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work best for a given situation, remember that you can mix and match. There
is no wrong technique, provided it assists in developing business. Although
the subject matter and relationship approaches are discussed separately, firms
should not focus exclusively on one at the expense of the other. The most suc-
cessful rainmakers blend multiple techniques. Demonstrating your compe-
tency while developing relationships is a powerful marketing combination. You
never know where your next big client will come from. Therefore, always make
sure you are positioned to capitalize on every opportunity.


Successfully Managing Clients and
Their Expectations
The challenge of maximizing the potential of a new client immediately fol-
lows the development of the new relationship. Earlier we discussed the fact
that it is many times more expensive to develop a new client than cultivate
and nurture an existing one”commonly referred to as “farming versus
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Marketing and Business Development

hunting.” While client management may not initially appear to be an appro-
priate discussion in the context of marketing and developing business, a
closer look reveals that it is a crucial component of developing business.
Properly managed client relationships allow the firm to reap a windfall with
repeat business. Further, the firm should strive to expand on the relation-
ship so that they eventually service all of the appropriate client needs.
Managing clients and their expectations is not, however, an easy task. To
the contrary, there are several things to keep in mind when managing your
client relationships.
First, and perhaps most importantly, you must always remember to man-
age expectations concerning service and results. Successful professionals
face the difficult challenge of maintaining their relationships while being
careful not to overextend themselves. There are only so many hours in the
day, and the professional can be in only one place at a time. Therefore, it is
important that each client understand from the beginning which member of
the firm will be primarily responsible for servicing its needs. The firm
must be careful to match compatible personalities and provide the client
with proficient and competent service. If the client expects the firm™s lead
rainmaker to process its matter, the client will likely be disappointed if
someone else is assigned the job. However, if the firm manages the client™s
expectations, it can avoid this unpleasant scenario.
In addition, it is important to manage expectations concerning results.
Nothing is guaranteed and there are very few certainties in the professional
services business. Therefore, be careful when guaranteeing results. If you
come up short, the client relationship may be permanently damaged. How-
ever, if you explain to the client that there are numerous contingencies, many
of which are beyond your control, the client will be prepared for the bumps
along the way. Further, if you discuss with your clients the obstacles to over-
come in servicing their needs, your clients will be more appreciative when
you fulfill their needs and provide a successful result.
Second, if you take care of your clients, they will take care of you through
repeat business and referrals. Exhibit 5.2 illustrates this point.
There are many professional services firms that can provide acceptable
solutions or results. The differentiating factor, however, is to ensure that
each client enjoys the process while receiving good results. The X on Exhibit
5.2 denotes a poor client experience. Client X did not receive very good re-
sults and did not enjoy the process. It is not likely that this client will provide
you with repeat business or referrals. More troubling, however, is the fact
that you are now in danger of a former client talking negatively about your
firm and its service.
The inverse of Client X is Client Z. Where Client X received a poor re-
sult, Client Z received a very good result. Perhaps just as important, how-
ever, is the fact that Client Z enjoyed the process. Client Z may have
136 The Front Office: Driving Sales and Growth




Z
Enjoyable




The process


X


Difficult

Unsuccessful Results Successful



Exhibit 5.2 Professional Services Firm Delivery
Outcome versus Client Satisfaction




enjoyed the process for a wide array of reasons, including the attention pro-
vided, the speed with which the result was obtained, and /or the cost associ-
ated with the result. Regardless, Client Z not only will be a repeat client and
refer business to the firm but also will be likely to praise the firm™s perfor-
mance to all who will listen. Client Z just became the firm™s most effective
and cost-efficient source of marketing.
Chart your clients on a graph like this to see where the majority of your
clients fall.
When considering how to make the process more enjoyable, remember
these basic tenets:

• The client should always feel that he or she has your full and undivided
attention when you are discussing his or her goals and concerns.
• Never tell a client that you are too busy to talk.
• Always return your client™s telephone calls and e-mail messages as soon
as possible, but at a minimum within the same day.
• Treat everyone the same”from the most senior officer to the newest
staff member”because you never know who will be making the deci-
sions next year or even next month.
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Marketing and Business Development

Chapter 12 covers the topic of effective client service delivery in more
detail.


Advertising as a Means of Driving Business
Initially, the consensus among professional services firms is that mass market-
ing and advertisements are not an effective way to drive business. Part of the
reason for this negative attitude toward advertising stems from the fact that
the results are difficult to quantify, and it is difficult to find a sufficiently tar-
geted venue for the specific service and client base. Like every rule, however,
there are exceptions.
Plaintiffs™ attorneys have experienced a great deal of success advertising
to the public at large. However, the success of these sometimes-massive
campaigns depends on their focus. For example, many plaintiffs™ attorneys
arrange to have their advertisements aired during the day, relying on the fact
that those suffering from injuries are at home and watching television. Based
on the success of many personal injury attorneys, it is clear that advertising
can work with certain professional services models.
While advertising can directly drive business, it is more often useful in in-
creasing brand awareness. If the firm provides a service targeted to a mass
market, such as personal injury, brand awareness among the public, which
can be achieved through advertising, is beneficial. However, if the firm
elects to advertise, make sure that the advertisement is focused toward the
target market.
Additionally, when advertising, make sure to highlight the firm™s recent
and most significant accomplishments. It can be effective to advertise
that you were able to save a client significant resources through your ef-
forts or that you procured a significant win for a client. The key is to
focus on your successes, particularly those that the target market will view
as significant.
Finally, always advertise with a call to action. Passive advertisements are
not very effective. It is not very effective to tell everyone how great the firm
is without a specific directive to act. It is, however, compelling to command
your target market to pick up the phone and give you a call.


