The core challenge marketers and business development professionals face is taking a new client from a place where they know nothing about your company to a place where they are working with your firm and providing revenue.
A great model for explaining this relationship comes from Leor Franks, Business Development & Marketing Director at Kingsley Napley. Leor talks through the journey that clients take when considering a professional services firm. And this is the basis of the process Leor calls the 'Favourability Journey'.
I highly recommend watching the webinar linked below.
The Favourability Journey is an audit tool and is used to plot where a client or prospect is currently at with their relationship to the firm. Knowing what stage a prospect or client is at - Recognition, Reputation, Relationship or Revenue - Will shape the marketing activity needed to progress them along the journey and into the firm.
How can you accelerate this journey whilst remaining authentic and helpful?
It all starts with getting in front of your target market (Recognition). In the last 12 months, we have been thrust into remote working, there are no events, networking or face to face meetings happening, so this has become harder to do. Really the only way to do this is virtual.
An effective and authentic way in a virtual environment to connect with someone is by demonstrating that you understand their challenges. By showing your knowledge of, their industry and the specific opportunities available to them. You need to add value beyond simply getting yourself recognised.
By showing what you know and sharing your expertise you start to raise the awareness of your -and the firms- capabilities ( Reputation).
Relationships are fundamental in business, especially in professional services. And whilst we can't do all the things we used to do to nurture business relationships - lunches, golf days etc, we can keep virtually connected to our clients by sharing regular insight and information.
As Paul Johnson, GC at Greycoat put it "In these difficult times we are relying more than ever on our external counsel to help us. There is a pressing need for us to be kept informed at a business level and to keep in touch at a human one". Sharing relevant, timely and useful content helps to grow, broaden, deepen and sustain key relationships.
If solid relationships exist, content can be used in the Revenue stage to highlight the full capabilities of the firm. Through sharing relevant content from colleagues in different practise/sectors, it helps prospect and clients understand the full offering available.