3 Keys to Successful Professional Services Marketing

1. Relationship

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.



The Client Value Pyramid

What I call the ‘Client Value Pyramid’ is a useful way of categorising clients to efficiently focus your marketing and business growth effort. This framework has been taught as a staple of marketing strategy and can be used across a range of different marketing contexts. It is well worth having in the back of your mind when assessing which of your existing clients to approach to grow their contribution to your revenue.

Selling in 3D

It’s all about ‘3D’ at the moment. 3D movies, TVs and even phones have moved to cash-in on the fad. It’s important to think ‘3D’ for your business’ marketing efforts too. The need to be market-oriented in your provision of a good or service to customers has been well-documented in marketing circles, and here I outline a simple way to categorise where you’re at with your selling efforts.

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Mission-led Marketing

The significance of the mission statement in guiding marketing and business strategy is well worth considering. In many cases, missions are thrown together as lofty, flashy and unquantifiable statements that give no workable purpose for the organisation to pursue. Here I’ll discuss the benefits of a strong mission statement in guiding strategy and the pitfalls of ignoring the power of inside-out marketing.

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