When beginning our client relationships, most of us take great care to understand the client's initial needs, choose the right products and services to meet their needs and place the right people on their engagements to ensure their success. We then work hard to deliver our promised solutions on time and on budget.Unfortunately, many of us still struggle to take these initial client engagements deeper or extend our reach into our clients' organizations. Why? There are many reasons, but the one I see most often, regardless of the size of CPA or IT firm, is this: Most of us don't take the time to really know our clients or be in a real relationship with them. This lack of intimacy and understanding leads to a breakdown in communication and can create an inability for our client to see us as able to address any issues beyond the first "issue" for which we were engaged.

So, how can you get beyond this "one-trick pony" dilemma and move into more meaningful, more impactful relationships with your clients? To help you to "get in the game" of developing depth in your client relationships, this article will outline a number of practical tips for engaging your clients in the most important aspect of relationship management - a concept we call the "check-in meeting."

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