Archives

2020-spring-how-do-your-clients-view-you

How do your clients view you? Ask them.

When working with clients, we often find it is obvious that they do not know if their clients are satisfied. They assume that if the client doesn’t tell them about it, the client is happy and will continue to work with them. While it is a problem, it is a relatively simple one to solve. […]

When working with clients, we often find it is obvious that they do not know if their clients are satisfied. They assume that if the client doesn’t tell them about it, the client is happy and will continue to work with them.

While it is a problem, it is a relatively simple one to solve. How? Ask your clients.

There are several ways to do so from a simple client satisfaction survey to more in-depth client interviews. Before we get into the mechanics of surveys or interviews, it may be helpful to know why asking your clients is a good idea.

BAD NEWS

You will likely discover potential issues with the client, which sounds like asking them would be a bad idea. But it is better to know if there are fixable problems before the client fires you and hires a competitor. We do not think it is a client’s responsibility to bring issues to you – it is your responsibility, as the service provider, to ask.  Further, there are likely others in your market to service the client giving the client plenty of choices to hire someone else.  Keep your finger on their pulse, so they do not exercise other options. Without asking, you may be the last to know that there were fixable issues.

OPPORTUNITIES

This is your chance to uncover potential opportunities. If the client is generally satisfied, they may consider you for other services. The survey or interview should ask questions to find out what other needs the client has and who provides those services.  You can also use this opportunity to make sure that the client understands the full range of services that you can provide.

TESTIMONIALS

Client satisfaction tools are an easy way to solicit positive client testimonials and reviews that can be used for marketing purposes.  Depending on your profession, there may be compliance or ethical considerations on how you are able to use testimonials and reviews, so be careful before you implement the use of your clients’ kind words!

Did we convince you on why you should be talking to your clients?  Okay, now, how do you go about it?

As mentioned above, you can either take a survey or interview.

THE SURVEY

This may be a more realistic approach due to time and money concerns.  There are inexpensive tools that are available for client satisfaction surveys.  One example is SurveyMonkey – it is easy to use and has features to see data and measure results.  It is also an email tool, so you do not have to deal with envelopes, postage, printing, and everything else that is related to post mail.

CLIENT INTERVIEWS

If you decide to go “All-in” and do client interviews, you can uncover a lot of information and can interact with the client on a human level.  As you can imagine, this takes much more time than a survey.  One point to make is that a face-to-face interview may cause the client to hold back.  Most people do not like confrontation or be comfortable expressing dissatisfaction.  A possible solution, and probably a good idea, is to have somebody else do the interview.  This other person could be a colleague, such as the top dog at your company, or there are outside agencies that can provide these services. An added benefit to this latter approach is that a third-party can ensure confidentiality if that is the client’s preference.

No matter which approach makes sense for you, pick one.  Start small by picking and starting with just a few key clients.  This will help you focus on specifics and hone your questions. And, once you see the positive comments, you’ll be inclined to keep going. One point of caution: don’t exclude “problem” clients, or those who you think will not give you good reviews. You could save your working relationship by showing that you value them.

There is an old saying that clients do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.  One way to show your level of care is to simply ask.  It is key to keeping satisfied clients.  Satisfied clients are loyal clients.  Loyal clients will send you repeat business and refer others to you.  They will also be more apt to work with you to fix problems.

ESQuisite Marketing is a professional service marketing company with a niche in the legal industry. Clients include large and small law firms, solo practitioners, certified legal nurse consultants, public speakers, financial services firms, and nonprofits in the Lehigh Valley and throughout the U.S.

Share This:

2020-winter-unleash-your-niche

Unleash Your Niche!

What is niche marketing?  According to businessdictionary.com, niche marketing is defined as Concentrating all marketing efforts on a small but specific and well-defined segment of the population. Niches do not ‘exist’ but are ‘created’ by identifying needs, wants, and requirements that are being addressed poorly or not at all by other firms, and developing and […]

What is niche marketing?  According to businessdictionary.com, niche marketing is defined as Concentrating all marketing efforts on a small but specific and well-defined segment of the population. Niches do not ‘exist’ but are ‘created’ by identifying needs, wants, and requirements that are being addressed poorly or not at all by other firms, and developing and delivering goods or services to satisfy them. As a strategy, niche marketing is aimed at being a big fish in a small pond instead of being a small fish in a big pond. Also called micromarketing.

Pretty self-explanatory, right?  So, what does it have to do with those who work in professional services?  You know, accountants, architects, engineers, financial planners, IT consultants, lawyers, and management consultants.  Niche marketing has everything to do with these folks if they want to build a profitable business, and maybe have some fun while doing it.

As food for thought, the following are possible niche markets.  The accountant can create a niche representing the legal industry.  The lawyer can market legal services to the accounting industry.  We have seen many lawyers with niche practices such as cemetery law, food law, self-storage law, and equine law to name a few.  The architect can market her expertise in all things regarding historic homes and buildings.  A civil engineer can market a niche targeting school design and building.  The management consultant can build a niche helping family-owned business or women-owned businesses.  The possibilities are endless as long as there is a market for your services.

The benefits of building a niche are plenty.  You can become a true leader in a narrow space.  With this leadership, you can create a premium brand.  As we all know, people will pay more for a premium brand – so be that brand.  Also, premium brands, by their nature, are more in demand.  Using simple math, your niche allows you to charge more, and there is a higher demand.  That is a formula for high profits and a huge success.

