Long sales cycle, high-value clients: why it’s more important than ever for professionals to be smart with their marketing

Professional service firms are unique in their marketing efforts because of the way their clients behave.

This is not a quick decision, and once made it is most often a long-term relationship. A business owner isn’t likely to change accountants at the drop of a hat.

So what does this mean for how these firms market themselves?

Direct response marketing is huge online, with the idea that you can run an advert to exactly the right audience with an offer they will take up immediately. This allows immediate tracking and a simple way to measure the financial return on each campaign.

But this doesn’t work for most professionals who attract clients through a longer sales process with deeper consideration into the purchase decision.

So how do you effectively attract high-value clients?

Build a content ecosystem

Create regular, consistent content to engage your audience across different channels. This means that wherever they see you, they are absorbing the same message over a long period of time.

This content doesn’t need to be difficult, and you don’t need to be everywhere. It’s simply about exposing what you do in a way that shows your audience your value to them, and consistency is more important than perfection.

When the need for your service is next triggered for them, they have you in their mind as an expert in the field and know how to contact you.

Have a gateway product

A great way of building a group of potential clients is to attract them using what I call a “gateway product”. This is a simple product that is easy and attractive to buyers, one that gives them a valuable outcome but is low cost and an easy decision for them to accept.

An example of a simple one-off service would be a finance review or a 1-hour initial consultation.

Once your new client has experienced you through this simple service, it is far easier to approach them to take the next steps into your core services.

Measure indirect metrics

Understanding your critical business indicators is like learning to fly an aircraft using only the instrument panel. It’s a more accurate way of knowing where you are and where you’re going, but it takes training and experience to interpret what the instruments say.

What are the critical indicators in your sales process? Are they number of enquiries, downloads of key content, or maybe new client meetings each month?

If you can understand and improve your performance using critical indicators, your business will take off like a jet.

Originally published here.

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