Setting Expectations is a Critical Aspect of Onboarding Clients

Professional services firms dedicate significant time and effort to winning over each prospective client.  Every new client is important, so it’s important to make clients happy early in the relationship.  At this initial stage, each interaction comprises a large portion of the total experience with your firm.   Whether from your website, email exchanges, the proposal, your team’s pitch meeting, an engagement letter, the receptionist answering the phone, etc., every aspect of your pitch and onboarding communications matter!  Later, when you’ve “won over the client” with consistently high quality advice and timely responses to requests, you’ll have a bit of leeway if a mistake happens.  Early on however, every detail matters as the prospect or client forms and builds their impression of your firm’s brand. (more…)

Firing Clients:  How To and Why?

derail-firing-clientsIt has taken you years to build your firm’s client base.  Some clients you had to work hard to win and some practically fell in the front door.  Some are an exact fit for what your team does best – and others are not.  Some pay your current billing rates without discounts or write-offs, and some quietly get the best deal in town (maybe too good!).   In the lifespan of any firm, there comes a time when firing clients is the right thing to do.  But how do you decide which clients to let go, and what process should you follow to communicate your decision?  (more…)

What do you think we should focus on?

What should we focus on?I got asked the question this month “What do you think we should focus on?”

Of course the answer to this depends on what your goals are!  You’ll all remember the famous scene from Alice in Wonderland,

 

 

One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.
“Which road to I take?” she asked.
“Where do you want to go?” was his response.
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”

Here are a few goals my clients are working toward and the roads we’re on to get them there: (more…)

A time to give thanks, look back, and plan forward

Goals for 2016It’s Thanksgiving week.  A time for reflection and gratitude.   I often use this week to begin to think back upon the past twelve months.

What was life like in November 2014?  For me, much has changed!   I am living in a new house and am only a few weeks away from welcoming my first child into the world.   Professionally it has been an amazing year as well.  I am grateful for all of my clients and supporters!

After a relaxing long weekend, I encourage you to think forward to November 2016.  What do you want to have accomplished by then?   (more…)

Using social media for recruiting experienced hires

Nearly every one of my cexperienced hires recruiting using social medialients is looking to add someone new to their team.  The “go to” hiring solution for professional services is often to call a recruiter.  And for good reason, the recruiters spend all year making connections and building relationships so that when you call with a hiring need, they can help.  But this summer, I’ll encourage you to use your own internal connections and a bit of social media to try to fill your open position.   Here’s a step by step process you can follow to use social media for experienced hires: (more…)

The power of offering choice

choiceRestaurants offer a menu with a plethora of options, and even from there you can customize your order…. Medium rare for my burger, and salad dressing on the side, thanks.    And the bill comes to what, $20?

But when professional services firms pitch their services, we more or less say “here’s what you need, and here’s our price.” Proposals are like a polite “take it or leave it” forcing companies to receive bids from multiple firms in order to find the optimal experience for a reasonable price.  And the bill is certainly more than $20!

Does anyone else see a problem here? (more…)