The Best Way To Grow Your Fees (the marketer’s perspective)
How has our working environment changed over the past 10 years? The public practice environment in Australia emerged from the paradigm of a compliance-based approach to client service to an approach that is increasingly dedicated to serving the complete financial needs of clients.
Today, many firms are telling their clients that they are a ‘one-stop’ shop for financial advisory services including tax accounting, financial planning, business advisory, mortgage broking and risk management services. The core values of these firms include such terms as partnership, proactivity, service and results. And firms are really thinking more seriously about marketing.
A benchmark report on marketing for professional practices noted that “more listening, closer relationships and off-the-clock investment are better marketing (than promotion) and provide the real differentiation so many clients want to see. Clients (and potential clients) want firms to understand and meet their needs more effectively, but are clear that the current emphasis on promotion is not the way to achieve it.”
Marketing allows professional service practices to more effectively see the world through their clients’ eyes. The best way of doing this is to invest non-chargeable time in key relationships.
Your firm should take action to build strong relationships every day. Technology should be used to maintain contact and develop relationships, not just to present a ‘billboard’ to the marketplace. There are some simple ‘marketing’ strategies that will be far more effective than brochures, websites and newsletters in creating greater revenue for the professional firm.
1. Listen rather than talk to clients, find out what’s important to them
2. Ask your clients how to serve them better in achieving their goals
3. Implement systems to ensure that your work culture supports relationship development
4. Use marketing to reinforce the above
Where is the best place to start?
As marketers, we need to assess where we can add most value to the firm and its clients. At the end of the day, resources (time and money) do limit marketing activities, so we need to be realistic. This is all the more reason to take care with spending money on marketing. Marketers add value by showing practices how to go to the market, live the firm’s values, listen to the market, identify opportunities, share knowledge with clients and create new services to address client needs. Nothing focuses a business like a formal plan of action, with clear objectives and measures to gauge progress. Most people in professional practice would agree with this. Then, why do we fail to adopt this approach with our own firm? Setting solid marketing goals and working towards them with an effective strategy is the key to success!
How to develop and implement your firm’s 2014/15 Marketing Plan
Are you struggling to achieve your goal when it comes to developing a feasible and effective marketing strategy?
Training Beyond Accounting has a special 90 minute recorded online program which will show you how to develop and implement your firm’s 2014/15 marketing plan, taking you through the step by step process, so you walk off the field a winner every time. Perhaps you already have a marketing or business development strategy, but are struggling to make it happen in the real game. In this recorded session, we’ll review all key elements of a successful marketing plan for your firm, including online, networking and referral activities.
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