One of the most important aspects of marketing and strategy for professional service firms is referrals. This is often considered the primary pathway to finding new business and increase profits. In fact, with increasing firms recognizing the importance of referrals, more and more businesses are dedicating direct marketing budgets and efforts to referral programs.
But while most companies are busy chasing after securing more and more referrals, what they seem to forget is to develop a strategy that will help them maintain their new contacts. People may hear of a firm, but may lose interest halfway based on the visual identity, website, brand communication etc. Other times, referrals are lost because the businesses or individuals do not understand how your brand can benefit them. So how can firms improve referral retention you ask? Here are 5 key strategies that professional service firms can employ to ensure they get the best results.
1. Invest In A Professional Website
In today’s tech savvy world, almost anyone can create a new website with the many website building tools available online. But these websites have limited usage, display and interactive interface. The first thing people do when they hear about a new brand is to ‘Google’ it and see the website. This is the first touch point with what could be a prospective new business, so it is obvious that your firm needs to make a good impression. This will not happen if your website isn’t appealing. It is important to invest in a high quality and professional website that showcases your brand in the best way possible. A good website is one that helps clients understand what you do, how you do it, and what you could bring to the table. With the help of a professional website, you could customize the design and interface to answer all these questions and ensure a first meeting with a prospective client.
2. Show Off Your High Profile Work
After developing an impressive website, it is important to wow your prospective clients and show them what kind of work you can offer. The best way to create a positive impression is by showcasing the work done for other high profile projects. This will give new clients an idea of the scope and scale of the work you can provide them and will enable them to better understand your service offering.
3. Publish High Quality Content
Once you have a top notch website and a showcase of the best projects you have worked on, you need a strategy that will draw in viewers. The best way to do this is by generating high quality engaging content that will create interest and also demonstrate your firm’s skill sets and expertise while acting as a marketing tool. Content can be generated in the form of blog posts, videos, webinars, white papers, published articles etc and should be regularly published to ensure maximum eye-balls.
4. Be Ahead Of The Trend Game
Clients want to work with businesses that are aware of the latest industry trends and use them to their business advantage. Make sure you are up-to-date with the latest trends or are pushing the boundaries to develop new ones. Showcase this through your content marketing strategy to create awareness about your stand on new innovations and developments and this will help draw new businesses to your firm.
5. Showcase Your In-House Experts
The best way to get your business recognized is by showcasing high profile business experts associated with your brand. Trade shows, conventions and conferences are excellent platforms to do this. Ensure that you have your in-house experts speaking at these various platforms to create awareness about your brand and showcase your business acumen and knowledge to those present. This works as an excellent pull-strategy.
With these few tactics, you will be able to drive your business to the forefront and make it accessible and relevant to referrals which can then be converted into successful partnerships.
- Neha Paranjpe