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Deeper Client Relationships at Scale #4 – Caren Hendrie – Transcript

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Deeper Client Relationships at Scale

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SUMMARY KEYWORDS

clients, people, business, accountants, conversations, financial planners, relationships, important, deeper, technology, bit, software, talking, efficiencies, fraser, bookkeepers, system, absolutely, meeting, scale

SPEAKERS

Caren Hendrie, Fraser Jack

 

Fraser Jack 

Welcome to the x y advisor podcast, a global community of financial advisors sharing and learning with one another to drive the positive evolution of financial advice. To get involved, go to x y advisor.com. Or simply download the x y advisor. This series deeper client relationships at scale is brought to you by my prosperity, the all in one client portal and app designed to enhance your practice efficiencies, promote your digital brand and grow your revenue. You can book a demo directly from the website, go to my prosperity.com.au Welcome back to the xy advisor podcast. I’m Fraser Jack and today I’m joined by Karen Hendry. Welcome, Karen. Thank you very much, Fraser. It’s fantastic to be here. Thank you for having me. Yeah. Excellent. It’s fantastic to have you so. So we’re talking about all things regarding deeper relationships at scale of obviously a series that’s brought to you by my prosperity. Thank you for joining us and bringing us this information. Tell us about yourself and what you’re doing at the moment.

 

Caren Hendrie 

Yeah, look, I’m so me. I, I was a financial planner for 20 odd years. And I tell you what, it’s a lot harder to be a financial planner these days than when I was was planning. But I also I’m part owner of an accounting and financial planning business that some it’s been around for over 40 years now phrases. So you know, obviously, I haven’t been in it for all those 40 years. Otherwise, I would have had to have started when I was like 10. But you know, it’s been around for a long time. I’ve been there for 28 of those years. And yes, so financial planning for about 20 odd years. But these days, my my focus is really around business advice. And so what I love doing is I advise other accounting, financial planning and bookkeeping practices on how to grow their business or change their business or get what they went out of their business. And look, basically, I’m just a shortcut. Right. So I just help people get there easier and faster than they then they might have otherwise.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. So you’re, you’re in and out of a lot of other accounting businesses and advice businesses and use your I guess you get to see a lot of different things, you get to see what’s working, what’s not working.

 

Caren Hendrie 

Yeah, for sure. And what’s what’s interesting, though, is most practices had the same sort of issues. Right, but the fundamentals don’t tend to change. And they have the same sort of frustrations, the same sort of problems, the same sort of concerns.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. And obviously, when when I think about this, some of those concerns to me, but we’ve been in it, and I guess that the topic of this series is all around the concept of how do we then have clients? How do we look after those clients? we nurture them? How do we have these deeper relationships with them? in what’s traditionally been just very much a, you know, sitting across the desk from another person type of relationship? And how do we then create scale around that?

 

Caren Hendrie 

Yeah, because that’s a massive issue for all those three types of businesses I just mentioned, right? Whether it’s financial planning, accounting, or bookkeeping, so financial planning, you have that massive compliance that you have to deal with these days. And so being able to still run a successful commercial business with with so much compliance has become a lot more challenging. And it’s no longer that you can, you know, the compliance that you have to do for somebody with $5,000 is pretty much the same as someone with $5 million. So that makes it really, really challenging accountants with the competition with technology these days and the fee pressure that accountants are experiencing. So that’s that’s an issue there. That means that scale becomes incredibly important. And for bookkeepers, I see it around just how busy bookkeepers Are they the sheer volume of work that they have to get through. So you know, if this scale becomes so important, no matter what business you’re in, in, in this business and finance industry,

 

Fraser Jack 

yep, fantastic. So if we start sort of high level here, there’s sort of three main sort of areas and concepts that you you sort of got around this in your opinion, all of it and they might chunk down into each one of those. This start with the big three.

 

Caren Hendrie 

Look, I think, if we’re if we’re going to be talking about scaling. I think your big three systems, right, you have to have your systems in place, then we’re talking communication. And really you know that that communication that depends upon, you’ve got to segment with that, that that communication and potentially look at one to many communication. And then I’d say it’s technology and software. So if you if you can tick those boxes, then I think you’re doing well. And if you can choose to do, and this is something that I find, certainly accountants and financial planners, they want to do everything at once, right. Whereas if you can pick one of those areas, get it working, then the next then the next, you know, pick the big, biggest hitters, and just work through them and smash them out and then move on to the next rather than trying to attack everything at the same time.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep, yep. Fantastic. So I guess I guess we need to really start back by you know, the old take one step back before you can take two steps forward type conversation.

 

Caren Hendrie 

Look, I think that I’m not telling anybody anything new, if we say that strong relationships are the cornerstone to any business, right? People respond really positively to feeling important. So if you can make them feel great about themselves and make them feel great about the relationship they have with you, then it’s probably going to be warm, and it’s probably going to be lasting, especially these days, I said, I’ve been in business for quite a while. loyalty is different to what it used to be, it’s not the same people have so many choices. Now, it’s so easy for people to find other people to look after them. So we really have to nurture those relationships if we want to keep them. And I think, you know, if relationships weren’t important, if they weren’t key, then Robo advice would be a lot more popular than it is, you know, right now, and a lot more people will be doing their own books in their own tax returns. But the simple fact is that people want people who understand them who get them, right. If I can put like those air quotes around, get them there. You can’t build know, like, and trust with a with a computer. And you know, that’s still really important to people. And I just don’t think technology can give people that same experience.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yes, yeah. Yeah. Without the human involved. Yeah. Tell me about that loyalty work. Because this is a really interesting one, when it comes to customer loyalty, or client loyalty or whatever you whatever you want to call the people we serve. Talk to me about that. How do we how do we get to that point, because obviously, it’s sort of that comes with over time.

