How the best Professional Services firms WOW their clients (and the lessons ALL businesses can learn from them).
In a global study on what clients value from professional services, the majority of clients (68%) valued specialised skills and expertise.
Professional services firms generally recognise that this is the top value and deliver on this well, however, most almost completely fail to recognise the next two more significant factors that clients wanted: a firms’ (or partner’s) network and the firm’s potential to impact on their bottom line.
In light of the survey, here are 5 things that great professional services firms do to WOW their clients.
1. Focus on becoming an authority on a client’s business environment.
Invest the time and focus on being an authority on your client’s industry, markets, and customers. If you don’t, you will not be fully aware of the impact changes to the economy, technology, socio-cultural behaviour, and the political environment are having on your clients and their customers.
Failing to do this will render you incapable of creating the sort of value that your clients demand and which enables you to differentiate your organisation from your competition. In effect, your current clients are ticking time bombs, waiting for your competition to come along and create the value you do not.
2. Use the power of your and your organisation’s brand and network.
Learn how to leverage your networks to create value outside of your products and services. Develop and nurture your network and ask yourself the question, “Whom do I know that can help solve my client’s problems?”. You can add value by introducing them to potential clients, suppliers, experts, sources of information and insight, training partners (yes, me), talent, the list goes on.
3. Use available research, knowledge and information to offer insights.
Find and make sense of the information available to you and apply it to generating new points of view or insights for your clients in relation to their business objectives. Learn how to generate insights, once you have all of the right information organised in front of you.
Helping clients to anticipate changes and to identify unrecognised needs is a powerful way to add value to anyone.
4. Create value for your client every time you talk.
Dealing with their own business needs on a day-to-day basis is a client’s only focus for the majority of the time. When not addressing a specific matter that they have engaged you to work on your objective should be to create additional value in helping the client meet their business needs and objectives. Of course, you will need to know what their businessstrategic priorities, problems and opportunities are in the first place. If you are not used to having business conversations with your clients that are not related to your product or service, you need to begin to do so.
This ensures that the client is always willing to talk and sees great value in freeing up time to meet with you even when there is no matter that is being dealt with.
5. Gain, maintain and grow trust.
Trust is gained or lost to some extent in every client interaction, be that face to face, on the phone or via email. To trust you, a client needs to know that you place creating value for them as a higher priority than closing a deal. People who know how to maintain a client-centric focus and provide value even when there is no deal on the table, win a disproportionate share of the client’s business over time.
If you would value a discussion on the skills, tools, and behaviours necessary to equip your people with the ability to create tangible value outside of the products or services your organisation provides, please get in touch.
Today’s guest blogger is Mark Edwards, founder and Master Trainer of Remarkable Results.
Remarkable Results is a JMA Partner and provides training and group coaching courses to deliver world-class sales leadership and sales management training to managers and directors for businesses that want to develop a high performing sales force and drive significant revenue and performance outcomes.
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