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.
Even if the primary purpose of your practice isn’t to make money, making money is a requirement for sustaining your practice. By definition, a sale is the exchange of a service for money. So why isn’t selling featured in the curricula of business schools—or any other professional schools?
In this second in a series of interviews, Andi Baldwin of Profitable Ideas Exchange interviews “How Clients Buy” co-authors, Tom McMakin and Doug Fletcher, about the framework they call, “The Seven Elements” of business development for professional services.
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.
In this first of a series of interviews, Andi Baldwin of Profitable Ideas Exchange asked “How Clients Buy” co-authors Tom McMakin and Doug Fletcher to explain the premise of the book and why they were compelled to write it.
Authenticity is critical to successfully engaging potential clients, but you can’t game it. You are who you are. That means authenticity comes at a cost. Nate Bennett explains why the benefits of authenticity far outweigh the costs.
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.