 

Caren Hendrie 

Yes, it comes over time. But I think you can build it a lot faster than what you might ordinarily think. I think there are certain things that you can do to build that yourself said before know, like, and trust, they are the three things that if you’ve had any experience in, in sales, you’ll learn that they are the three ingredients to building a relationship. So the faster you can build that know like and trust, the better that’s going to going to be, but I also think you’ve got to balance the hat with the commercial reality of running a business as well. So you know, those things can take time. But we want to do it as as quickly as, as possible. And I just think as around the loyalty. It is simply because we had just so many more options in our face these days. Whereas when I first started out in, in business, I mean, you know, email was barely a thing. Let alone, being able to in a few seconds, look up pretty much every competitor, that’s that’s appropriate for for your needs. So that’s

 

Fraser Jack 

what and just just on that matter, look up reviews on the app you’re using exactly

 

Caren Hendrie 

right. You could have been really bad and nobody would have known as long as you just came in and acted confident. But um, but yeah, these days, you just can’t hide and you can’t get away with things. So that building that know, like, and trust as quickly as possible, is quite, quite important. But then being able to do it at scale.

 

Fraser Jack 

Correct. So you mentioned that I know, like and trust in the conversation where they look at a robot or robo advisors finds it very difficult. But obviously humans using technology can do that.

 

Caren Hendrie 

Yes, that’s right. You got to be in charge of the technology. Right. So people still want to, I guess it’s what shifts a relationship from transactional to an actual relationship, right? So it’s the difference between a customer and a client. And you know, if you’ve got a transactional relationship, I mean, that is still a relationship, but it’s not A relationship that’s going to foster a lot of loyalty, right? It’s going to be one where people can easily go. And if they feel that they can get that transaction, faster, easier, cheaper, somewhere else, they will do it. Whereas if you have that deeper relationship and that deeper understanding, then that relationship is going to be longer lasting, and the end is going to have that loyalty. And at this point, things like Robo advice can’t provide that yet. It might be coming, but I think we’re safe. I think we’re safe for the for the moment. So safe. And

 

Fraser Jack 

you mentioned feeling important, right? Like making your clients feel important. I guess that’s, it’s kind of, I kind of feel that it might be a two way if you can both feel important and make, like I guess what am I trying to say feel important and feel like you’re important to them?

 

Caren Hendrie 

Yeah, yes. Now huge. I think that’s, that’s kind of like a cycle. But one of our basic human needs is significance. Right? That is an that’s a need we are born we have that it’s not a value, it’s not a want, it is a need. So if we can help people fulfill that need by by interacting with them in a way that makes them feel significant, and makes them feel important, now I’m not talking about faking it, I’m talking about this is this is how you really interact with your clients, then that is going to they’re going to want to get back to that space, they’re going to want to put themselves in that position where they feel like that. And if they’re getting that from you, they’re going to want to spend more time with you and stay with you. The the issue that I find sometimes when I’m working with I’d say my accountants and and financial planners, not so much bookkeepers, but is that sometimes they worry that that’s a little bit airy fairy and that that’s not the sort of relationship their clients want. But I can absolutely promise it is. And so, you know, you’ve got to sort of step out of your comfort zone a little bit in order to do that. And, you know, just between you and I, Fraser, particularly accountants. So I know I’m not an accountant, but my father’s an accountant, my brother’s an accountant. My partner is an account, my aunt has an account, my daughter’s an accountant, right. So I know accountants, they are my world, I love them. But sometimes they can feel that that getting those relationships on a more of an emotional level can be a little bit more difficult, but it’s really worth it.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, I think I think you nailed it when you talked about the idea of feeling significant, not just being told that they are or some sort of a verbal message, or the fact that accountants love numbers. We all love numbers, financial planners. And numbers sort of very easy to say, this is a better number than that number. It’s certainly it’s certainly very simple scenario, we, we got paid less tax than we did needed to or you know, we’ll listen to things. So there’s, there’s certainly appreciation of that, but the the, the feeling of significance comes way deeper than just,

 

Caren Hendrie 

and that’s why I think that’s where it comes to having these systems in place that are saying, you know, and when, especially when something is outside your comfort zone, one thing that I found is that systems build confidence, right? You’ve got a system in place, if you’ve got like a little step by step process, even if it’s in your head, that can make things a lot easier. And I’m gonna sound like a real nerd now. But I find systems really sexy, right when it comes to this, because it’s so much easier to achieve anything, anything that’s repeatable, if you have a system in place, but when I asked most financial planners or accountants or bookkeepers, what their system is for client nurturing, very few have a system, okay. They, they, they know it’s important. They like the idea of it, but very few have an actual system for it. Now, some might think they do have a system because they send their clients a birthday card once a year, or they refer that you know, they send a gift if somebody refers someone, but that’s not really what I’m talking about. I’m talking about, I guess, a client nurturing is really about understanding your client, knowing your client, what’s important to them, what their goals are, what excites them, what scares them, right. And that comes back to what I was saying before. It’s for me, that’s the difference between a transactional relationship that’s always going to be reasonably tenuous versus an effective and meaningful interaction that’s likely to be long term. Yeah, this

 

Fraser Jack 

is really interesting. I love this. I love the sexy systems conversation. I also think there’s A little bit. In that way, you need to also have a simple, it needs to be a little bit simple because sometimes, if we go too complex in it, people can get lost in the system. And it doesn’t it’s not effective anymore.

