The focus of our service is to help our professional service clients get bigger, better and faster results from their business development activity.
Do you know where your new business is going to come from and how you are going to get it?
We help you to identify target prospects based on sector growth, strength of competition, existing experience and industry contacts.
Then we help you to identify a clear set of strategies that will maximise the probability of you winning new business from those targets.
One thing that you might not expect is that we often discover that existing clients are the best targets for generating new business because word of mouth referrals is the number one source of new business in the professional service business.
What is the purpose of all marketing? We believe that it should be to increase fee income. So the focus of all our marketing activity is to increase the fee income of our clients.
A sales and marketing strategy simply identifies the best course of action for increasing fee income. However in today’s over communicated society there are more marketing and business development tools available than hours in the day. We understand that our clients have a day job and that is to service their clients so they only have limited time to devote to business development.
So we look at all of the available tools including seminars, webinars, white papers, conferences, speeches, networking, referral sources, social activity, PR, events, digital media, websites, blogging and all of the social media including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter…
And then very simply we select the most relevant marketing tools for our clients that will help them to increase their fee income.
“If you fail to plan then you plan to fail” – it’s a cliché but like most clichés it’s true.
We help our clients to get ahead of the game. We help you to develop a planned and structured approach to your marketing and business development activity. In the best professional service firms about 80% of the work is planned with about 20% left to respond to tactical opportunities.
Lots of important events for professional service firms happen every year including Christmas, the budget, tax deadline, court holidays. So there is an opportunity to plan for these events well in advance.
The value of an annual plan and a rolling three month marketing plan allows everyone a little bit of time to think and to prepare for the forthcoming seminar or to write the article or to the content for their website.
We help to lead our clients through the planning process and to plan for success!
Where is your business going to be in 5 years based on current assumptions?
Write down on an XY chart how fee income will grow each year based on everything you currently know.
Now write down a number that captures where you want the business to be in five years. This should reflect your ambition for the firm and your own income irrespective of current market conditions.
Is there a gap?
If so you need to identify a small number of strategies that will close the gap in the five year time frame. By definition these strategies are outside of current thinking because current thinking was captured in your five year projections.
Our role is to help you through this business planning process and to help you arrive at where you really want to be in five years time.
The eleventh and twelfth commandments of marketing apply to marketing professional service firms. They state the following:
11. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s service
12. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s advertising
To copy is a form of flattery but it is also fights against the key ingredient of all successful businesses i.e. developing a unique proposition.
In professional service firms it can be challenging and so many firms look the same judging by their websites. However the successful firms have all differentiated themselves in some way.
It might be the focus on market sector; it might be high street presence, or online systems. Some firms focus on specialist areas such as tax. Others focus on multinationals for their work and others provide a personal family service. Each proposition has a special appeal.
We help you to identify your own uniqueness and to build your business on a strategy that sets you apart in the market and will appeal to your target audience.
Standout will equip you with the skills to develop your business – with our assistance you will develop a focused business development plan. With our services you’ll discover how to win new business as well as how to get additional work from your existing clients. We will meet with you and examine; where you are coming from and where you want to go, what new business you are hoping to attract, how to appeal to and approach your ideal client, how to develop trust with your clients and enhance your existing client relationships. With a strong knowledge of your clients, their wants and needs, we help you look at how you help them and what value you deliver for your client with the ultimate goal of growing your fee income.
Standout will help you enhance your team’s natural sales abilities in order for you to communicate better with existing and potential clients. We’ve helped lawyers, architects and accountants to get over the fear of ‘selling’ and be more comfortable and confident in their abilities when communicating with clients. We’ll demonstrate how you can; find more customers, be more confident in delivering your ‘sales pitch’, easily establish rapport and building true with your clients, and close the sale. With this knowledge and the boost of confidence that Standout will give you and your team you’ll soon see your business grow.
As a marketing solutions business, Standout has the complete set of tools to guide you in developing the most effective marketing strategies for your business, and standout from the crowd. We will assist you to understand fully what your priorities are and how to maintain focus on them. We will also hlep you develop strategies to grow your fee income from your existing client base. Standout will assist you in building a clear vision for your business, identify the potential obstacles and ultimately grow your business with a strong brand.
