In the coming months, I will share a series of messages covering each of the ten behavioral traits which define the Withum Way. We introduced this list for the first time at the State of the Firm event in January 2012, having created it with the intent to define the core values of our firm’s people. This is the way we think; this is the way we feel; this is what we do. These behaviors go beyond office walls, beyond service and industry niche teams, as they spill over into the way we choose to perform, even in our personal lives. As we grow as a firm, defining the Withum Way philosophy serves as a playbook for younger staff and new members of our Withum family on how to continue developing our culture, our brand and our business strategies, essentially institutionalizing our culture.
So, today, we begin with the first trait:
- Think Client Centrically. The purpose behind most everything we do revolves around the betterment of our relationships with our clients. This is the impetus behind providing ‘world-class client service.’
Competition is fierce. We are amazed to hear how our clients receive telephone calls from other accounting firms pitching their services and promising lower fees of “discounts of 10% off whatever Withum is charging,” for example. That’s an actual quote from one of our direct competitors who was hawking our client. What sets our firm apart from its competitors, however, is our unwavering commitment to providing World Class Service to our clients, going above and beyond what is expected. As stated in our Core Values messaging, our greatest success is derived from working alongside every client as a true partner, and watching their business grow and thrive. We are more than just accountants. We are business advisors who offer innovative solutions and alternative ideas to help our clients succeed.
To really make an impression with our highly valued clients, take the time to actually speak with them at least once a month, if not more often. Pick up the phone and make a call. Arrange a time to stop by their offices just to see how things are. Take your clients out to breakfast or lunch and discuss face-to-face what is keeping them up at night. Make it a point to let your client know you value their business. And don’t be afraid of getting to know your clients on a personal level. Ask about their family; ask about their interests. You may be pleasantly surprised to learn how much you have in common. It’s the little things that go a long way in preserving your client relationships and solidifying your role as trusted advisor. Frequent touches with our clients help to ensure they are our clients for many years to come.