works with his leadership teams to roll-out to the wider team. This is part of what led him to investigate Connect4.

We’re excited by Connect4 because it truly puts the client at the heart of our service offering. It enforces really good meeting behavior—setting agendas, scheduling follow-up meetings, etc.—there’s no getting away from it.
Joe David, Nephos Accountants & Myna Accountants

Tennick Accountancy

Tennick Accountancy is a Newcastle, UK-based firm focused on building business legacies with award-winning accountancy services. 

Winner of the Digital Accountancy Show Accountant of the year in 2020, Graeme Tennick is a recognized leader in the UK. He and his team service 300+ clients by bringing the human side of accountancy and business relationships to life while harnessing the power of modern financial management technology. 

Graeme has been working to build their playbook with his team to deliver consistently and at-scale with their growing client base. When asking Graeme how he’s done this, he takes lead from sporting legends Sir David Braislsford and the British Cycling team that brought the UK back to global success. Here’s how Grame looks at working with his team and clients: 

Where are your 1% improvements? What information do you already have at your fingertips which, with some assistance, could turn into 1% improvements in your business? Sometimes you just need a fresh approach or new set of eyes to help build out and identify the key metrics and drivers within your business that are most likely to identify change that will help drive your business forward.
 Graeme Tennick, Tennick Accountancy

Greame shares more on the topic in his blog.

At Connect4, we’ve been working with these top accountants to ensure they have the technology to deliver consistent and progressive meetings across the team. The Prepare. Meet. Act. workflow in Connect4 ensures Joe, Graeme and others build their playbook for team members to succeed. We’re lucky to work with them to create a technology with the right tools and material to conduct easy-to-join meetings that can be easily followed up and actioned.

The next step in the equation for all was ensuring client meetings are turned into actions and notes that are exactly where you need them—with their client information in Karbon. We're excited for this integration to launch in early-2022.

Coaching your team

Think about someone you think of as a great coach. Someone who gets the best performance from their team whether present or not. How active are they during ‘game time’?  

Let’s say you’ve launched your playbook across your team. You can now use it to compliment the team’s goals. If you haven’t set goals yet (or are looking to revise your existing ones), here are a few KPIs to start using with your client facing team: 

  • Run five client calls a month

  • Explain new relevant services lines in 50% of meetings

  • Book the next meeting in every client meeting

Now it’s your team’s ‘game time’. Use this opportunity to watch how the training and targets are implemented by your team—whether you’re on the field or on the sideline. This is where coaching begins: with observation and tracking. 

Find a system to watch your team’s performance and monitor their progress overtime. Your system could be:

  • Reviewing notes from client meetings in Karbon.

  • Listening to recorded Zoom calls while riding your Peloton each morning. 

  • Reviewing meeting insights in your Connect4 account. 

The coaching comes when meeting with your team. For one-on-ones or weekly ‘all hands’ meetings, the power of your system will come into the processes of your business. 

Technology will be your assistant coach, highlighting the data behind the actions taken in client meetings. But there is no ‘big brother’ in this assistant—it’s important to create transparency in the data for your team to embrace and be empowered to better themselves too. 

Key takeaways 

The key takeaways to coach your team:

  • Break it down before building it up—to build a playbook, look within

  • Consistency is key—for clients and team—in a growing business

  • Build a playbook using Prepare. Meet. Act. to empower your team 

  • Technology is your assistant coach 

  • Coaching is a team sport

Many thanks to our customers for sharing their ‘dare to lead’ playbook development. We’re proud to work with inspiring leaders building scaling business—we’re excited for the team’s continual growth, as well as yours!

Sarah Broderick
COO & Co-Founder, Connect4

At Connect4, Sarah leads the commercial teams to GSD and delivers more for customers. During 15 years of client-facing roles in software and financial services, she's become passionate about creating client transparency through consistent, humanized interactions as the key to building strong business relationships.

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