Marketing consultant Randy Shattuck has outlined some basic concepts for successful professional services marketing, business development and delivery, arguing that the key to success is the three components should not be seen as independent actions where the process “flips” from one stage to another, but they are integrated in a thoughtful continuum.
In some respects, this thinking process is common-sense. But he rightfully points out in a blog posting and video that many AEC businesses fail to make the connection, and this failure often results in waste and ultimately business failure.
Underlying the process are two concepts: The Promise, and The Equation.
- The marketing function makes the promise that is meaningful to ideal clients
- The sales function applies the promise to each new client opportunity; and
- The delivery function delivers the promise made by the sales team.
But how do you determine what promises to make, and to whom? The key here, he says, is the “equation, which asks these questions:
- Who is our ideal client?
- How many do we serve today?
- How many ideal clients are out there today that we could be serving?
- What is the delta between the number of clients we are serving today versus the number of potential clients who are out there?
- How many ideal clients do we need to achieve our revenue goals?
- What is our strategy to pull them in?
I think you can see these questions are reasonable, but it will take in many cases, it will take a fair bit of work to determine the answers to these questions, especially for the high-ticket/long-sales cycle services within the AEC community?
But not thinking about these questions, and framing your client relationships and marketing/sales process within an overall integrated process, will likely lead you down a rather unfortunate path.
There’s plenty of food for thought here.