In reflecting on the continuing challenges of marketing a professional service firm in a recession, it has occurred to me that some of the basics for success are the same lessons that my 4 year old is bringing home from kindergarten. I know this is not an original thought so a tip of the hat to Robert Fulghum, and, of course, Miss Kim and Miss Lynn, my 4 year old's teachers.
Focus: As my daughter says, "zip your lip, open your eyes, and open your ears. FOCUS!" Instead of constant activity, take a day or two to think and reflect by listening, watching, and learning. Sometimes we talk just to hear ourselves talk hoping that we'll happen onto something worthwhile by the time we are finished. Instead, we should open our ears and eyes in silence to allow ourselves to focus and, hopefully, find a fresh perspective.
Share: As most any child will tell you, "it's nice to share." That doesn't mean they like it but they know it's the right thing to do. In slow times, we need the collective wisdom of our peers, as well as the wisdom and insight of the fee-earners in our firms. Now is not the time to hold things close to the vest but to reach out and assist one another.
Clean Up After Yourself: There is increasing pressure to deliver short-term wins. A good CMO understands that some strategies and tactics serve to position the firm to benefit once the economy recovers, some are designed to make the phone ring immediately, and some are vanity or legacy projects that take time and resources but don't produce results. We should be able to discern which is which and clean up those activities that don't produce.
Be Nice: When you are in a competitive situation, never denigrate your competitors. Just don't do it.
Make a Friend: We should identify the influencers in our target markets and be intentional about building and maintaining relationships with them. Also, we should look to others in our profession for cross-referrals. We receive referrals from other business valuation professionals when they are conflicted out of a project or don't have a particular expertise. In turn, always look for opportunities to reciprocate.
Are there others you can think of?