Professional Services Marketing Part 21
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* You close the deal and then succeed with flying colors in your delivery of Phase 1.
After showing that you are reliable and competent by delivering a successful Phase 1, your trust looks like this: The need is stil the same (or possibly even greater now that you know the client so much better by performing Phase 1). However, you have now built the necessary trust in the process of delivering on your promise. This is the time to propose the solution and the value to meet the entire need your client has articulated.
As much fun as it is seeing wooden blocks colapse as a child, the colapse of a service relationship we are working so hard to build is no fun at al .
Think of the how you can build each relationship with your building blocks of trust, need, solution, and value. Your success in making both the most and the largest sales wil grow as you develop your ability to satisfy the Service Relationship Hierarchy with current and prospective clients.
Yes, the pace of our work and personal lives leaves us with difficult chalenges for building meaningful connections through our professional networks and relationships. But, as with most things, the more difficult a task, the fewer people wil do it. This creates an opportunity for great success and career growth for those who make the effort to build a network fil ed with rich, rewarding, trusting relationships.
Selling with Hustle, Passion, and Intensity Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.
-Napoleon Bonaparte In our work with professional services providers over the years, we have seen more professionals intend to sel than we have seen actual y sel .
They talk about how they are going to make the transition to rainmaker and build their own practices or how they are going to achieve phenomenal, top-line revenue growth for their service firms through more focused business development efforts. They read books and attend seminars. They make plans to sel . They talk a good game.
Then many do nothing. Oh, they can justify their inaction: They were busy with other things. Perhaps worse than the nothing-doers are the people who shuffle papers or do next to nothing. These toe-dipper-inners deceive themselves by saying, "I did my practice growth work today!" even if their action was listless, untargeted, and unproductive.
If you realy want to bring in some clients and some dolars, you've got to "stop thinking and go in"! With hustle. With passion. With intensity. (HPI, folks.) And your HPI needs to go on for hours on end. For days on end. For months on end.
If you don't, then you'l never know if you could have succeeded.
The ideas in this chapter were originaly published as an article in a RainToday.com e-book, The One Piece of Advice You Can't Sel Without.
In the Introduction to The One Piece of Advice You Can't Sel Without, we commented: "The concept is simple. We've read a lot of advice about seling professional services, and there are a lot of people who claim to know it al. But when you boil it al down, what's real y important? What do you need to know? To answer this question, we asked 11 experts in sel ing professional services: What is the one piece of advice you simply cannot sel without?"
At the time we said, "We don't know, however, the nature of their contributions, as our editorial team has kept the submissions under lock and key. We are going to guess, though, that you might see good advice about building trust and relationships, communicating and sel ing the value of the solution versus the price of the service, listening, focusing on the best buyers, helping others to succeed, and a host of other topics."
We did get al this advice. It's al good advice. Take any one of these pieces of good advice away and your chances for success wil be greatly diminished. Yet we contend that hustle, passion, and intensity supersede them al .
It was said by the Roman dramatist Seneca that "luck is when preparation meets opportunity." Everything just mentioned is about preparation. If you aren't trustworthy, you don't deserve the sale. If you don't sel the value, buyers wil buy on price (or buy from someone else). If you don't focus on the best buyers and have a good business development plan, then you wil spend al your time trying to sel to people who won't or can't buy. If you don't listen, you'l fal apart in so many ways that you won't know what hit you.
But if you don't stop thinking and go in, if you don't create opportunities, then you won't even have the chance to succeed (or fail) with al of your preparation.
SHOOT YOUR SHOTS, KNOCK 'EM STIFF Another story from Mike's youth . . .
Starting when I was 12 and through my teens, I used to caddy and work in the bag room at Salem Country Club, a very nice private golf course in lovely Peabody, Massachusetts (go Tanners!).
There was this one member, a certain Mr. MacTavish (name changed to protect the guilty), who would come in seething about his round of golf. He was a former club champion and somewhere around a 2 handicap. He used to throw his clubs at us to clean them as he complained to his friends about that shot he missed on the 17th. "If I got up and down from the bunker, I would have had a good round. Damn lip on the bunker made me go from par to double bogey. Grrrrr . . . "
The man might have scored under par on 17 of the 18 holes, but he seemed about as happy as my dog at bath time, because he missed a shot. Of course, regardless of his mood, he didn't tip (MacTavish, not the dog).
