Have meaningless conversations with your business owner clients and it’s easy to predict clients leaving your firm for a competitor, eventually.

Have MEANINGFUL conversations with your clients and it’s easy to predict improved client loyalty, more cross-sales and more referrals too.

Meaningless is a provocative word. Check out the synonyms for meaningless, they too are provocative:

Worthless; Pointless; Futile; Insignificant; Unimportant; Throwaway

I know the last thing you want to do is have meaningless conversations with clients and prospects.

But what determines the quality of a conversation with your client or prospect?

Your preparation and planning determines the quality of your conversations.

Measure the value of your conversations…

So how would you rate, on a 1 to 10 scale, your habitual preparation and planning for client meetings and prospect meetings?

Score yourself 9 or 10 if you always have 2 or 3 crystal clear SMART** goals for every meeting and have prepared 20 high-quality questions to ask in your meeting. This puts you at the meaningful end of the conversation scale.

If you’re dreaming up questions whilst you’re in meetings with clients and don’t have crystal clear goals for every client meeting, score yourself less than 5. This puts you at the meaningless end of the conversation scale!

Your competitive battleground…

The competitive battleground for the hearts and minds of your clients and prospects is the conversations you have with them.

The quality of your conversations improve if-and-when you prepare for them brilliantly.


If you don’t prepare well for client meetings and your competition do prepare well for meetings with your client (their prospect) how good or bad will you then appear to your client?

What’s your preparation routine or preparation habit for post year-end and pre year-end meetings? What about management accounts meetings? Prospect meetings?

How could you improve this routine so your client conversations are of a higher, more meaningful, more valuable nature?

NB If you want to be able to talk about profit improvement insights with clients check out the ‘business advisory’ newsletter we produce for accountants-in-practice every 2 months. The first one you receive will be about asking better questions - here

Paul Shrimpling


**SMART goals – specific; measurable; ambitious; relevant; time-bound goals