Douglas is Director at Size 10 ½ Boots, a business development agency that works solely with professional service firms. Tenandahalf help their clients grow by winning more new clients and by generating higher fees from their existing clients. Due to their innovative methods, the marketing of private client services is now an area in which Tenandahalf lead the market.
Three more golden rules to help you successfully implement your firm’s marketing plan:
1# The carpenters' rule: measure … then measure again
Once you’ve got your measuring tools in place make sure that you use them. If you keep checking that things are on track you will be alerted to any potential shortfalls while they’re just a blip in need of attention rather than a black hole in need of disaster recovery. If you identify a missed deadline or a drop in activity, address it. From a management perspective, broaching the subject with those involved informally allows you to use the opportunity to motivate and reinvigorate which is so much more productive (and less time consuming) than having performance meetings further down the line.
2# Written commitment beats spoken intent
It’s all very well people nodding and even smiling at meetings as they agree to the tasks assigned to them but what happens when you ask for a catch-up for a progress report? How many of the individual tasks have been forgotten or overlooked? How many weren’t really acknowledged at that first meeting?
This isn’t done on purpose. This is the result of having loads of other things to worry about as soon as you get back to your desk. If you want to make sure your team knows exactly what’s expected of them, make sure you drop each team member a short email (bullet points will suffice) summarising the key actions. This shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, even less if you do it straight after the meeting when everything’s still fresh in your mind. Better still, design a simple template outlining the key activities required and get your fee earners to fill it in before you meet. Having them commit to certain activities without having to be volunteered makes it more likely the activities will be completed. As a manager it also gives you a template you can use to chart progress at future meetings.
3# Names and numbers
Don’t swim against the tide. You will move further faster if you use the contacts and potentially warm introductions you already have in the building.
Once you have your objectives on paper and have agreed on the tactics you need to use to achieve those objectives, have a look at who you actually need to meet to make things happen. Once you have identified who you need to know, ask your colleagues who they know on that list so you can be introduced personally. Taking the time to conduct this exercise properly both speeds up progress and makes it more comfortable for fee earners to get in front of their key targets.
Likewise, how many of the people you want to influence (referrers or prospective clients) are already on your database? A call out the blue is as hard to take as it is to make but if you can soften your targets up with relevant, valuable communications in between calls and, over time, they will be more disposed to taking your call and following up that call with a face-to-face meeting.
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