 

Caren Hendrie 

If you, if you if it’s too complicated, you won’t do it like I, when I’m working with my clients, sometimes they’ll say to me, oh, you know, how should I do it? What’s the best way to do this? And I said, the best way to do Is it the way that you know what will get done. And so if you know that throwing it on an Excel spreadsheet is going to get it done. Let’s start there. Right. So it is about you’re not being too too complicated.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, not too complicated, not too many steps. And I do like what you said about the the concept of it, and the system needs to back up that, you know, the feeling of significance. But also, you mentioned that you know, what excites you, and what scares you climb because I think you just nailed that, towards and away from motivation.

 

Caren Hendrie 

Look, there is no doubt that there are only two things that motivate people to buy anything, whether it’s your financial planning services, your accounting services, your bookkeeping services, or a Mars bar, right? There are only two forces that motivate people, and it’s pain and pleasure. And the simple fact is, and this is why I emphasize what scares them is that people are more highly motivated by pain, by being able to, to move away from pain, they will spend more, they will act faster, they will do more, to move away from pain, so to avoid it, to eliminate it to reduce it. So that means you kind of know what their pain is, right? And so having those deeper relationships with clients, you have to make them where they are, right. It’s not about what you think, or what you know, it’s actually about, you know, if you want to have those deeper conversations with people, you need to know what those conversations look like, if you could have all the time in the world to talk to your clients. And you know, most people listening to this podcast don’t have all the time in the world. But if we’re not focusing on the right issues in those conversations, it’s an absolute waste of time. And I think it’s also really important to know that things change for people. And if you’re still having the same conversations with clients that you were having 18 months to two years ago, you’re going to be off track because a lot has changed in our world. I don’t need to tell anybody about you know, what’s happening with COVID and LogMeIn, you know, here I am a Melbourne night back in lockdown. Again, I think something I don’t know what I heard something like we’ve been 169 days in lockdown over the past 1218 months. So we have to be having different conversations with our clients. And one of the things that makes me a bit unique, I guess, in the work that I do, and probably why I moved from financial planning into advising practices on how to grow their their business or, you know, get what they want out of their business, is that I have had a lot of training in human behavior. And so one of those things that I feel is really important when you’re having deeper conversations. It’s not just about understanding what they want, it’s about understanding what they need. You might have heard the saying that, you know, we we sell them what they want and what we give them what they need. So you know, part of those conversations involves drawing out from them what they actually need.

 

Fraser Jack 

So how do you teach these accountants to have these empathetic conversations going deep finding out what fears and pains and Spirit because I imagine that’d be running a million miles you bring this when you bring this

 

Caren Hendrie 

Look, I know and no client like I know accountant I’ve ever met like selling or bookkeeper financial planners are a little bit better at it. I find, you know, obviously I’m generalizing here. But in general, that’s been my my experience. And look, the good news there, Fraser is there. Because I know my audience, there are formulas, there are systems, there are your templates with you know, all that sort of thing. But one of the one of the things that I use with with my clients is quite simply, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Alright, so most of us looked at that at some point in our lives. Yeah, we probably did it at school where we saw Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. And so this is actually something I often refer to in my own client dealings. And look for anybody who’s not familiar with the model, you can google it very easily, but it’s basically a pyramid of needs. And so on the very bottom of the net of the bottom rung is those basic needs like food and water and survival needs, right up to the top, where there’s five needs and up to the top where you’ve got the aspirational and the factually accurate, how am I going to hide any self actualization? We got there, and accomplishment things like that, that are right at the top there. And so when I look at the hierarchy of needs right now, I think we can safely say that, given what most people have been through over the past 18 months, most people are focusing towards the bottom rungs of the hierarchy, right. So they’re more thinking about basic day to day needs. They’re thinking about their security. And they’re really thinking about their relationships, right, their family and their friends, they, they’re the things that are really key to most people at the moment. So for me, if I was having those deeper conversations with my clients, right now, that’s where I would be focusing. So, you know, I’m not spending a lot of time at the moment, talking to my clients about their hopes and dreams and their long term aspirations and how they’re feeling about their accomplishments. I’m not saying I would ignore that completely, of course not. But the deeper conversations are more around those areas of day to day security, and relationships, talking to them about your their families, and what it is that makes them feel safe and secure. Alright, so what what needs to happen, what do we need to put in place for them to feel safe and secure, because then if we can give them that reassurance, and that’s kind of absolutely build know, like, and trust, in fact, this is probably from, in our industry, an amazing opportunity to really lock in clients for the for the long term, because if, if you can help them through these uncertain times, they’re really going to be loyal to you, they’re going to, to thank you and value you.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yes. So you, you approach the situation, then whether sound a bit where, let’s say, we’ve got Maslow’s hierarchy, that you want to fill up a bit of a cup of each one of those, those needs, and we’re going to make the generalization that all people will have those needs. And so if we just even, even without going too deep into understanding the client’s information, we start from a place of knowing that they need security and they need, you know, that sort of, you know, obviously basic food, water, you know, then they need to have an income so they can pay tax, etc, etc. And then, and then just look at filling up those things from a business systems point of view before I even know the individualization of the

 

