In Part One of "Why do Professional Services Firms have trouble winning new clients" we outlined some of the challenges firms face in getting new clients to switch suppliers. Whether through lack of resources, poor strategy, insufficient energy to implement plans, or lack of will, many professional services firms fail to make lead generation work for them. In the name of generating leads and improving brand, they spend and spend on the wrong tactics (or the right tactics implemented poorly) and get little in return.
Making Lead Generation work
This doesn’t have to be the case, if you know how to make lead generation work for professional services. Here are five steps to making lead generation work for your professional services firm:
1. Understand clearly who your key targets are.
The best way to start is to rank your clients from highest to lowest revenues for the last two years. Then look at what are the common characteristics for the top 50% - are the in the same industries, the same locations or do they want the same services.
2. Identify their key problems.
Once you have identified common characteristics create a short “customer survey” and call a sample of your top 50% of clients to understand what problems they are looking to solve, how you help them solve these problems and what other options they use to solve the problems
3. Get them to notice you.
Use multiple marketing channels to communicate how you solve your key prospect's problems. This will allow your prospects to find you no matter where they are looking. Make sure your website has great free content, is optimised for the key search terms and captures visitor’s details to build your prospect list. Also list your business in relevant free or low-cost online directories and make use of direct mail, email marketing, selected social media and PR opportunities. Then make your content available to your referral partners to distribute to their clients.
4. Engage and nurture them so they engage your services.
Provide relevant content with a consistent message on how your target prospects can solve their key problems using a planned content calendar. Make sure your content outlines how they can solve these problems, plus provide great information on issues that could affect their business. But remember this is not selling but relationship building. The enquiries will come when they see you as a trusted supplier.
5. Follow-up with enquiries quickly
Make sure when your prospects make enquiries you call them immediately. This will set you apart from all their other options.
Now you are well on the way making Lead Generation work for your Practice or Business