How to Respond to a Misguided Referral

How to Respond to a Misguided Referral

As you go about your business development endeavors, you will occasionally receive referrals that are a poor fit for your practice. Perhaps the prospective client’s needs don’t align with your services. Perhaps their business (or budget) is too small. Perhaps they only agreed to meet as a favor to your mutual friend and have no[…]

The Solution to Email Overwhelm

The Solution to Email Overwhelm

Chances are, you’ve never actually had to drink from a fire hose. And yet, given your steady diet of email, you know exactly what it feels like. Email overwhelm is so severe that it requires a full-time focus just to keep up. And because you’re in the service industry, there is often a guilty compulsion[…]

A Good Pitch Starts with a Question

A Good Pitch Starts with a Question

We’ve all experienced that unfortunate moment when a telemarketer gets past our secretarial and caller ID defenses and launches into their monologue. This is the worst kind of sales experience, both for the caller and the prospect, because it’s missing two key ingredients: Relationship Context Anyone who has learned how to develop business in a B2B[…]

Are Emoticons Unprofessional?

Are Emoticons Unprofessional?

Emoticons are taking over the world. They have winked and smiled their way into our correspondence, from the classic semicolon-parenthesis in our inboxes ; ) to the cartoonish faces that regularly punctuate our IM chats. This summer, they even get a vehicle film with The Emoji Movie. And while there’s no denying their popularity, I[…]

A Letter from Your Competitor

A Letter from Your Competitor

Dear Competitor, We only know each other by reputation so I hope you don’t take it personally, but I’m poaching your client. I ran into them at a recent industry event, and after asking a few questions I learned that they have been working with your firm for more than five years. During the first[…]

You Can’t Grow Unless You Show

You Can’t Grow Unless You Show

As memorable as you are, you and your fellow 21st century earthlings live in an era when the constant bombardment of information makes it impossible to keep anything “top of mind” for very long. Here’s an example: Assuming you read it, can you remember the subject of my last blog? How about the one before[…]

How to Follow Up With Prospects and Clients

How to Follow Up With Prospects and Clients

If you google around for business development best practices, you will find a reference to the “7 touches” principle. The idea is that it takes an average of 7 meaningful interactions before a prospective client will engage you. These touches include your initial meeting and the various follow-up conversations that build trust and momentum over time. The logic[…]

Upgrade Your Clientele

Upgrade Your Clientele

It’s hard to grow a practice with low-grade clients. You end up doing commoditized work at low margins with high-maintenance people who refer more of the same. If this sounds familiar and you find yourself at a lower plateau aspiring to higher ground, consider that in order to upgrade the sophistication of your clientele (and[…]