Caren Hendrie 

absolutely right. So you know, if you can take that, at that high level approach to that, of knowing that and, you know, for those people with staff as well, you can do that with your, with your staff also. So look at, you know, even if you take away the whole COVID experience, over the years, there’s been multiple surveys out there done around, you know, what are the most important things to people, right. And in every survey I have ever seen on this, and I’ve seen a lot of them. In every survey, financial security comes in, in the top three, usually, number one, it’s number one more than any other aspect that I have, you know, any anything else that’s important to people. So if we can, and it can be a bit a bit of a cliche term financial security. And so I’m not necessarily saying that that’s how you want to brand your service. But when you’re talking to your clients, that’s where you should be, should be talking. And, you know, if we’re talking about having conversations with clients at scale, then part of that scale is, as I said earlier, knowing what to talk about, and not wasting time talking about the things that aren’t that relevant or important to them. And so if we know that financial security is really important, then that’s a conversation we should be having from from day one from the first meeting. And any reviews at the moment for for financial planners, in reviews, that that should be something that’s just asking, How are you feeling right now? Are you nervous? Is there anything you’re concerned about? Right? Is there anything I can give you or talk to you about to reassure you? And even if they say, No, you’re doing a great job. I trust you completely. The fact that you’ve asked them that is going to give them a moment, you know, that little relief moment? Yeah.

 

Fraser Jack 

Great, great question. Yeah. Excellent. And yeah, but I guess when we’re talking about communication, one of the things you mentioned before was segmentation, or segmenting. Yep. So

 

Caren Hendrie 

I am a massive advocate of color. In communication, and this is quite simply, if I want to get really basic with this, if you’re not in front of your clients, somebody else is right. You just can’t wait to communicate with clients from meeting to meeting, or phone call to phone call it, we just don’t live in that world anymore. Now, a lot of us like myself, we, we started in a very different world, right? So it may, we have to shift our thinking around that we honestly do need to be commuting without communicating with our clients on a constant basis. Game, we come back to here, okay, but you’ve got to that takes time and effort, we’ve got to balance that. So what I usually suggest is that if you want to have those deeper conversations, and that that level of communication, is that you do segment your client backs. most business owners have heard that before, most business owners probably know that it’s important, but it’s actually one of the best recommendations that I can give businesses, right. Because if you know who your high value clients are, you can determine what sort of time you need to allocate to those clients, right to nurturing those type of relationships. Whereas your lower value clients, you can be mindful of that, right. So I get a lot of people that sell but all my clients are important. Absolutely. But not all your clients pay you the same. And you have to take that into account. Because none of the accounting, financial planning or bookkeeping businesses, I work for charities, they’re all at the point where they still they need to make a profit, they need to pay their team, they need to pay themselves. So it’s not saying that they are lower importance clients, but there are a lot of value to the business. And we need to be able to tweak our service offering accordingly. And so if you know what your client base looks like, then you can actually allocate which of those clients, you’re going to give more maybe face to face time or more personalized service, versus those who you can potentially just have a more automated service where maybe they’re just getting a touch point, monthly or something like that. And by that I’m not talking about it, you know, selling them something every month, or trying to get them to do something every month. And I don’t think that’s a big issue in our industry, our industry doesn’t tend to do that as much, but giving them something of value once once a month, at least, that that can be done at scale. So to all those all those clients, and then look, you could take that all level even further. And you can do that by servicing a particular target market or at origin and nature. And the beauty of doing that of niching or choosing a specific target market is that it becomes super efficient to understand and and understand their needs, stay on top of their frustrations and fears. And so that makes it a lot easier to have those deeper conversations because they’re the same conversations, right? If I’m honest, that I you know, I’m a business advisor, if the fundamentals don’t change, I can work with any business, right? And I do I some of my clients, I’ve got your interior designers, as clients, I’ve got decking companies as clients. nyob is one of my clients, you know, it’s it doesn’t matter. But it’s easier for me to work with accountants, bookkeepers, and financial planners, right? Because, like I said, right at the start, it’s a similar issues, it’s the similar frustrations. And so it means I can do my job a lot more effectively. Because I know those people inside out. And so if I’ve got that understanding, I can solve the problem a lot more efficiently. So you know, I know a lot of people that idea of nation or targeting is very scary. But it’s only scary until it starts working.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, so I would imagine that that would also be scary when you go to businesses that you work with and say you need to have instant communication and and what are you going to say to your clients and your target market for the 11 months of the year when you’re not doing their taxes? Or for the it’s not when it’s not review time? What are you going to say to them? So what are some of the things that you see businesses doing really well that you work with in that space of communicating regularly to clients when it’s not necessarily their review

 

Caren Hendrie 

to look, it’s about coming back again to what the clients want and need. But even if you step back at a moment before them, it’s first of all, it’s planning it out, right? The worst thing you can do is go oh my gosh, what am I going to talk about this month. So when I’m working with my clients, we we we put together like a marketing calendar. And we look, I am a massive fan of low hanging fruit, right? I think business is hard enough, it doesn’t need to be harder. But as human beings, we like to overcomplicate things. But when I’m looking at what to talk about to people, or what to send out to people, my thing is what is going to be the easiest thing? What’s going to be fast? What do I already know about that? I can just dictate something into my phone, and then turn that into an article, or what is something that I’ve seen from someone else that I can then forward on and say, Hey, this might be of interest to you, you know, so what is I want anything like that to be as, as time efficient, and as automated as possible. And I think the best way to do that is plan it all out. So you’ve got 12 months where you go, Okay, I know, in this month, I’m doing this in this month, I’m doing this in this month, I’m doing that, then spend maybe half a day, a day, a couple half days here and there and actually put the material together, then throw it into your system and forget about it. If possible, I mean, I’m very I’m a very big advocate also for software that will automate that process for you. You may need to get to that space, but it’s yet it’s well worth it.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, fantastic. In the old systematization This is the personalization absolute

 

