3 quick and simple steps that professional service firms (lawyers, accountants and consultants) can take to hugely improve their sales:
- Cut the marketing and advertising budget in half
- Take the money you've saved from this and use it to reduce the billable hours targets of your partners and get them to focus on business development activities instead
- Ensure that the business development activities are being carried out effectively
Typically professional services firms spend too much on ineffective “getting our name out there” marketing and advertising – and don't spend nearly enough money and more importantly time on more direct business development activities.
Professional services are complex, intanglible products. Before people can buy, they must know that you are credible and that they can trust you.
Activities which can build credibility and trust include: getting referrals from people your clients trust, speaking at client industry conferences, networking at client industry events, writing and publishing relevant articles (in publications your clients read), organising small-scale seminars, performing and publishing relevant research and face-to-face issue-led discussions with clients.
And, of course, having a content rich website.
They don't include generic corporate advertising and marketing.