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.
Tom McMakin spoke with Bert Martinez, host of the “Money for Lunch” podcast on why many professional services providers are allergic to sales and selling.
Tom McMakin spoke with Richard Henderson and Sherilyn Colleen, co-hosts of Home Business Radio about building an expert services practice.
In consulting and professional services trust is the coin of the realm. Your job is to not only present potential clients with compelling solutions to their problems, but also to buttress their efforts to trust you: that you can get the job done and have their best interests at heart.
It’s better to demonstrate expertise than to claim it. Paul Quigley explains how organizing and moderating well-crafted panel discussions can help you sell from “the front of the room.”
I sat down with Cavin Segil and asked him to narrate a typical introductory call with a potential client. He says they always include a handful of key components. Call them the ABCs of an introductory call: a) learn who they are, b) whare what you do with an example, and c) schedule a follow-up call.
At the end of the introductory call, most prospects will ask for a “short piece” describing what you do and what you’ve done for others. Carlie Auger describes the four elements of a strong deck.
If you could ask a question of one of your peers, what would it be? We naturally seek assistance from those who are fellow travelers. Andi Baldwin seeks to find out what you would ask one of your peers in order to help you.
Clients aren’t sold services. They buy them based on their evaluation of seven criteria: Awareness, Understanding, Interest, Belief, Trust, Ability, and Readiness. All seven elements must be present before a client can buy.
Too often, we start the sales process from our point of view. Instead, start from your desired customer’s perspective.
Selling expert services requires more than a killer pitch, a winning personality, and effective time management. It’s time to unlearn what you think you know about sales.
Advertising professional services was once prohibited by custom and law. Now, it’s tough to get your message across.
Admit it: you didn’t aspire to be a salesperson. That has consequences. The lack of esteem by which sales is held among professional services leads to real problems.
You might think people like being interviewed because they like to hear themselves talk — that it’s vanity, a shiny mirror we put in front of people that lets them admire themselves. I disagree. I think thoughtful questions are an invitation to create new understanding.
Doug Fletcher explains the first two obstacles to selling services. First, we’re trained to do the work, not sell the work. Second, selling a service is different and harder than selling things.
Ann Kieffaber recently retired from the healthcare practice at Accenture as a Managing Director. Before that, she worked for IBM. In both roles, she was charged with helping the largest healthcare organizations transform how they collect, understand and use data. Whenever she started an engagement, she asked herself one powerful question: How do I create outrageous success for my clients?
In an age when computers are ubiquitous, it is easy to want to automate the selling of expert services. Software can have its place, but nothing replaces human contact. If you see someone you feel you can help, sometimes it just makes sense to just pick up the phone.
When selling services to large organizations, there is never a single decision-maker. Individuals buy, but they exist within a buying ecosystem. Ann Kieffaber explains how understanding the sea in which your prospects swim is critical to engaging with them and helping them achieve their goals.
Leadership is not just Braveheart-come-follow-me. It’s also a healthy dose of listening to those one wants to lead.
Tom McMakin believes that selling expert services is different than selling a product. I’m convinced he’s right. Marketers of products are generally able to rely on what Doug Hall calls “kitchen logic” to tie features to benefits. Marketers of expert services, on the other hand, must bolster their value propositions by offering opportunities for personal experience and through testimonials. Failing to recognize the differences could be catastrophic in an environment where general brand pedigree may be diminishing in relative importance.