Caren Hendrie 

I do I love to write 12 months worth of content, and I handed it to my assistant and I never have to worry about it again. Unless something because then what that what happens there is when something comes up, that’s, you know, particularly specific to something that’s going on at in the moment, I’ve got the time to do that as a bonus article or send an email out to tell people what what they should be wondering about COVID like, you know, with all the new grant that’s come out, because as I said earlier, you’ve got I’ve got an accounting and financial planning practice. So yesterday, we were putting out an email a couple days ago, we’re putting out an email around the grant. And you can do that really quickly, because you’ve already got the rest of your marketing sorted. And if it’s okay, a Polly brings me to the idea of a one to many approach with your communication as well. Yeah, I would I just can’t overemphasize how valuable a one to many approach can be in your business. Right. And I know it’s sort of sounds counterintuitive, given we’re talking about having deeper conversations. And now I’m saying one to many, but deeper conversations at scale. This is a an incredible opportunity. You’re mentioned not know, like or trust, right? And I’ve mentioned having to ask deeper questions of people, but you’ve got to earn the right to do that. You can’t just meet somebody for the first time and say, so tell me your deepest fears, right? It’s just not going to going to work. And so, I’ve learned over time, and I’m a speaker, I’m an international speaker. So it’s something that I can speak very confidently on, is that it’s one of the best and easiest ways to build that know, like and trust quickly. Is that one too many mediums. So, you know, for example, presentations, seminars, workshops, obviously, they’ve been a little bit more challenging over the past 18 months. You know, I love doing things like this phrase it because I’m a speaker without a home at the moment, you know, I’ve got no, I’ve got no stage. But if you can get the opportunity to be a speaker at some point, and you’re comfortable doing it or willing to just take a bit of a step outside your comfort zone, those opportunities are absolutely gold, because you get instant credibility, you almost get a celebrity status from standing on a stage because people No, you would not be out there unless you really knew what you were talking about.

 

Fraser Jack 

I think that I also throw podcasts in there as a opportunity to become a speaker too, because I think you can you can become a speaker to an audience, find you find your best or your target audience and just speak to those people and you’ll end up attracting more of them.

 

Caren Hendrie 

Absolutely. So I think you know, absolutely to other areas, particularly you know, because a lot of people are confident standing up on a stage in front of, you know, a couple 1000 people or whatever. Or even sometimes in front of 30 people. So I think what’s fantastic in this day and age is that we have other mediums now we’ve got podcasts and webinars. All right, and they are all guest speaking up that I’m doing today. Guest speaking for other people to be able to do that. That can be a lot less confronting than public speaking. But just as effective.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, I’m seeing people doing lives. You know, LinkedIn live Yeah, yeah. And so they that they’re, they’re determining at what time of the day they’re speaking to, you know, then I guess you can’t really control the audience. But when you get a speaking gig, it’s, it’s gonna be at a particular time of the year, once a year or something like that for that particular person to that particular audience, and you don’t really get to choose

 

Caren Hendrie 

and they can’t listen to you in their car or when they’re making you cooking dinner, I’m, I’m a, I love to listen to podcasts when I’m in my car, doing my housework with the headphones on. And I think a lot of people love the flexibility of of that. So. And just by doing that, what you’re able to do and why it’s so powerful is that you get to extend your reach your messages to a large or a much larger audience, but in a similar amount of time. Alright, so you’re, you, you’re automatically getting that credibility that I mentioned, because no one’s going to do it unless they’re an expert. So straightaway, you have an edge. But you’re not having to go from one person to one person to one person to one person, you’re in that same amount of time, you can address a whole heap of people. One thing that I found, in my experience, and is that the most financial planners, accountants or bookkeepers, when they do present on topics in any of those mediums, they generally focus on technical issues, or their information based presentations. What I’d love to recommend to anybody that’s listening today is that you build presentations around people’s key frustrations and their fears, right? We talked about before, people are only motivated to work with you through pain or pleasure. So you need to be able to show them that you understand what their their pain is. And that you can lead them to a space where they’re going to get that, that that pleasure of not being in pain anymore. So your presentation should look at the problems that they’re facing, that you can solve, okay, make sure that you talk about the things that you can actually solve for them.

 

Fraser Jack 

Don’t just keep them going down the track. It’s all doom and gloom,

 

Caren Hendrie 

right? Exactly. All the problems that having but you can’t solve them, you know, that’s not gonna, that’s not gonna help you at all, it might help them. But here’s what I know for sure. Right? If you can articulate somebody’s problem better than they can, they’re gonna automatically credit you with a solution. And that is incredibly powerful. All right. If you think about it, people love. People say, Oh, this person gets me I really want to work with this person, because they get me or I really love spending time with this person. They just don’t know me, they understand me. You know, I’m saying it sort of flippantly at the moment, and a bit jokingly, but again, that is what people actually want. So you want to be using the opportunity to let your audience know, you understand what they’re going through. Right.

 

Fraser Jack 

So when when you say audience, of course, you mean your audience, but also your existing clients? So yeah,

 

Caren Hendrie 

for sure. For sure. Yeah. Because we want to keep them. Right. And that’s not a given anymore. It’s Long gone are the days where clients just stayed 10 1520 years, because they always had people are having higher expectations now. And if you’re not fulfilling those expectations, they will they will find them elsewhere. So you know,

 

Fraser Jack 

they’re just what cares? One more thing, just on this, I’ve had some conversations lately with different people around the concept of siloing clients, as an I’ve got one client, we’ve got a private and confidential relationship, and no one should know about that. Versus people that have created communities of clients and memberships of clients around that concept of clients should know other clients and and maybe, maybe try and work together and become part of a community versus just a one on one individual relationship. What do you think?

