Building and maintaining close relationships with clients is perhaps the single most important feature of successful professional services marketing. Especially for many smaller scale firms, intentionally cultivating relationships can lead to enhanced trust, loyalty, referrals and positive word-of-mouth. All of these outcomes are absolute gold for professionals, and while maintaining client relationships can mean significant investment, a great relationship network will have a huge payoff for any business.
2. Target & Specialise
As a professional services provider, particularly for smaller scale businesses, you cannot hope to be all things to all people. Picking strategic and profitable segments of the market to target is vitally important for success in many professional services industries. Let’s be real; marketing is likely going to be a secondary priority to delivering the actual service, so it pays to be smart about the customers/clients you target to gain maximum profitability. Also, building expertise in strategic areas can build on your credibility as a professional and contribute to competitive advantages in specific service areas.
3. Going the extra mile
Ultimately, it is the quality of service that is going to dictate your success in a professional services market. It is therefore worth thinking about what extra ‘1%ers’ you can deliver to your clients to add unique value to your service offering. What does this look like? Really, it’s all about being on the front foot to identify the unmet needs of your clients as they arise. You might have experience from a history of working in specialist areas (such as criminal law or retirement-specific financial planning), comprehensive referral networks, or unique synergies across departments/other firms that may be valuable to your clients. Characteristics or capabilities similar to these will enhance your service offering and get you an edge on your competitors.