Many argue that the most valuable asset at their firm is the expertise profiled on their website. I beg to differ. It is only their relationships that translate into the work that keeps the lights on and the profits healthy. And yet most firms invest significantly more in marketing their expertise and managing their work product than they do in the relationships who engage their services.
The partners at your firm can tell you – without skipping a beat – about their capabilities, the work currently sitting on their desks, and how they plan to get it done. But very few can tell you about the state of their sales pipelines (because they don’t have one) or who their top 10 referral sources are (because they’ve never bothered to keep track).
Don’t get me wrong, the capabilities of your professionals are a significant part of why your clients hire (and rehire) you. But if they didn’t know and trust you in the first place, you wouldn’t have the opportunity to serve them. So, as you’re looking to bolster firm growth, consider that the smartest investments are likely those that help you manage and nurture the key relationships that make up your most valuable asset.
Here’s a quick two-step health check:
- List your top 10 revenue-generating relationships (e.g. clients or particularly productive referral sources).
- Send them something that will either make them look good, stress less, or make more money. If you can’t think of anything, consider that you don’t know enough about your top 10 relationships and that your most valuable asset is being taken for granted.
Protecting the future of your firm doesn’t have to be an arduous process. Just make sure you don’t become so distracted by your daily deadlines that you forget to nurture the people who sustain you.
Authored by David Ackert