This time of year it’s hard to be proactive with your clients. With deadlines looming, you are pushed into “critical needs” mode. However, because you are interacting with so many clients and pouring over details of their financial and business situation, the opportunities for being proactive are virtually endless. Faced with a bounty of opportunities and limited time what should you do?
You should create your ABS (After Busy Season) call list! As you can imagine, this is a call list based upon potential opportunities uncovered in busy season that you will act upon after busy season.
To make this easy and actionable I usually recommend limiting your ABS list to a manageable number of top clients only. While an argument could be made that you should be reaching out to all of your clients after busy season, realistically it makes sense to prioritize the highest value relationships first. I’ve posted a sample form on my website for you to download here: Sample ABS Call Planning Template
Now, it’s not enough to just to put the client name down. I want you to put some trigger items down that will jog your memory when you are able to chat with them. Here are some common triggers that could generate meaningful discussions with clients after busy season:
- How will the new tax law affect their business? What related planning opportunities are there?
- A client bought a significant amount of new equipment last year. Are they trying to grow a new area of their business?
- A client acquired real estate in a different market from where they are now. What future SALT issues could be looming?
- A client rapidly increased their revenues. Are their internal controls adequate as they continue to grow?
Once you jot this down for a few clients on your ABS form, go into your calendar and set reminder appointments for yourself, perhaps one a week from May-August. Then put it in a visible place in your office so you are constantly reminded of the need to plan for ABS conversations and execute on them.
I know it’s hard to juggle everything during busy season. But, hopefully this simple exercise will enable you to capture the great opportunity inherent in busy season — and allow you to capitalize on it this summer. Stay strong my friends – see you on the other side!