October 22, 2019

For many decades, in medical school physicians have been taught the “3 A’s” of a sound practice management. They are the 3 qualities that their patients will value most highly, in rank order of importance:

  1. Affability

  2. Accessibility

  3. Ability

Regardless of whether your professional field is medicine, law, technology or finance, that same ranking applies to how you will be valued by clients, particularly in B2B businesses.

For b...

September 9, 2019

The first question we ask prospective clients is, “Do you have a Marketing Plan?”

Many prospects sheepishly acknowledge that they don’t have a formal Marketing Plan. This group earns big points with us for honesty.

Some less forthright prospects will claim that they have a Marketing Plan, but when asked to show it to us, this group responds with, “Our plan isn’t written down,” or “It’s being updated,” which really means that they don’t hav...

July 8, 2019

There are two reasons why marketing fails most often at small- and medium-sized B2B firms. Either or both of these failings may apply to your situation:

You view marketing as business triage. Your company uses a collection of tactics (often labeled as a “marketing campaign”) only in response to a problem; typically involving the loss of a key client, or decline in revenue. When business is good, little or no time is invested in marketing....

March 11, 2019

Nearly 5 years ago, I wrote a LinkedIn blog post (The PR Industry’s Dirty Little Secret) that called out PR practitioners who use their “close relationships” with journalists – along with the implication that those relationships will generate media coverage – to sell their services to prospective clients.

The “Big Lie” in this sales pitch is that no journalist will ever cover a topic because they know your PR rep.  Further, any PR rep who...

February 13, 2019

Business owners across all industries and professions start companies because they have a specific expertise or interest – whether it involves trading currency futures or replacing car mufflers – and eventually discover that selling their product or service is neither in their wheelhouse, nor something they enjoy doing.

To make matters worse, business owners often engage ad agencies, PR firms and outside (and internal) marketing “experts”...

November 27, 2018

Over the past 20 years, most of my firm’s new business has been generated by unsolicited pitch letters sent to targeted prospects. These brief, tailored messages – sent either by email or snail mail – have not only enabled us to maintain a consistent pipeline of clients; but more importantly, we’ve built a practice consisting of high-value companies and people that we wanted to work for. And we’ve never resorted to advertising, sponsorsh...

November 9, 2018

Client newsletters are the most widely used, often abused and hotly debated marketing tactic for professional services firms of any size. Here are three highly subjective myths and realities to help your firm determine whether it’s a worthwhile tool, or how to improve your current newsletter.

MYTH #1:       Your B2B Firm Needs a Client Newsletter

Marketers want you to believe that your firm needs a newsletter....

August 31, 2018

For most B2B companies, there’s no reliable way to predict when a prospective client will purchase their product or engage their services, regardless of what their “marketing automation” expert promises.

This is particularly challenging for professional services firms – legal, accounting, investment advisory, technology, management consulting, recruiting or marketing – where top-of-mind awareness (getting people to remember you) is a crit...

June 6, 2018

The most recent survey of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) shows that not much has changed over the past 10 years. CMOs continue their struggle to make the connection between marketing activity and company performance, and they continue to shift the blame for their failure.

Despite the fact that financial results are rated as the most important factor in a CMO’s performance-based compensation, executive recruitment firm Korn Ferry’s CMO su...

March 8, 2018

Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Zweig recently called out “marketing services specialist” Clint Arthur for selling speaking opportunities at the Harvard Faculty Club and the West Point Club, as a means for his paying clients to leverage the credibility associated with those two respected institutions.

As Zweig’s article points out, however, the schools neither sponsored those events, nor endorsed the program in any way. Apparently, Zw...

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