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Client Retention Requires Assertiveness

November 12, 2010
Leadership Advisory

Assertiveness is a critical personality trait for maintaining client focus.  Assertive people have a forceful presence and a natural ability to advocate for the client.  They effectively influence and direct client engagement team members to serve the client well.

Assertiveness gives you the advantage on client retention.  Assertiveness does not mean being aggressive.  We are talking about being confident and having a forceful personality without being confrontational.

According to a recent findings from the CCH Accounting Firm client survey, most of the top 10 reasons clients leave are related to assertiveness.  Reasons like the firm not checking in regularly, failing to efficiently provide requested information, not keeping client up to date on regulations and delivery of quality services, usually are the result of low assertiveness.

Excellence in client service takes initiative and commitment to lead others in a responsive and confident manner.

If you are less assertive than you should be or too low key in serving clients, consider making a few changes.

1.  When the client challenges you, don’t back down too quickly.  Ensure them that you understand the issues and respond confidently and efficiently to their requests.

2.  Practice being more vocal and persuasive with peers and staff.

3.  Offer your ideas first.  Don’t hesitate or wait for others.

4.  Check in with your client regularly even if you do not have a specific agenda.  Ask them about new developments in their business and show interest.

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