Because this concept is not new to us, we have heard many of the common arguments against this approach.  Niche marketing is about marketing.  We have clients that will push back and tell us, we do more than that.  Don’t fret, you can do other things, just market appropriately to the niche. Just because an accountant has many law firm clients doesn’t mean she can’t have a restaurant client.

As mentioned earlier, for a niche marketing to be successful, there has to be a market for the services.  For the youngsters out there, you may not remember Y2K. Many lawyers thought that Y2K was going to be the next legal boom. They put all their marketing eggs into the Y2K basket.  It was a bust. The point is to make sure there is a buying market for your niche.  It may not be a good idea for the architect to market a historic building niche in a rural area with no historic buildings.  However, maybe this architect can develop a niche, designing buildings for the agriculture industry.

Also, we highly recommend that whatever niche you choose, you have a passion for it. Or, at least an interest. Marrying your passion with your job can be very lucrative as well as fun and satisfying.  We love the legal industry, saw a need for high-level marketing services in an underserved market.  This was the birth of ESQuisite Marketing.

So, to sum, identify a niche that will have demand, build the niche using a strategic marketing plan, try to include a passion, make more money, and have more fun.

ESQuisite Marketing is a professional service marketing company with a niche in the legal industry. Clients include large and small law firms, solo practitioners, certified legal nurse consultants, public speakers, financial services firms, and nonprofits in the Lehigh Valley and throughout the U.S., including New Jersey, Florida, Nevada, Michigan, Tennessee, and New York.

Share This:

summer-2019-professional-services-marketing

The 3 “T’s” of Professional Services Marketing

Marketing can be a scary word. Where do you start? What is the most effective way to market? How do you budget? Slow down.  With a little planning, some focus, and a straightforward to-do list, you can handle this. Whether you are an accountant, lawyer, financial planner, or an engineer – these tips can be […]

Marketing can be a scary word. Where do you start? What is the most effective way to market? How do you budget? Slow down.  With a little planning, some focus, and a straightforward to-do list, you can handle this. Whether you are an accountant, lawyer, financial planner, or an engineer – these tips can be applied regardless of your service and focused on your niche area.

TIME: Identify how much time are you willing to commit to your marketing?  You can’t run a marathon if you are only willing to devote one hour/week to training. Same with marketing. You can’t plan to write 5 blogs, an article and do two presentations a week if you can only commit an hour/week to marketing, because that will only get you 2-3 blogs or an article.  That’s not even a half marathon.

TALENT: What are you good at – besides CrossFit or watching Game of Thrones?  Were you on the debate team or just love public speaking? Get involved at an industry event as a panelist, emcee, or speaker.  Did you minor in journalism or keep diaries? Start blogging, find industry publications to write articles for, and write articles for LinkedIn. Are you a social butterfly and love working the room? Get out to networking events and join boards at your local Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations. Do you love helping others and have a soft spot for the needy? Volunteer and sit on the board for non-profits. Are you a natural at having close relationships? Schedule one-on-one meetings with clients, prospects, and referral sources.  Your reputation and relationships are what makes you memorable.

TARGET: What are your goals? Tangible goals. For example, if you are 34, retirement at 40 with $18 million in your 401K isn’t what I want to hear, unless you already have $15m banked, then let’s talk. Set tangible goals for the next year, keeping in mind your talent and time. Set small goals for three weeks from now, 3 months from now, 6 months from now, and so on. If you make all your goals due at the end of the year, you will keep procrastinating. Hold yourself accountable – or rally some co-workers to join you in your efforts and create a wager, so you stay motivated.

EXAMPLE 1: You are an outgoing accountant looking to meet small business owners as prospective clients, and you commit to setting aside an hour/week. You set a goal to meet 3 business owners in three weeks. Reach out to some people in your network and ask if they will set up a lunch meeting with someone whom you want to meet or that they think you should meet. Attend an event where you can meet small business owners. Reach out to a connection on LinkedIn that you don’t really know and set up a phone call or meeting.

EXAMPLE 2: You are an associate attorney working in your firm’s liquor law department where you are hoping to drum up new distillery clients. You have 10 hours/month for marketing, and you enjoy writing and public speaking. Start a blog or contribute to your firm’s existing blog. Set a schedule and make sure you have at least two blogs in the hopper, you never know when a work or a personal emergency will arise. Sign up to do a CLE at your local bar association or team up with another practice area in your firm and do an in-house presentation (you and a labor & employment attorney covering things distilleries need to think about).  Attend events at the local distilleries – get to know the owners and their needs.

EXAMPLE 3: You are an engineer and need to drum up more business outside of your immediate area.  Your goal is to connect with construction companies, developers, planning commissions, and zoning boards.  You hate public speaking and writing, but you don’t mind social settings.  You work during the day, but most evenings are free for marketing. Attend events for the economic development organization in the geographic area you want to target, register for land development conferences, and see if there are any real estate development/planning commission events at your local Chamber.

Long story short – it’s not rocket science. It takes planning, discipline, and accountability. Just like a diet or exercise plan, you need to stay the course and vary the activity to see results – eating only broccoli and doing bicep curls will not help you achieve your fitness goals – and neither will only blogging and connecting with people on LinkedIn.  However, stick with activities that you like – you will be more likely to stick with it.

Share This: