AAM Minute - Best Practices

Adopting a 3x3x3 Client Service Model

Irma Zaldivar, ELLS CPAs & Business Advisors


Bringing in new clients is important to every practice but so is untapped revenue that is sitting inside a firm’s current client base. For one, it is easier and cheaper to sell to existing clients than to go out and find new ones. A firm should ask, how much money can each client spend with your company and can they double their spending?


Here are the three phases that firms can adopt to grow their practice without adding new clients, also known as the 3x3x3℠ client service model:


  1. At least three services are delivered to the client in three different disciplines.

There is a higher probability of a firm successfully selling new business to an existing client than selling to a prospect. The more services you offer the client, the more likely you are to retain the client for the long term. As their trusted advisor, you should bring unsolicited ideas and suggestions on how to improve their business, tailored to their unique circumstances. When you connect with your clients on an emotional level, they will never go anywhere else.


  1. At least three upper-level personnel have a relationship with the client.

A team approach is always key. Having seasoned personnel from audit, tax, and consulting will assist your firm in diagnosing client issues and identifying additional service opportunities. By expanding the working relationship, your client is much more likely to understand your service capabilities.


  1. At least three upper-level client personnel have a relationship with the firm.

Your firm should have a relationship with multiple members of your clients’ management team. By expanding your client relationship, your firm increases its odds to be top of mind for new engagement opportunities.


By adopting this client service model, your firm will create loyal, long-term clients, while not being tied to one specific person at the firm. The end goal? The client should feel like they are attached to your firm and not just a particular partner. This will help with succession planning activities.