Then there was Dr. Vontzalides (actual name used to praise the praiseworthy). He'd invariably come back from a round of golf in a good mood. "Did you see that shot I had on the 11th? Never knocked it so stiff from 175 yards before in my life." Of course Dr. Vontzalides was a terrible golfer-constant golf lessons notwithstanding-and might have scored 120 on the round if not for al his mul igans (for you nongolfers, a mul igan is a polite way of saying he took an uncounted do-over). And he always had two bucks for the kid.
Last week I was speaking with a professional at a major accounting firm. After nearly a decade in the profession, she is just now beginning to get started with business development and revenue generation. I told her the Dr. Vontzalides story for two reasons: 1. She was beating herself up for everything she tried that didn't seem to work.
2. She was playing only one hole at a time.
Right now her ability to succeed in business development is about as good as Dr. Vontzalides' ability to succeed on the course. She's new at it. She's going to have a lot of misses. Unlike accounting, where many accountants get virtual y everything right every day, business development is fraught with dead ends and lost deals. It's just how it goes, and she needed to stop taking it so personal y.
If she played 18 holes, new at this as she is, she'd knock it stiff to the pin from 175 here and there. However, she was playing only one hole at a time. I suggested to her that instead of making two phone cal s over a two-day period, she should make 20 and send 20 e-mails, then join the board of a group she's already involved with and plan an event, contact 10 associations with a proposal for a speech at an upcoming event, and send five lunch invitations to business contacts she already has.
If she adds more activity, she'l give herself more chances of succeeding, while at the same time improving her skils with al the practice.
Then she can celebrate when fortune favors her with success, and forget about al the shots that didn't pan out (yet).
"People are reluctant to make that first cal , but they shouldn't be. It's amazing how you don't get hurt if someone says, 'No.' They don't break your nose."
-Mike Sheehan, CEO, Hil Holiday Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the National Basketbal Association's al -time scoring leader with 38,387 points. He hit 15,837 field goals in his career.
He also missed 12,470. That's a 56 percent field goal percentage. (For those who don't know basketbal , that's pretty darn good.) When he got the bal , he sure was prepared. Then again, he figured out a way to create 28,307 opportunities for himself.
How did he do that? He played 57,446 minutes in his career, almost 3,000 minutes more than anyone else. He was in the game!
Basketbal is fun, though, you say? Seling not so much? Don't get us wrong-we understand why some service providers are squeamish about sel ing. They don't understand what it means to be in professional sales. They have competing priorities for their time. They're not sure if they have the skil s to succeed. They're afraid of having sales conversations. They're afraid of failure. They're afraid of success. They're afraid!
If seling is truly a priority for you, and yet you're not taking the actions you need to sel, here's our best advice: YOUR CHALLENGES TO SELLING WITH HPI If you get in the game and do the work with HPI, you'l likely figure out the preparation topics noted earlier. You'l find the right people to help you figure out your value and articulate it. You'l learn how to lead sales conversations with methodologies such as RAIN Sel ing. You'l figure out how to build trust the right way. (Hint: Start by being trustworthy and delivering on your promises.) If you don't get passionate about business development, if you don't approach revenue growth and new client acquisition with HPI, you might just find yourself heavy on preparation (even if it might not feel that way) and light on opportunity.
It's been said that people wil judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold-but so does a hard-boiled egg.
Don't intend to sel. Sel!
Question: What is the one piece of advice you can't sel without?
Answer: Hustle, passion, and intensity (HPI). Everything else has a way of faling into place after that.
Now imagine if your entire team, your practice, and your firm were to engage this sel ing piece of advice for generating new clients with HPI. As Arlo Guthrie might put it, "They'd cal it a movement."68 Just think how much more successful your marketing efforts would become.
About Wellesley Hills Group Recently named to Inc. magazine's list of the fastest growing firms in the United States, Wel esley Hil s Group is a management consulting, marketing, and business development firm dedicated to helping professional services companies increase revenue, prices, and profits. Wel esley Hil s Group helps clients in three core areas: 1. Strategy and brand development: Service firms are often at a loss for how to grow. They don't know what strategies or tactics wil work; and when they do work, they often don't know how to make them most effective. We understand the distinct chal enges of growing, branding, and managing a service business. Our core strategy and brand development services include helping our clients develop strategies for growth, craft marketing and business development plans, and research their clients and their markets.
2. Marketing and lead generation: Lead generation for business-to-business services is different from that for most other industries. We understand the unique dynamics of service businesses and know what tactics wil be most effective to help you generate the leads, the revenue, the relationships, and the brand you need to grow. Our core services include helping our clients generate and nurture leads with our Services in DemandSM program; craft and execute brands and core marketing messages; build and execute web site and Internet marketing strategies; and become thought leaders through thought leadership development, marketing, and public relations (PR).
