If you lack time, focus on the serious stuff
Marketing your firm takes strategy, planning, the right people, the right tools, a lot of time and support from the top. So, if you are strapped for any of these resources, here are my top recommendations on what to focus on to maintain your level of business and grow your firm.
Current clients are your number one priority. Why? Because they already know you, hopefully, trust and like you, and bring their business to you. They should be a key source of new referrals and repeat business.
And when you do the maths, you’ll find that it’s cheaper to retain a customer than acquire one. In fact, a study by Our Social Times reported that 70% of businesses today believe this to be true.
With this in mind, what should you measure and focus on when thinking of current clients?
- The average revenue per client
- The number of new matters/business per client.
As the firm your clients trust, you handle their many and often complex transactions. As you’ve worked with them before and they are happy with the service your performance, it’s crucial to continue delivering the same level of service. And if you have clients receiving only one service, find benefits for them to leverage your firm’s capability by cross-selling additional services.
Because current clients will prove to be your most valuable assets, relationships should be nurtured. Be consistent and don’t experiment with existing clients by passing them on to inexperienced team members who could, potentially, undo all the trust and loyalty that took years to build due to their lack of experience and inability to handle complicated requirements.
The cost of acquisition for new clients is far higher than current clients but, to grow your firm, bringing in new clients is a must. So, while customer retention is essential, customer acquisition should also be a priority. Here’s what to focus on with new clients.
- How many enquiries come into your firm?
- Where do they come from? Word-of-mouth referrals, website, marketing campaigns or events?
- How many enquiries turn into a coffee meeting or a consultation?
- How many of these meetings turn into a client?
According to Propero’s The State of Digital Marketing in Professional Services UK Industry Report 2017, 1 in 10 firms admitted to not knowing where their new business enquiries come from. This is unfortunate because it’s vital to track where your new clients are coming from as it allows you to identify which channels are most effective and how your marketing spend is providing a return on investment.
If word-of-mouth referrals are your best source of new enquiries, you may want to develop an incentive program for existing clients every time they make a referral that brings you new business. And if your website is pulling traffic and producing hot leads, then that’s the channel to invest in. You need to recognise which channel is most successful at filling the funnel and what content is driving them there.
Think about the processes that support all of these measures and tweak them to grow your revenues and efficiencies. And whether you are dealing with old or new clients, the key is never to promise something you cannot deliver. This is the fastest way to lose any client, regardless of how long you’ve worked for them or if their business is new to you. Be honest with your limitations and clients will appreciate your honesty.