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New Business Logic

08 March 2013

Lawyers and accountants are famous for their powers of logic. So here’s an interesting logical sequence that is based on my real life experience:

Would you like more clients? Yes.
Have you got a new business plan – Yes of course.
What’s in it? Seminars, Networking, Google Adwords, SEO, LinkedIn, newsletters.
That’s impressive. So tell me – where do you get your new business from? Referrals.
How do mean? Well existing clients refer work to us.
I see – what percent of your new business comes from referrals – about 80% or 90%.
So tell me – do you have an existing client plan – Huh?
I mean if 80% of you new business comes from referrals do you have a plan to manage this? Eh no.

Personally I believe in the power of LinkedIn for professional service firms. I enjoy social media marketing. I’m writing this blog because I think it helps me demonstrate my competence to my target audience. I coach accountants and solicitors how to use these tools. I can even prove that this activity will produce new business. But the point of this article is this:

Having specialised in professional services marketing for several years I can confirm that about between 80%-100% all of all new business in Ireland comes from word of mouth referrals. I can also confirm that between 0% and 1% of firms have an existing client marketing plan! No plan for the one thing that they know works! Where is the logic in that? Or to quote a famous man – “isn’t that interesting”!

So how might you market to your existing clients?
Is it all about doing good work? Not really. Clients expect good work. They are paying good money so they expect good work. So it’s about doing something that is not expected.

Unfortunately there is no one size fits all solution. Firms vary in terms of size, client type, services etc. The process of marketing to existing clients can be quite creative. But a great place to start is with the question:

What would our clients really appreciate but not have expected us to do?