See how you can stand out from the crowd. With our pitch consulting you’ll be able to; plan and organise client focused presentations, develop your competitive strategy, identify what obstacles may stand in your way and how you can overcome them and identify your current strengths and weaknesses. We mentor you in communicating with both current and potential clients so that they will gain confidence in you.
Standout guides you in structuring your presentation for maximum impact. We assist you in improving your presentation skills through; planning, preparing, confident delivery, creating and maintaining a relationship with your audience, answer questions and present in a way that will make your clients and potential clients gain confidence in you and your business. After working with Standout, you’ll see the difference in yourself as you’re able to deliver your presentation confidently, communicate better with your audience and ultimately standout from the crowd.
Who are the best suppliers in the marketing world for all aspects of marketing?
Have you ever taken on a web developer who didn’t understand SEO or had a problem with a designer who couldn’t write good copy?
As Standout we have developed first hand experience of the best and the worst suppliers in the market over twenty five years.
Some of our clients have existing relationships with suppliers and that’s fine with us.
Some of our clients have in house marketing staff and that’s fine with us too.
However some of our clients just want to focus on their client work and they want to outsource the marketing work to a third party. That’s where we come in.
We are happy to project manage any marketing project including corporate identity, websites, seminars, podcasts, blogs, brochure design, direct marketing, conferences, webinars, PR, social media sites e.g. LinkedIn profiles and Facebook pages.
Have you ever attended a badly planned meeting or away day? It could have been really productive but there was no agenda or structure and no specific goal for the meeting. Perhaps one person always dominates or two people always clash and everyone sits around waiting for them to stop.
We help to design, plan and run highly effective meetings for our clients. In particular we help with strategic planning sessions to maximise the productivity of these valuable events.
We have developed a unique approach which we learned from the “What If” company in London which is designed to produce groundbreaking thinking.
How much do you spend on your marketing activity? Are you getting a good return on your investment?
Lots of professional service firms think that they don’t spend any money on marketing but they are wrong!
How many billable hours should a partner be billing in a professional service firm? Let say 1000 billable hours. That leaves about 500 for practice development. If the billable rate is €300 per hour then the marketing cost of the one partner is €150,000. If there are five partners in the firm that’s a budget of €750,000. That’s a big budget!
Our role is to help you to maximise the return on your marketing and business development investment by helping you focus your time and money on the most productive business development activities.
Sometimes it is helpful just to stop and think.
After 25 years in the marketing business and being one of the only firms in Ireland that specialises in professional services marketing we are uniquely placed to review a firms sales and marketing activity.
First we review your proposition. Then we review the delivery of that proposition in all forms of marketing materials including corproate ID, websites, tender documents, brochures, digital media, PR, seminars, conference speeches, newsletters.
We also review the business development activity of the staff in your firm. Do they know how to network at an event or do they just huddle with their own colleagues? Do they play golf to build a contact with a key strategic client target or to tick the business development box?
We can provide you with a thorough review of what you are currently doing and then help you to make the necessary changes to maximise the return on your marketing activity.
Do you really know what your clients think about you?
Do you understand clearly the differnece in service and client satisfaction levels across the firm?
Do you benchmark the service levels and use them to feed into your bonus scheme to reward staff for delivering client satisfaction?
Do you have a systematic way of identifying future client requirements?
We offer you a structured approach to measuring client satisfaction and of predicting future client requirements for the services you provide and for the ones you don’t.
Most of the top firms have a client research strategy in place because they know that the ultimate marketing activity is to deliver happy clients who come back to you year after year and who tell their friends about you.
Is your website designed by a designer who has not optimised it for SEO i.e. you are invisible on Google?
Does your website make you look like every other firm in Ireland?
Is your website built on an old platform that requires you to pay everytime you want to make a simple change?
Does your firm have an image that looks like 1950 and not 2014?
Are you paying a retainer to a PR agency who is not delivering much value?
Is there a designer out there who has a great track record of delivering great work for professional services clients but you don’t know his name?
Standout can help you to evaluate your current suppliers and to make sure that the people you work with are best in class.