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Clients Want Your Firm To Be Better, Not Different

The vibrant life of Summer may be in full swing, but some things never change. I’ve noticed many professionals at the top of their game hold either unrealistic expectations for marketing, or see marketing as little more than smoke and mirrors, and marketing consultants as charlatans selling snake oil. “Helping” professional services firms do marketing

The Client Question You Should NOT Answer and Why

An investment advisor took a piece of lunchtime advice from me, and closed a $10 million client. A few days later news of a Stanford study on negotiation landed in my inbox echoing the same themes. First, the science courtesy of my friends at Eloqui. Stanford Graduate School of Business Professor Margaret Neale along with

6 Goals for Great Marketing

Ordinary marketing is trying to persuade the market it needs a firm’s products and services. Great marketing is telling a story of how your firm benefits your customer’s business. Note that great marketing uses a different model than ordinary marketing. Ordinary marketing talks about What your firms does, Who is serves, and how it is

Powerful Referrals: Make Your Law Firm Marketing Unstoppable

The LMA Bay Area put on a great program in San Francisco regarding generating more powerful referrals via law firm marketing. I was honored to share the dais with Vickie Spang and moderator Alison Coleman. Below are a few key points from the wide-ranging discussion. Not All Referrals Are the Same Terminology is important. There are at

Marketing’s Role Is Taking On the Big Issues

76% of CMOs believe they are aligned with their CEO’s agenda, but just 46% of CEOs agree according to a new study from McKinsey. I suspect this is true at companies and firms of all sizes, not just the big firms McKinsey surveyed. Just because a firm has a partner in charge of “marketing” rather than

A Costly Lesson from Losing Focus

If you’re anything like me, you much prefer learning from other people’s mistakes. When you’re able (and willing) to look across industries you’ll find even more lessons from other people’s mistakes. Just because you’re not in the fast-food business doesn’t mean McDonald’s pain can’t become your gain. “After losing about 500 million US orders over the past

How Not to Think About Raising Fees

Yes, you should be thinking about raising your fees. But, the CPAs in a recent Accounting Today article, On the Rise: Hiking Fees for Next Season?, approach the topic in entirely the wrong way. As my business grows, I expect the cost of getting my taxes done to increase. I’m no more happy about paying someone

When Your Sure Thing Offer Isn’t

Coffee with a colleague last week reminded me of how frustrating it is to have a great offering that’s inexplicably resistant to gaining traction. Mike’s firm reduces costs by optimizing procurement–he figures he can save most companies at least 20%. His firm has a great track record, he gets paid only from the resulting savings,

Pressure on Fees and Profits Got You Down?

I’m hearing more tales of woe about fees and profits getting squeezed. The squeeze is hitting even professional services firm leaders used to charging above market rates. When clients buy on price, they see a commodity. That should be a wakeup call. You don’t want to be a commodity. Your firm may be better than competitors,

How to Overcome the “Fear of Selling”

Professionals love practicing their trade, but many find little enthusiasm in selling their own services. As more than one PhD or attorney has told me, “I didn’t go to grad school because I wanted to become a salesperson.” It’s an issue even at firms large enough for a dedicated sales and business development staff as