Most professional service firms try to be all things to all people, which makes revenue growth a challenge. You need to be clear on what your product is, this will a make your marketing and selling easier. In December, my blog What are you selling? I identified product definition as the 1st step in driving revenue growth.
People assimilate a product with something tangible. Many firms take the view that they need to productise what they do, assuming it is something that a client can buy off the shelf. The reality is that clients of a professional service firm want to buy an outcome or a solution, not something out of the box. Don’t mix up productise with systemise. Systemise your processes, don’t productise your outcome or solution. Your product is very personal between the advisor and the client. It hinges on a strong relationship and a high level of trust. You can’t turn this into a one size fits all. So when I talk about defining your product, it’s around defining the solutions you provide to your clients. How you can fulfil their needs. Some firms do this via specialisation: family law, personal injuries, criminal, and so on. Often these firms are extremely profitable because their product is clear, the message to the market is clear, so when they receive an enquiry, the person knows what they want to buy. It’s tougher for a general practice, or what is often referred to as a commercial practice. What do your clients buy from you? They know you’re a lawyer, and you provide legal advice, but advice about what? The outcomes and solutions you can provide are often not known to your clients. If you wanted to buy a shirt, you would go to a clothing store. If you wanted to buy a business shirt, you would go to a shop that sells business shirts. If you wanted a specific brand of business shirt, you would go tho the shop that sells that specific brand of work shirt. As a customer, you have identified your need and you know where to go. If you clearly define what the solutions are that you can provide to your clients (your products) and then identify the clients that need them, you can then develop a sales plan to implement drive revenue. Without a proactive sales approach, you must reactively rely on your clients to contact you with a need. Instead, be clear on what you sell (your product) and develop a strategy to drive your revenue.
Look at everything you do for clients and identify the top 3-5 solutions/outcomes/services (product) that you enjoy the most. After all, why not focus on the things you like, what a novel experience just doing work that you like. Write a simple one pager about what you do to provide this product, how you do it and why clients should do it. Then review all clients (both current and past) and identify who has bought this and who hasn’t. Then develop a list and arrange appointments. You then have the start of a sales plan.
Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Try it, you might just generate some additional revenue and stop your own insanity.