 

Caren Hendrie 

Oh, yeah, look, I love the idea of a community. But again, it’s coming back to not what we want, or, or need, it’s about what the client wants. If you know, your client, then you can know what clients would work well, in that community. And what clients really want their privacy, I find that this, this is kind of becoming it’s a little bit of a generational thing. I think the you know, the younger generation. They are, they’ve been raised a lot more community minded, a lot more open. They talk about things that we were taught, was taboo to talk about, and they understand as something that’s really powerful is that you can if you can work with other people and and look at what other people are doing, you can get where you want to a lot faster, said earlier. That’s pretty much Why I have a have a business is because I help people get there faster and easier. Because if you, if you can model yourself on somebody who’s already succeeded, that’s the fastest way to get to success. Also, you know, if you sharing the same issues with people, not only does it give you a sense of Okay, I’m not on my own here, which I think is important. But it also means you can brainstorm ideas. And I have this little thing that I do quite often when I am presenting Fraser, it’s a little bit corny, but I think it’s explains it quite well. So Fraser, if I have $1, and you have $1, and we exchange those dollars, what do we have? We still got $1. Right? Yeah. But if I have an idea, and you have an idea, and we exchange ideas, we now have two ideas each, right? So I’m a big, big fan of community and getting people together. You know, I personally love being that dumbest person in the room, right? Because that’s how I’m gonna that’s leverage. So I love that idea of community. That said, you have to respect that not everybody’s going to like that. Not everybody’s going to want that. And if you know your clients, you can give them the option. But if they say no, then you understand it’s not personal. It’s just not not the medium they enjoy.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, I see this from the point of view of I think we all like me, I think social media and social platforms are all built on the concept of community and joining and sharing. And of course, it from a generational point of view, that might be the case where Yes, younger demographics have embraced social media, but so have some of the lately Absolutely. Is this sort of thing around the fact that money was a taboo subject?

 

Caren Hendrie 

I think it is. I also think, you know, you didn’t talk about money religion or or politics you didn’t, you know, if you’re, if your child asked you, how much do you earn? Mom or Dad? You would? You’d say, That’s not a you don’t ask that question, you know? So yeah, it definitely was a more taboo. I do believe, though, that the whole social media is definitely more responsible for that as well, because we’ve we never were when we were growing up, we didn’t have that same platform to be able to do that if you wanted to talk to somebody, it was one on one on the telephone, whereas now you can join these house parties. So I and I do agree, though, that there are a lot of people in older generations that have embraced it, and, and also like that idea of getting together with other people, like minded to be able to share those experiences and, and, and get ideas.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, I think I think there’s also the taboo subject, but it can also be a little bit judgey In this scenario, that there’s a very easy to benchmark, Adela versus a della della, like you said, versus benchmarking ideas that say, Well, those two ideas say that both relevant. One might be worth more than the other. But they’re both ideas, right? Whereas if it’s $1, it’s like, no, that’s $1. And that’s $1.20 day difference.

 

Caren Hendrie 

Exactly right. And so you have to be sensitive, when you are bringing people together into a community, I do it myself for business owners, right. So I have groups of business owners. And I have to say, it’s one of the most successful things that I’ve ever done. I don’t mean for me personally, I mean for them for their business. And they absolutely love being having that platform to be able to share and, and, you know, go to each other and, and see what other people are doing. But I’m always very sensitive, that nobody has to give information that they don’t want to give or, and you’ve got to be very careful not to make anybody feel less than because of you know, a particular situation. In fact, what you want to do is create an environment where people feel very comfortable to too, to talk about anything, and you know, and that that’s, that’s when you know, you’ve got a really good grip when you when you have people who will talk about things that they may not have talked about with anybody before.

 

Fraser Jack 

And this this probably comes back down to you’re feeling significant, or making sure they don’t feel

 

Caren Hendrie 

absolutely, absolutely, I guess just one thing on that, though, is that my many, many accountants that I know, are by nature, very private people themselves. And so sometimes accountants can assume that because they don’t like a group setting, and they don’t like being on a group Facebook page that their clients won’t. And this is where we have to remember our businesses and our business, our businesses, our clients, right. And so we need to build our business around what they want and what they like. So again, it might be a case of and then there are plenty of accountants that that are, are comfortable with this, but I know by and large, many aren’t so it could be just Again about being able to look at it through your clients eyes, ask them, ask them outright get a copy of favorite clients together and said, What would you think about that, and potentially stepping outside the comfort zone a little bit, that’s where your business growth is just stepping outside that competence a little bit, you don’t have to do huge at a time, but just a little bit and have your systems to back you up.

 

Fraser Jack 

I love that I love that I would love to be a fly on the wall of you trying to convince an accountant to open up in this incredible

 

Caren Hendrie 

resistance. I often tell people, if I can teach accountants to sell, I can teach anyone.

 

Fraser Jack 

You’re the guru. So obviously, we’ve covered systems and segmentation and the communication piece, we mentioned a little bit of so far, when we talked about the things like you’re sending your your calendar up and pushing that out, using by using technology, talk to me about technology, and how important that is.

