8 Guaranteed Lead Generation Techniques for Professional ServicesKenneth Nel
“You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.”
What does this quote have to do with lead generation techniques for professional services, you may wonder? Simply that if you are trying to grow your business then you must accept the fact that what you’re selling is past success.
Smart clients are not going to give you money if you can’t prove that you’re responsible, trustworthy, and qualified to act on their behalf.
Here’s what that looks like.
The Challenge of Marketing Professional Services
The marketing methods that work to sell products are vastly different from those used when selling professional services. Think about it; an engineer, architect, or financial advisor is not selling a tangible product that you can turn over in your hands and decide whether or not it’s for you.
Rather, they are selling advice, opinion, and experience which, to be fair, are impossible to quantify.
Lead generation techniques for professional services, therefore, need to answer the fundamental question of certainty.
A brilliant article from Harvard Business Review highlights three specific objectives of marketing professional services:
- Identifying uncertainty.
- Confronting concrete problems.
- Identifying true professionals.
Keep these in mind as we run through eight lead generation techniques that work for professional services.
As an accountant, for example, your service is pretty much the same as every other accountant out there. Yes, there may be a small price difference or a location advantage but understanding why your key clients choose to work with you will highlight your point of difference.
When you can clearly identify that, then you can communicate it to potential clients.
- Does my website highlight my points of difference?
- Do all my communications with clients reaffirm these positive aspects?
- Can I offer quantifiable data that confirms these points?
This Unique Selling Proposition (USP) will form the foundation of your lead generation strategies.
Find Your Target Audience
Do you know exactly who your best audience is? An in-depth brainstorming session with your team should clear up any ambiguity in this area and pinpoint exactly who you should be talking to.
Once you have developed a buyer persona then you know how to speak to them, what language they use, and where they can be found online.
Develop an SEO Strategy
An effective SEO strategy offers an online response to potential client’s questions when they are looking for information online.
SEO, done right, will position you where your clients are looking, answer questions, prove your relevance and authority, and point them towards the next step in their buyer journey.
- An optimised site tells your local audience where you are and what you do.
- A solid content marketing strategy handles user queries before they call you.
- Video content and a good social media presence tell your audience who you are.
- eBooks, infographics, and whitepapers offer easily digestible information.
Case studies are an essential part of lead generation for professional services, as they offer the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your skills, experience, and (most importantly) success.
Detailed case studies are a critical sales tool that offer readers the certainty that they are looking for. Remember the second point mentioned above – that of confronting concrete problems? Well, case studies do this in spades.
A well-written case study will highlight the problem, show the potential obstacles, and display how it and handled and why.
Focus on Inbound Marketing
The true beauty of inbound marketing for professional services is that it’s not interruptive.
No popup ads, no hard sell — just gentle, consistent information that attracts the right audience. It forms the basis of good client relationships and chips away at the ever-increasing sales resistance that we see so much of today.
That means that you need to:
- Position yourself within industry conversations wherever they are taking place online.
- Raise awareness of your services in an informative and non-aggressive way.
- Keep communication channels open with a constant flow of practical, useful information.
- Be present at each point of the buyer journey.
Clients who come to you are far more valuable than a list of numbers on a cold calling sheet.
It’s a fact that people will only refer services to their friends and family that they are 100% happy with. Therefore, displaying honesty and transparency, great service, and flexing your professional muscles gives your clients something to rave about.
Testimonials and customer reviews on your website and social channels lets others do all the convincing for you. The warm leads that are created from referrals are a pleasure to work with and easy to close. (Also, Google keeps a close eye on these stats which helps to boost your online presence.)
Too many professional service providers ignore the power of social media, touting it as a platform for Millennials and bored housewives.
Review42 says, “There are more than 3.5 billion active social media users today. There are more than 50 million small businesses using Facebook Pages to connect with customers. According to 90% of marketers, their social media marketing efforts have increased the exposure of their business, and 75% say they’ve increased traffic.”
Social channels offer the opportunity to engage with potential clients in a non-salesy way, offer immediate service and advice — all on their terms. Your ideal audience is online, you just have to find them.
Harness the Tech
CRM systems abound and are indispensable tools for professional services. Remember, your clients want to know that you are a consummate professional and that they can trust you. What better way to demonstrate this than by harnessing the power of a CRM system that grants your team access to accurate, real-time customer information, buyer trends, and personal details to name just a few benefits.
Making use of automated marketing systems or calling in a professional marketing team helps to establish workflows, set up relevant communication, provide analytics of all activity, and map out your strategy for maximum impact.
Live chat systems on your website give your team instant access to interested parties.
The list is long!
Lead Generation Techniques Then and Now
Back in 2007, lead generation techniques for professional services were made up of referrals, cold calling, and networking events. Today’s digital playing field has thrown open the lead gen doors and includes innovative options such as apps, AI, chatbots, SEO, video, advanced CRM tools, and so much more.
Are you living in the past? Or are you harnessing the power of digital in your marketing?
You have questions, we’re sure. We have the answers. Request a call back and one of our team will contact you to talk through some exciting lead generation opportunities.