Using Internal Sales and Marketing
Personnel to Drive Business
In addition to using its partners or members, some professional services
firms take advantage of internal sales personnel as a means of marketing and
driving business. This approach was the focus of Chapter 4.
138 The Front Office: Driving Sales and Growth

Using Professional Marketing and
Public Relations Firms
Professional services firms also use marketing and public relations firms to
assist them in developing business. Marketing and public relations firms spe-
cialize in developing name and brand recognition across selected segments of
the population. Some of the many tools at their disposal include media such
as television, newspapers, and periodicals. Additionally, these firms can as-
sist in securing public speaking engagements, which, as we have discussed,
are valuable tools for developing business. However, this technique is not
widely used by professional services firms for several reasons:

• Outsourcing your marketing efforts is widely viewed as a passive method
of developing business and, therefore, is not a common technique among
professional services firms. More specifically, the outsourcing model
does not require or even allow for much, if any, interaction between pro-
fessionals and their clients or prospective clients. Rather, because this
model focuses on developing the recognition of brands, this model has
primarily been adopted by companies selling their products to the public
at large, not professional services firms.
• As with advertising, many firms have chosen to steer away from the out-
sourcing model because it is can be difficult to quantify the return on
your investment. Human and financial resources are limited. Therefore,
most firms are more comfortable with techniques that either don™t re-
quire a large capital investment or those for which they can quantify a
return on investment.
• The outsourcing model can be costly and a severe strain on the financial
resources of a smaller professional services firm.
• This model should only be considered if the firm is willing to expend
significant resources (time and money) on the efforts of your external
marketing team. There are enough large companies to keep the market-
ing and public relations firms busy so that the smaller professional ser-
vices firms are often not attractive targets for them. As a result, the
smaller firm will receive little, if any, attention.


The Pitch
The focus of this chapter has been on developing business. However, most of
the techniques and models discussed herein will not, in and of themselves, re-
sult in paying clients. There is usually an additional step. Techniques such as
relationship building and public speaking will open the door to opportunities,
but before those opportunities develop into paying clients, you will need to
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Marketing and Business Development

close the deal. At this point, the pitch becomes the most important area of
focus. Developing a strong pitch is multidimensional. Rob Levinson, a colum-
nist for Startup Journal, wrote an article titled, “Help! I Got the Meeting,
Now What Should I Do?” In that article, Levinson discussed the three stages
for pitching business to prospective clients: (1) the prepresentation, (2) the
presentation itself, and (3) the postpresentation. Many of the techniques in-
volved in these stages have been discussed and are used on a daily basis to de-
velop business.2 While the topic of proposals and qualification management is
covered in detail in Chapter 7, we brief ly address a few points here.

Prepresentation
ALWAYS APPEAR PROFESSIONAL AND PREPARED. It is often the little
things that separate the firm from the competition. Therefore, always look
professional (e.g., wear a suit or appropriately formal attire) when meeting a
prospective client. Even if the prospective client is not dressed in a suit, he
or she will appreciate your professionalism. Further, whenever you travel to
a meeting, always park far away from the entrance to the building to allow an
opportunity to assemble yourself without appearing disheveled or disorgan-
ized to the potential client, who may be looking out the window or awaiting
your arrival at the entrance.

WALK IN SMART. Before your meeting, call the prospective client to in-
troduce yourself and thank him or her for agreeing to meet with you. During
this conversation, ask pointed questions that will help you discover informa-
tion about the prospective client™s situation and allow you to tailor your pre-
sentation accordingly. Further, during this call you will be able to assess the
prospect™s sincerity and confirm that the prospect has the resources, deci-
sion-making authority, and mind-set to hire you.
Your success depends on how well you understand your potential client™s
business. The SWOT analysis will assist you in pinpointing the company™s
strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Weaknesses and threats
are “pain points””areas where the organization is vulnerable and needs at-
tention. This, combined with the specific client feedback garnered in the
previous step, will be the basis for the solution you offer in the presentation.

CREATE A STORYLINE. Based on the information uncovered through the
SWOT analysis, build a presentation that communicates your understanding
of the prospective client™s industry, illustrates your related experiences, and
convinces the prospect that you can solve their problems. While your indus-
try experience may make for interesting chatter, all a prospect really wants
to know is: “ What can you do for me today?” Therefore, it is important to in-
clude only information that is directly relevant to the prospective client in
your presentation.
140 The Front Office: Driving Sales and Growth

ANTICIPATE YOUR AUDIENCE. Your presentation should fit the audience
and the environment. Presenting to an entrepreneur at a local coffee shop is
far different from meeting with a CEO and his or her management team in a
conference room. Assess your audience so you can make educated decisions
about format, for example, a slide show versus a printed presentation versus a
conversation, equipment and audiovisual requirements, and even dress code.
Presenters should always bring a few more copies of material than they believe
they will need, to provide for unanticipated participants.
If the meeting includes multiple people in a conference room, plan on a
more businesslike format. However, if you are meeting one person in a home
office, you will likely just talk. Regardless, make sure your audience knows
what to expect before you arrive.

REHEARSE . . . A LOT. You have the meeting. You are smart and know
your business. You offer a quality service that your competitors do not. You
want this client. Remember to rehearse at least once, preferably several
times. This is particularly important when you are presenting with a col-
league to ensure that you interact proficiently.
While the basic presentation may be universal, you will likely change an-
ecdotes or success stories for different prospects. However, it is important to
make sure you are comfortable and conversant with the storyline. You will
likely have only one chance to secure the business. Further, it is certain that
you will have only one chance to make a first impression. Do not blow it.

Presentation

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