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Trust is Everything

Trust is Everything

When it comes to professional services, Tom McMakin believes trust is everything. That’s because information asymmetries are inherent in professional services. The service provider diagnoses the disease and provides the cure, the effects of which may take a long time to ascertain. Consequently, there is a very real risk of exploitation of the buyer by the seller. So, competence isn’t enough. A higher standard of trust is required.

Podcast
Sales or Marketing?

Sales or Marketing?

Which is more important to professional service providers: marketing or selling skills? The answer is both, contrary to common assumptions about the value of division of labor. Solutions providers conduct research and product development (marketing functions) in the same instant they present and pitch (selling functions). The need for versatility makes professional services challenging and rewarding. Above all—according to Don Scales, the CEO of Investis—we must think.

Article
The Problem with “No Problem”

The Problem with “No Problem”

The two most dangerous words in the world of professional services are, “No problem.” The attractiveness of an expert services practice goes up in direct proportion to the power of its niche. Tom McMakin recommends a whitepaper authored by Lee Frederiksen at The Hinge Group titled, “Differentiation Guide for Professional Services Firms.”

Video
Forget About Being Likable

Forget About Being Likable

Doug Fletcher is one of the most likable people you’ll meet. His easy-going manner puts one at ease. So, it’s a bit jarring to hear Doug advise, “Forget about being likable.” Instead, Doug encourages us to do great work and take really good care of our clients. In his estimation, respect and trust trump likability.

Article
2018 Consulting Outlook

2018 Consulting Outlook

The current uncertainty in our political environment compounded by disruption throughout industry is creating a climate ripe for consulting services. Traditionally, risk and opportunity have driven the need for companies to invest in consulting services and 2018 is offering a plethora of both.

Podcast
The Good Stuff

The Good Stuff

When it comes to content marketing, if you hold back your “good stuff,” your efforts will be less effective. Your good stuff is, by definition, the most interesting stuff. If you hold back and offer up only your not-so-good-stuff, your offering will be less compelling.

Video
The Decline of Business Golf

The Decline of Business Golf

Playing golf at the country club used to be an effective way to cultivate business relationships. That’s no longer true. Globalization and specialization have made selling professional services more difficult. That’s because trust may be more important than ever, and building trust across distance is hard.

Press
Overcoming the Sales Stigma

Overcoming the Sales Stigma

There is a sales stigma among professional service providers. In “Why We Hate Salespeople,” Tom McMakin encourages us to address this aversion head-on. Cultivate relationships, add value prior to the sale, and demonstrate trustworthiness.

Podcast
Can a Billboard Improve Your Sales?

Can a Billboard Improve Your Sales?

Advertising professional services can help, but it’s a relatively poor investment. With the help of Walt Shill, Global Managing Partner for Client Services at ERM, Tom McMakin explains how it’s better to develop strategies and processes that can deliver real impact for your clients.