 

Caren Hendrie 

Look, I’m somebody who, you know, a my generation are called technology adapters, right? not born. So you know, I see what my young nieces and nephews do. And it blows my mind. So you know, and I think I speak for a lot of people my age and in our industry, that technology is not necessarily something that comes naturally. But if you want to be happy to have those deep conversations at scales, then you need to be able to get that technology mindset. And even if you find that you’re resistant to employ people who aren’t right at the end, they can take care of that bit. There are literally only four ways to grow a business, only four, and one of them is efficiencies. And most accountants and financial planners, I know, are paying a lot of money for technology, and simply not using it as effectively as they they could actually, you know, I would say that’s the case. But every single account and financial planner, I’ve often worked with that, you know, it’s somewhere where I usually like to start is a review of how they’re using their technology. Because if you can free up time, by utilizing some of those efficiencies, then guess what that’s going to make, you can spend more time physically with your clients, or nurturing those relationships, and not just you, if you’ve got team, then you free up time for your team to be able to do that as well. You know, one of the things that I say is I am, I’m always telling my clients to, we want to systematize everything that can be systematized everything, that’s a repeatable task. Let’s systematize it. And if we can do it get using technology even better. Because if you can do that, if you can systematize 80 90%, of what you do, then you can humanize the other 10 to 20%, it gives you that space to be able to to do that. I was just thinking,

 

Fraser Jack 

then I think that’s really I think that’s really important, the concept that we all have technology, and we implement it and we jump on it, and we like we got this is great, let’s bring it in. But you’re not utilizing it is it? Yeah, it’s a very poor way to be running.

 

Caren Hendrie 

And it could be I think, you know, you also don’t want to be overwhelmed by it. But I think you know, if you and what I try and do when I sit down with my clients is all we might sit down with their software provider. And we will just identify what what would give us the biggest win, and the biggest bang for buck if we just focused on this area. And then you can move to the next and move to next. What I don’t like at all, is when you meet with a software provider, they give you 20 ways that you can improve and get more out of your software. And look, it’s great. It’s great to know that, but that’s really overwhelming as a business owner to try and not only implement that, but if you’ve got staff to try and get your staff on board with that, and the training and all that. So you know, one thing at a time, again, is really important. But you know, I think business overall is about focusing on the right things at the right time. So just make sure that it is something that’s going to give you impact when you when you do that.

 

Fraser Jack 

And what are some of the technologies you’re seeing in the business.

 

Caren Hendrie 

Oh, look, do you know what, and this just popped into my head a few moments ago is that most advisors I know whether they’re bookkeepers, financial planners or accountants, most advisors I know, prefer client meetings to be face to face. And look, that’s, that’s fine. But I think lockdown has highlighted that we can have these online meetings. And so that means you can meet with people wherever you want, wherever they want. Wherever you are from your PC from your laptop. You don’t have to worry about travel time there’s no setting up a meeting room, no cleaning your desk, no making tea or coffee right. It becomes quite efficient and Having those face to face meetings solely face to face, it does also limit you geographically. Okay, so I’ve got clients all over the country, I’ve got clients overseas, right? I’ve never met. So I’m next week I’m meeting with some clients in London, I’ve never actually physically met with them, other than online. But if I wasn’t comfortable having those online meetings, I would never have those clients. So I’m not saying do away with face to face meetings altogether? Absolutely not. I’m just saying, you know, most people could incorporate a mix within their business. And that could free you up to have the capacity to then actually have more time to meet face to face with your clients more more often. Just to give you an example, in our practice, our initial meetings are usually done face to face. So at this point, I’m just talking about financial planning, for example, they’re usually done face to face those initial meetings, but then we have a meeting six months down the track, it’s kind of just a checking meeting, how you’re going, is everything on track? How are you feeling about it? That meeting is only an online meeting. All right. And that’s the trick there is that’s how we position it. We don’t offer it face to face. And nobody’s ever complained about it, right? Because a lot of the resistance I get from my clients, when I talk about doing some online meetings is all my clients don’t want that. But in this case, we don’t actually offer it, it’s part of the deal. If you’re a client of ours, one of the things that you get is this online meeting in six months time, right?

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, I think just just just on that, I think a lot of people have this perception when they do something a certain way, all the time that they’ve actually they don’t realize that they’ve trained the client in that how they do. And then they say, Oh, my client would never want the other thing because they like they like this thing. But we don’t give them the option.

 

