Professional Services Firms are struggling with regards to keeping and locating the business. This on top of how many need to come to grips with the truth that they need to market. The market has definitely shifted. You can’t sit there aggressively waiting for the phone to ring anymore.
A single partner from a well-respected law, firm vented his frustration at the lack of action being taken in his own company by spouses and their teams in terms of driving the drive to find new business in current and new accounts. He stated that some groups were sitting around with no work to perform and nobody knows what to do about it.
“It is so frustrating, they just don’t even know how to get a phone and call clients and prospects. They are only sitting there saying they don’t have any work to perform all of the while our business is struggling to meet revenue targets. While I know some support areas are hit harder than others there’s still work to be done and if we could only just get talking to clients we would be ok. All I would like to do is to get out and have coffee with as many clients as I can and even though I haven’t been educated about how to sell well finding business. Although I want to know how to get it done for certain”.
Regardless of the tougher marketplace, you’ll find market opportunities that are out there. There is cash to be made. There are clients to be obtained! However, many professional services companies aren’t realising their true potential.
Relying mostly on passive referrals for new business leads and glossy marketing stuff, many professional services companies are not securing their current and future revenue flows. They have left themselves vulnerable and weak. In many cases, they’re not even accessing their existing client databases to see what new business opportunities exist.
And do not even speak to them about cross-selling and up-selling other support lines – many remain trapped in the silo mentality.
Through our observations and work in the services sector, it seems many managing partners and principals are wanting more from their partners, directors, supervisors, and partners in regards to proactively building sustainable and profitable business relationships with their clientele. The problem is many of them do not know where to start or how to get it done. They have attempted to make a start by putting on a Business Development Manager but it’s really the partners and supervisors themselves who should be out there selling as part of the job.
Our study shows that no longer can it be good enough for these people to rely solely on their technical proficiency i.e. being only a lawyer or accountant. Now and in the long run, these people also will need to effectively self encourage and potential for new business utilizing ethical and professional revenue plans, demonstrating real value for money.
But, the sales function doesn’t come naturally to most people in these professions and often they don’t have the relevant tools essential to make it operate. They certainly weren’t taught this at university. In fact, many were fed derogatory myths concerning promoting and many still consider them to be true now. That is just one reason they are in trouble.
We have discovered that many professional services team have yet to be shown the right way to market or taught the behaviors and skills necessary to set them in a position to win quality business. Often the sales function’s significance is sabotaged, underestimated, or left to too few people, usually the most senior partner or”rainmaker”, potentially leaving the business vulnerable to missed market opportunities, hidden earnings, and competitor erosion.
Many firms lack the foundations to create a viable professional sales civilization e.g.:
Inaccurate or bad understanding of what good selling really is and its importance to business
Very poor skills in the sales area
Partners and directors lacking direct responsibility for brand new business and earnings growth
Mixed messages: “I’ve got to find more business but when I do not do my 6 billable hours that I will not fulfill my performance standards”. Partners are being captured in the billable hour operation trap rather than utilizing placing the time to get out and develop the business they could then pass on to their own teams to provide. Click here to know more about Baton Rouge Child Custody and family lawyers baton rouge.
No use of client databases and also a silo mentality limiting up-sell and cross-sell opportunities
No new business sales strategy or plan
No customer retention plan or strategy
No earnings model for people to understand, follow and apply
Sales limited to pull’ prospecting strategies such as brochures, website, etc. at the expense of proactive advertising and actual professional relationship sales strategies
No Key Performance Indicators and Key Result Areas connected to earnings, new business development, etc…
To name a few.
Given that professional services firms are working in an increasingly competitive market place having much more sophisticated clients anticipating higher levels of value and service and a Number of their solutions are at risk of being commoditized:
– What are firms doing to differentiate themselves?
– How are they making sure of their potential viability and success?
– Are they making sure they’re a sales match?