023: How to Hand Off Clients to Your First CFO

November 4, 2022
Read time: 3:54 minutes

Two years ago, I nearly lost over $100,000 in revenue when I added a new CFO to my team! 

Why? 

I tried to hand off existing clients to the new CFO without a solid plan in place.

The result? 

• 1 new CFO that was ill-prepared.
• 6 clients that were confused and unhappy with their service.
• 4 months spent trying to undo the damage that had been done.

In the aftermath that followed, I learned that it IS possible to successfully hand over existing CFO clients to new CFOs. But there's a process that must be followed.

Today, I'm going to share that process with you so that you can bring on new CFOs and unlock hundreds of thousands of dollars in new revenue.

Step 1: Watch and Learn

Before new CFOs get on any client calls, we first have them watch CFO call replays.  

Most of their time will be spent reviewing monthly CFO calls and check in calls with their new clients.

This is important because it gives the new hire insights into:

• Where their clients have been
• Where their clients are going
• Existing struggles
• Recent wins

This perspective is invaluable and well worth the time investment.

Step 2: Crunch the Numbers

In parallel with Step 1, we have new CFOs perform the financial analysis work for the clients they'll be inheriting. 

We have the entire financial analysis process completely mapped out and documented. This makes it easy for them to jump in to start number crunching and performing evaluations.

There are 2 primary benefits to this: 

1. Because the process is documented, the new CFO's reporting is consistent with the old CFO's.
2. The learning curve is drastically shortened - which means they can add value faster.

Step 3: Ride Shotgun

Now that the new CFO is familiar with their new clients and their financials, they can now join CFO calls... as a silent observer.

Ahead of the first call they join, the existing CFO will ask the client if it's ok if a new team member joins. They always say yes.

The new CFO will will typically sit in on 30-60 days' worth of calls as a silent observer. This is helpful in getting the client familiar with the new CFO.

Step 4: Lead the Call

After a month or two, the new CFO starts to learn the ropes. And the client is used to having them around.

This is when we'll have the new CFO start leading the calls. That said, the previous CFO is still on the calls to provide backup as needed.

This step can last anywhere from 1-2 months. It depends on the client and how confident the new CFO is feeling.

Don't rush this step. It's the most important.

Step 5: Drive Solo

4 conditions MUST be met before the new CFO handles client calls without the previous CFO: 

1. The new CFO and the client have obvious rapport
2. The new CFO is intimately familiar with the client
3. The new CFO feels confident that they can roll solo
4. The client has agreed to the handoff

Once those conditions are met, your firm, your new CFO, and your client are set up for success! 

NOTE: It's important to point out that it will take at least 1-2 months before your new CFO is able to start handling clients - and thus making you money. That means you need to have some funds saved up before you hire. 

Handoffs are hard because of the relationships. This isn't the type of thing where you just rip off the bandaid and go. It's a process. 

But with a little planning and intentionality, it's entirely possible. 

You coach,
Michael


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