As an accountant or bookkeeper, the importance of your role as a trusted advisor can't be overstated. Not only do you crunch the numbers. You act as a sounding board, a steering wheel, and a sage -- which is why building trust is so important!
There is often no better way to sharpen your skills than reading. We've pulled together three books to help you build trust and improve client relationships.
Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh (2010)
Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh knows the importance of building great customer experiences. In 2000, he invested in Zappos and grew its revenue from $1.6 million to $1 billion in 2009. He did this while building a customer-focused organization that delivers world-class experiences.
Hsieh didn’t make Zappos into a powerhouse by being traditional. He took his frustrations with bad customer service and wanted to achieve the opposite. He aimed to create a company that put the customer first and cared deeply about their experience. To Hsieh, building a customer-centric culture and company starts with his employees.
He knows that a good company culture starts with understanding his employees. Knowing that they are people with dreams, goals and desires is key. By focusing on employee happiness and development, Zappos has created an engaged, caring workforce.
A happy and healthy company culture leads to professional, motivated employees. This leads to customers having positive interactions and world-class experiences.
Some say Zappos’ entire workforce is in customer service. It's based in the understanding that the core of what Zappos does is sell products made by others. As such, the people who are doing the buying need to be the top priority. Hsieh made customers his employees’ top priority by making his employees his top priority.
How to Win Friends and Influence People
by Dale Carnegie
Client relationships aren’t much different than any other kind of interpersonal relationships. That's why we included this iconic Dale Carnegie bestseller.
Published in in 1936, Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People was the first self-help book to become a bestseller. It was — and is — the cornerstone of his empire. His reach has extended to include the Dale Carnegie Course. It's a program with many famous graduates such as Lee Iacocca, Warren Buffett and Mary Kay Ash.
The thoughts and philosophies shared in Carnegie's book provide an excellent foundation on relationships. And, there’s a reason business leaders gravitate towards Carnegie’s teachings. Industries might change, but Carnegie’s philosophies on improving relationships are timeless. They are a great way to make prospects and clients more eager to do business with you. To that end, this book is invaluable.
The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk (2011)
Gary Vaynerchuk is one of the most influential business leaders on the internet for a reason: He understands business, people and the way to get the best out of both.
The Thank You Economy is perhaps Vaynerchuk’s best and most important book. He shares a back-to-basics mode of thinking. He focuses in on how businesses operate and how their customer interactions happen.
Modern business culture's need to adapt to how people make their purchases nowadays. It’s no longer as much about the products and services, as much as it’s about the interaction between the company and the consumer. Vaynerchuk suggests that “caring” has to be a topdown philosophy. We couldn't agree more.
He also highlights that companies aren’t leveraging the potential of their social media presence. It can be an excellent way to build strong relationships with clients and prospects.
Vaynerchuk embodies this customer-centric approach at scale. And, in his book, he gives you the tools to be successful in your client relationships.