By Patrick Forsyth

''Copious in info, basic and functional in advice...a convincing and optimistic guide.'' -- advertising perform

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Extra resources for Marketing & Selling Professional Services: Practical Approaches to Practice Development

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These influence the perception, and expectation of quality, to a considerable degree. Example One firm of accountants produced an excellent booklet on some aspect of taxation. They advertised it, in their newsletter and elsewhere, and, confident of its usefulness, even made a charge for it. They received more orders than they anticipated and had to reprint, which delayed despatch to some clients. ’, thus in one brief – and well-intentioned – phrase telling callers that it was expected that orders needed chasing.

This is not so just up-front. The delivery of Plan the Work, and Work the Plan 39 services and the quality of work, people and, not least, communications must be an inherent, ongoing aspect of the whole process. Marketing must, as has been said, differentiate. Branding is the antidote to the commodity nature of professional service firms, which cannot be distinguished one from another (superficially, you may say, but it is the clients’ perspective that matters here). So branding is not just a cosmetic approach, something that puts an attractive overlay on the firm.

If the client or prospect is influenced additionally by thoughts triggered by the name, logo and their past positive impression of what the firm offers and how it does so, then in effect the brand is enhancing the message. This, in turn, means that in pursuing a chosen strategy a firm must be clear about the kind of firm they wish to be thought of as being. Such an image may reflect straightforward characteristics: 38 Marketing Professional Services being practical, approachable or creative. It may also have more specific elements to it, for example, aiming to differentiate sharply between the firm and a prime competitor.

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