60% of SME owners say that the accountant is the most trusted advisor. For only 20% this is a business network and less than 10% trust consultants, lawyers or banks! Wow, good to hear! (source)
Whether an SME comes to you for advice depends on several factors. In general, it is mainly the SMEs that are larger, younger, more indebted or looking for capital and who want to grow that are looking for advice.
Tip: make sure your customers know that you can help them with this! Focus your "marketing" on these groups!
The relationship between customer and accountant is based on trust, competence and proximity. SMEs literally expect their accountant to be next to them. Despite the possibilities of modern communication technologies, they prefer face-to-face conversations.
Tip: visit your customers regularly, visit their company.
(Do you think you don't have enough time for that? The next blog post is about efficiency!)
Communication is sometimes a bit tricky, because traditional accountancy documents are difficult for the uninitiated to understand.
Tip: don't beat your customer up with jargon, but put yourself in his place.