Rainmaker Challenge # 4: I hate marketing my services

We run Business Development  Training  Coaching and Workshops for services businesses.
This sequence of blogs attempts to help with common issues

Rainmaker Challenge#4: I hate marketing my services

This usually starts with a conversation that goes like…
“I feel like I shouldn’t have to market my services”
“I loathe marketing! I enjoy my relationships with clients and I love the kind of work I do.
I would prefer to spend my time producing high-quality work for my clients and hitting my utilisation numbers
I feel like the time I spend marketing takes me away from doing that.”

Doing great work is necessary, however it is absolutely not sufficient to grow a significant funnel of business.
The days of “do good work and the clients will follow” are gone.
There are too many other companies out there doing good work AND developing business.
Let’s assume you enjoy your relationships with your clients and the work you’re doing.

Reframing Rainmaking or Business Development?

How about you try to reframe the way you regard Business Development  or Marketing?
Can you stop seeing it as taking you away from client service?
Why not see it as a way to spend more time with your clients?
More time spent understanding their goals and challenges?
How about you then view your business development efforts as educating your clients about what you can do and how you can help them achieve their goals and solve their problems?
Doing excellent work and providing excellent client service is certainly not inconsistent with business development.
However our recommendation is that you cannot leave it there.
You need to deepen the relationship on both a professional and personal level, understand their needs and wants, and stay in touch on a regular basis.

2 replies
  1. Steve Gregory says:

    This is a useful insight for anyone involved with selling their services to clients. There is a seemingly subtle difference between thinking of marketing as an ‘overhead’ and an ‘investment’ in a relationship.

    It’s all about building trust – which comes from taking a genuine interest in your client’s problems and where you can help. Thinking of marketing as an overhead arises from a more traditional ‘exploitatative’ view of business relationships. There is a balance to be struck – knowing when you should expect to be paid – so the key is to work as rapidly as possible towards a commercial relationship based on win/win .

    • Rob Biggin says:

      Hi Steve,
      Thanks for the comments . I agree that you have to have your clients best interest at heart firstly.
      Be interested in what would be great from their point of view.
      Once you've really understood that then you have a choice.
      1. Recommend someone else and gain credibility for that (but no fees then).
      2. Or you can propose activities that you and your team can perform if the client can see the benefits of you doing that for them.
      It's at the point of choice when you need to make the decision to charge for your next steps.
      Up until then I'm not sure that your client would pay for your investigations.
      Unless of course, they specifically asked you to do that as your brief.
      And I do agree that there is a view in services that selling and marketing are somehow exploitative of a great relationship.
      One of the big reluctances in services. Rob


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