Looking into the future
You’ve probably noticed how one of the top buzzwords on the Internet is mass personalisation. Every marketer is talking about it, but it seems to me that most fail to notice that the concept itself is an oxymoron! I mean, just think about it, how can you do personalised marketing on a massive scale? You would need an enormously in-depth CRM to capture all sorts of information and behaviours.
Even though that remains the case, one thing is still certain – real interpersonal skills are the clear ‘stand out’ in taking a personal approach. Mass personalisation stems from this, and it’s important to remember that even though we live in an online world, real-life skills are far more critical than many care to admit.
What’s more, when we think about the careers of the future, we often think of technical training. However, we believe that interpersonal and communication skills will be highly sought after. They will continue to matter in the future, and they may even become more important than they are now.
That’s precisely why marketing will be one of the core skills professional service firms will need to have in the coming days.
What may your future firm look like?
Your future firm will all be about how you efficiently deliver your services and how people and their skills add value where automation, mass customisation and outsourcing cannot. It will also be about how your communicate this value and who you communicate it with.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the primary skills your team will need to have to stay at the top in the future:
- Relationships with your clients – when it comes to professional service firms, it’s all about the client. That’s why how you deal with your clients, and the relationships you build with them will continue to be vital in the future. You need to think how to support your relationships with each client and the reach back into your firm. What are the actions needed to support this relationship, by whom, through what methods, what systems will track it and what people will be involved so that risk is minimised and your client feels valued. That’s what personalisation should really be.
- Sales and communication skills – not everyone in your team needs to be a sales expert, but communication is still vital. What’s more, your client managers and service area leaders need to be good at sales and at communicating your service to the clients.
- Communicate the new – if you’re going to be focusing on communication, you should make sure to talk about the new ways you are delivering value. This way, it evidences your services and reduces implied risk of ‘newness’. It’s vital to ensure you are talking about something new as much as you’re talking about the standard stuff. Tell your clients about something new you’ve learned that can help them, or help them uncover new growth opportunities. It’s all about using your expertise to be proactive and offer your clients something new and beneficial.
- Manage new technologies – it’s more important than ever to have a specific strategy in place for new technologies. Just as you have an onboarding process for a new team member, you need to have one for new technologies. You should also have someone who specialises in handling and incorporating new technologies, so you don’t lose your legacy knowledge base.
The bottom line
All in all, the firm of the future is not so different from the one of today. If you manage to incorporate the skills we discussed, you are very likely to reach and stay at the top of your field.
If you want to learn more, contact Thought Leadership Initiative, we are here to help you prepare for the future!