How To Spend More Time With Your Clients
Your top people aren’t spending enough time with customers.
I was reading a report on activities that professionals can outsource to assistants. Included in that list were activities such as:
- Reports for clients
- Correspondence with clients
- Time Tracking
- Billing preparation
- Internal database updates
- Monitoring workflow
- Advising clients of minutiae (registrations, obligations, assessments)
- Job budgets
In an informal survey of my professional service clients, those tasks represent somewhere around 2 hours a day in activity. Taking the top people’s average hourly rate, 5 days a week and 45 workweeks and you’re looking at equations that look like: 2 person firm, $150/hr ave, 900 hours equaling $135,000 a year of capacity. A 12 person firm adds up to $810,000 in capacity.
Where does this come from and what can be done about it?
First, let’s define a “top person.” They are the people in your firm with the experience and intellectual capital that future clients want to make use of. Professional service firms sell intellectual capital.
So, how do we free up their time to spend with clients?
It’s easy. Get a high-powered administrator to do the administrative tasks your top people do. Re-structure your business so your top people are delegating work to the administrative team so they can focus on spending more time with clients.
The administrator has one focus – keeping your top people focused on their high gain activities. Accounting, law, engineering, architecture. . .it’s all the same. You need one high-powered administrator for every 5 producers. Not graduate interns, but high-powered administrators. Not a new marketing person, or rainmaker or sales coordinator; a high-powered administrator.
It’s a concept that, when brought up, is met with heads nodding and partners muttering “I know, I know” or “We’re kind of doing that already” but their next comment is “we still need some help with business development.”
The help you need is hiding in plain sight. Relentlessly work to free up your top people’s time.
After their time is opened, we can get into the deeper issues of what your top people need to do with that extra time.