If you read the "About" page, you know my story. Now here is what I do:
To establish your practice in the marketplace takes thinking, intent and experience. Whether you define your firm as old school command and control or one of several new operational modes of collaboration, or teaming, or client centric - we are all out of business if we simply do not have clients and projects. It's not a clear path. We are often confused by our own egos (who we think we are), misguided opportunities (road-kill projects), wasted effort (broad marketing). The results are often camouflaged by hard work and long hours.
"Vision, Strategy, Design - in that order."
Business development is the process of meeting prospects and turning them into clients and projects. To make this happen efficiently, firms must differentiate their practices and target their prospects. Competition is fierce as other practitioners struggle against you for client attention. Doing the same things the same way will not get different results. Together we will explore all the possibilities of the your professional world to gain a better understanding of where you want to be. Facilitating the development of your business showing you how to use your personal time wisely to focus on the important tools is what I bring to the equation. Let me provide the guidance.
"Throw it airborne and let the wind blow away the chafe. Start anew."
Only you and your partners can say who you are as a practice. Even so, when I hold a discovery session to lay it all out on paper, I find great diversity of opinion among friends and partners. This difference is exaggerated the longer people have worked together. It's no mystery. The passage of time and exposure to others and the experience of the practice changes our thinking. Not in a "WHAM" kind of way, but imperceptibly slow during your journey. This is why the discovery session is so valuable, it allows you to once again voice your vision with clarity and compare notes with your partners, associates and team. It is a re-focusing. It can be a cleansing. Some old fashioned facilitating is very helpful to re-build that team consensus with clarity. What was unknown can be voiced, discussed and prioritized. Throw it airborne and let the wind blow away the chafe. Start anew.
"Each firm needs their best method for getting in front of their clients."
Knowing what we know now, who we are, where we want to be and what we want to do is our vision. Half the work is done. Now we need a strategy to implement with intent. Historically firms would "shotgun" their message in an effort to hit all of the targets some of the time and some targets all the time - sound familiar? This process is time and resource intensive and simply not effective today. The Internet and the various data consolidators have provided an easy way to identify prospects in narrow fields. What's missing is the method to connect given limited time and resources. Client prospects break down into categories - former, existing and prospective. The prospective category is the most elusive in that by definition they are people who don't currently work with us, and as disturbing, may not know us at all. Each client category has a unique strategy that works best. Each firm needs their best method for getting in front of their clients.
"Regarding marketing, everyone thinks they're an expert. Few are."
There is quite a bit of confusion and lack of clear definition regarding what marketing really means to a firm. In the professional world, marketing establishes a firm's position in the market - large, small, new, old, personal, creative, experienced, specialist or generalist - any way you want to say it. While marketing is a foundation of experience, image, reputation and culture for each firm, at the top of the pyramid is sales. Sales is closing a deal and gaining a client or customer. And, in between Sales and Marketing are Public Relations and Business Development.
"Marketing is where it all begins. There are a lot of tools. And, you're going to need a plan."
Marketing positions the firm and it's talent and experience. Public Relations is third party reporting about your firm, typically through the media. Business Development creates personal relationships with prospective clients BEFORE a project is identified. Sales typically driven by principals, closes the deal.
Marketing isn't Sales. PR isn't Marketing. BD isn't PR or Sales. Each is a unique and important element and step of the process. It is difficult and often unsuccessful to skip a step and leave out an element or to think BD will close a deal. It just doesn't work that way. Marketing is where it all begins. There are a lot of tools. And, you're going to need a plan.