Caren Hendrie 

Absolutely. And if we just position it, that’s the way we do do business. And you get this and it’s an online meeting. Another thing that we do in our practice as well, we have packages, and you always recommend packages, whether you’re an accountant, a bookkeeper a financial planner, this is this is a way to scale. But it’s also fantastic for your clients, it makes it easier for your clients, but they you know, you can then have certain levels in your packages you can have, okay, that’s fine, you can have face to face meetings, but you’re going to pay a little more for that. Whereas if you want to have your keep the cost down a little bit for yourself, if it’s going to help you to be able to work with me, then yeah, we can pay a little less, but it’s going to be online meetings rather than face to face meetings a lot of the time. So it gives you that scale, as well. And I think when we look at seriously having those deeper conversations, then I think it is more than just technology broadly as well. I think it does become about the specific software that we that we choose. I believe that software exists for one reason and one reason only, to make my life easier. It’s got to be but doesn’t make our lives easier than it is the wrong software. And so I like I love efficiencies, right? efficiencies, like it’s my whole life, like it’s not even I do and in my personal life as well. I’m always looking for the most efficient way. And I know that it must frustrate my family and friends sometimes, but you don’t want to get a and b in the straightest, the quickest, the easiest way. So that’s, that’s one thing. But I also like to have software that’s going to actually identify things for me. So to make my life a little bit easier, and in that way, so if we can have software that not only saves us time to have those conversations, but also tells us what sort of conversations we should be having. That to me is the double tick, I want it to tick both those both those boss boxes. So yeah, we get there, we want our software to do a lot of that hard work, right, the heavy lifting that gives us the the time and the space to have those deeper conversations. But if it can also give us the direction and identify those conversation opportunities, then that’s, that’s something you should really, really be be looking at. And look as an example, one of the tools that we do use in our practice is the my prosperity software. And where that helps with deeper conversations is a few ways that I that I see see that. First of all, it is just those basic efficiencies. When I work with my clients to grow a business. I have what’s called the what I built what’s called what I call an EAS model right and the E stands for efficiencies, it is the number one area that you need to focus on when you are starting to Look at growing your business or selling your business or doing your business a little bit differently. And so, you know, with things like my prosperity you’ve got, being able to sign documents on a portal. That’s a game changer for businesses, that’s got efficiencies, not just with assigning, but there are flow on efficiencies that I don’t have time to go into today. But there are certainly flow on efficiencies from that. Another efficiency would be being able to just go in and grab a snapshot of your client’s financial position, all in in one spot. Now, if you’ve got those efficiencies, and there are more, but they’re just two, I can think of off the top of my head that are really powerful, then you are immediately freeing up some time that then you can invest in deeper client relationships. Then if we come back to that snapshot that I just mentioned, we’ve got another nother layer, you know, if you’ve got a snapshot of everything in one place, then you know that you get them. You understand that, right? Because if you can have something where you can see your client’s total financial position, you’re going to be in a lot better place to ask them meaningful questions, discuss the different options, and give them a higher quality of advice. And that’s, that’s where that real trust bond does come in, because your clients know that you’re getting the full picture. All right, they know that you don’t just understand this part of their world, you understand all of their financial world, and therefore they trust that you’re able to give them that advice. And that doesn’t matter whether you’re a financial planner or an accountant or bookkeeper. If you’ve got that total picture. There’s a no I talked about before the moment that relief, that reassurance that you’ve got this that you’ve got their back on all those those particular areas,

 

Fraser Jack 

well cares, I’ve got a full page of notes. I can hardly write any more down of all the all of the the gold notes you’ve been dropping. You mentioned the ease system, E stands for efficiencies, what’s the what’s the

 

Caren Hendrie 

Okay, yes. So this is specifically for accountants, financial planners and bookkeepers, right? This is my little special proprietary just for my industry. So the E stands for your efficiencies, as for arranging and offering so that comes back to those packaging and things like that, that I was talking about before, and knowing what you’re able to actually offer people, and you’re almost productizing your service, because it’s a lot easier for people to buy something that they can really understand. And most people don’t understand financial planning accounting or bookkeeping. S is sell without selling, which is I think, a really big thing for my industry. And then the final eight is being able to execute, executing and into your into your practice.

 

Fraser Jack 

I thought the yes for sure would have been system or money

 

Caren Hendrie 

that’s in the efficiencies I see sick. All right. Come into the come into the efficiencies. So yeah, look, one one of the other things to Fraser that with the my prosperity software that I just thought of there because I I talked about, you want software that’s able to identify opportunities. And so probably my favorite feature with that particular software is that they do have an automated process that asks your client clients questions, so you don’t have to do it, they actually ask the question, you can modify their questions or whatever, but at certain points, they ask them about what’s important to them, what’s worrying them, what don’t they understand what areas do they need help with, and then you get like an opportunities report, so that when you do speak to them, and you’re having those deeper conversations, all you need to do is read the report to know what you’re going to be talking about. And if you can get software that’s going to do that, that’s that’s, that’s getting that information for you. I am I’m a unlike anybody I’m I’m a time poor person because I like to cram as much into a day as I possibly can. So if I can get a report on to give me that sort of information, then that makes me very, very happy.

 

Fraser Jack 

Exactly. And I imagine that if somebody is afraid or worried or scared to ask those deeper questions and to have them have it done in a systematized way

 

Caren Hendrie 

especially if it’s in a non confronting way you just have to I think you know with the my prosperity software mostly it’s just a happy or sad face You know, you just and that because that you don’t have to you don’t want them to give you everything that I have to all it all that’s doing is identifying. So the the technology identifies and then you have the deeper conversation and voila, we have some scale.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep, fantastic. Has this has been an amazing conversation today. I really appreciate you giving us your time. Tell us if somebody wants to continue the conversation with with you what’s the best wedding? Oh absolutely.

 

Caren Hendrie 

And I love this. You might have been able to tell kind of passionate about this, this stuff and it is my My my absolute bread and butter I love love love working with accountants financial planners and and bookkeepers. If anybody would like to get in touch with me like I’m a very real person, you don’t have to go through 50 different people to get to me. Just drop me an email. So it’s C. I’m Karen with a si, si dot Hendry. Hey GND Ri e@hendry.com.au you’re welcome to just drop me a line. connect with me on LinkedIn. So you go and go to Karen Hendry. Again, it’s Karen with a with a C. And I’d love to connect with you on LinkedIn, be part of your community. And I’d love to have you as part of my community as well. That’s probably the easiest ways to get in touch with with me just, you know, one to one, just say hi. Just say hi.

 

Fraser Jack 

Wonderful. Thank you, Karen, really appreciate you coming on talking to us all things around 60 systems and technology and segmenting and communications with clients really appreciate it. My

 

Caren Hendrie 

absolute pleasure. As I said at the moment, I’m a speaker without a stage. So I really appreciate having these opportunities to be because for me, my why’s all about that extended reach and that impact. I know what it’s like to spend the time building business. So if I can do anything that helps people to do it easier and faster, then my job is done. So thank you for the opportunity, Fraser

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