September 22, 2023

Episode 89: Claire Evans, Head of Client Solutions at All In Place

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The Story

Don't you agree that it would be profoundly useful if you could get a sideways view of what's going on in the accounting profession, a sideways view from a fellow financial professional, but through a different lens? On this Humanise the Numbers podcast discussion with Claire Evans, you'll get the perspective of someone from the financial services industry.

Claire's worked in that industry for a long time. She has trained a lot of financial services people and is training accountants now on both personal and business cash flow and how to bolt the two together. And she talks profoundly, deeply, about the need, the value, of a long-lasting, meaningful client relationship with a real future focus.

You’ll hear Claire unpack her five-stage framework for running a brilliant client meeting, as well as many other powerful insights.

I hope you enjoy this discussion with Claire as much as I did.

Please scroll down this episode page for the contact information for Claire and for the additional, downloadable resources mentioned in this podcast.

The Solution:

The profession needs to have that training piece really first to understand:

“What are the great questions? When can I ask them? How do I bring this up? How do I start really softly?”

They say things like – “I just want this to feel natural, I've known this client for ten years and I should know this stuff, and I'm actually a bit embarrassed that I'm having to go back now and find out the name of that person's kids because I've never asked the question before because all I've ever done is tax and compliance”.

And that is a real challenge, that's why a lot of people don't do it because they're scared of the client saying, “Hold on a minute, what do you need to know that for? Hold on, you've been doing my taxes for ages, why do we need to do this?”

So, what's really important is that you start signposting to clients that you are going to have these conversations and there are a number of ways that you can do that.

You can send them a meeting agenda – it's funny because when we're doing our training sessions, I always ask, do you use a meeting agenda? Almost without exception, most of the group will have an agenda, but they don't use it all the time and they don't share it with the client.

So, it's almost like a little secret - this is what I'm going to cover with you, but actually, I'm not going to share this with you, Mr. Client, because we're going to probably do the same things we've always done, so you don't need to worry.





Connect with Claire

Connect with Paul

Resources relating to this podcast:

In this podcast, Paul mentions Edgar Schien's book, Humble Inquiry, when discussing the importance of the 3 C's to a high trust conversation.

The 3 C's are Curiosity, Care and Committment, and Paul and Claire both agree that if you bring them into every client conversation, any questions you ask you will be in the right space. The details of Edgar Schien's book are below, along with his other publications.

Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling. Click the image to purchase the book.

Humble Consulting: How to Provide Real Help Faster. Click the image to purchase the book.

Humble Leadership: The Power of Relationships, Openness, and Trust. Click the image to purchase the book.

Paul and Claire discuss the importance of an agenda, a framework, a structure or process, when it comes to managing meetings with clients. Having a structure and framework that you then share with the clients in advance provides reassurance and security for them and signposts what is coming and what the conversation will be about. 

Paul mentions a Business Breakthrough report called 'Checklist Success' and talks about the difference that a simple pre-op checklist made to surgeons and doctors. If they can perform better with a checklist then so can you.

Click the button below the read this Business Breakthrough report.

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