3. Sales training and performance improvement: Making the transition from service provider to rainmaker, balancing your responsibility between delivering services and sel ing services, and creating a culture of business development at your service firm are al chal enging tasks.
We work with leaders, professionals, business developers, and marketers to help them create a business development culture while giving them and their team the sales skil s and tools they need to succeed. Professional services firms turn to our Rainmaker Development ProgramSM to help their professionals develop the skil s and get the coaching and support they need to become leaders in new business and client development.
Wel esley Hil s Group is committed to providing the freshest insight, research, and ideas to professional services leaders, business developers, and marketers through publishing articles, white papers, the Services Marketing Blog and Newsletter, and research. The Wel esley Hil s Group publishes RainToday.com, the premier site for marketing and sales for professional services.
To learn more about Wel esley Hil s Group, visit www.whil sgroup.com.
AboutRainToday.com Published by Wel esley Hil s Group, RainToday.com is the premier online source for insight, advice, and tools for growing your service business.
RainToday.com's offerings include: * Annual Membership to RainToday.com that brings you the freshest insights, tools, and advice to help you grow your service business.
* Free newsletter with articles by wel -respected marketing, sales, and service business experts such as Mike Schultz, John Doerr, Patrick McKenna, Michael McLaughlin, Jil Konrath, Andrew Sobel, Bruce W. Marcus, and Charles Green on core topics in sel ing and marketing professional services.
* Best practice and benchmark research, such as What's Working in Lead Generation, How Clients Buy, and Fees and Pricing Benchmark Report by analysts and experts at RainToday.com.
* Case studies on what's working in marketing and sel ing professional services.
* Interviews with world-renowned services marketers, rainmakers, and firm leaders.
* Premium content, templates, and tools designed specifical y for helping services providers to grow their firms.
* Podcast series on marketing and sel ing professional services.
* Webinars, seminars, conferences, and events for rainmakers and marketers.
RainToday.com Membership Membership brings you insights, tools, and advice to help you grow your service business. With annual membership you have unlimited access to exclusive members-only premium content, how-to guides and tools, article archives, and webinars.
Learn more: www.RainToday.com/Membership.cfm.
Rainmaker Report-Free Weekly Newsletter Rainmaker Report, RainToday.com's free weekly newsletter, provides proven tactics to market and sel professional services from rainmakers, firm leaders, and your fel ow services marketers worldwide. Visit www.raintoday.com to subscribe.
RainToday.com Research The RainToday.com Research team produces best practices and benchmarking research to help marketers, sel ers, and leaders of professional services firms grow their business. The RainToday.com Research team delivers custom market and client research studies for individual organizations.
For a complete list of available research titles, visit www.raintoday.com/RTStore.cfm.
About the Authors Mike Schultz, Publisher, RainToday.com Mike Schultz is Co-President of the Wel esley Hil s Group and consults with professional services firms worldwide. As its publisher, Mike is responsible for leading RainToday.com, the world's foremost content publication on growth strategy, marketing, and sel ing for professional services firms.
Mike is an engaging and thought-provoking speaker, delivering dozens of keynote talks each year in-house for clients and at leading industry conferences. He has also written over a hundred articles, research reports, and other publications in the areas of marketing and sel ing for professional services.
An avid fly fisherman, golfer, and skier, Mike holds an MBA in marketing and entrepreneurship from Babson Col ege. Mike actively teaches Seirenkai karate and jujitsu, holding the ranks of third-degree black belt and sensei.
John Doerr, Co-President, Wellesley Hills Group John Doerr's extensive career in professional services has included senior executive management, business development and marketing, and product and service development. As Co-President of the Wel esley Hil s Group, he works closely with clients to develop marketing and growth strategies that produce measurable and sustainable results.
John also provides executive and business development coaching for lawyers, accountants, and consultants. He speaks on the subject of professional development marketing and sel ing for clients and conferences throughout the world.
John's international experience includes a stint in Brussels, Belgium, where he was president of Management Centre Europe, the largest pan-European management development and training services firm in Europe. In addition, he has consulted and spoken at numerous events in Europe, including a three-year run as chair of Management Centre Turkiye's Human Resources Conferences in Istanbul.
John holds an MBA, magna cum laude, from the Graduate School of Management at Boston University, and an AB, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Boston Col ege.
Professional Services Marketing Part 21
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Professional Services Marketing Part 21 summary
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