FIVE STRATEGIES
TO ACQUIRE
NEW IDEAL CLIENTS
IN A TOUGH ECONOMY
PLAN. BRAND. EXPAND.
Introduction	 3
Strategy 1:  Build Or Update Your Ideal Client Profile	 6
Strategy 2:  Analyze Your Existing Messages And ...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
3
Never before have we, at The Shattuck Group, witnessed s...
Analysis
What do these statistics tell us?  We
think there are three observations of
critical importance here.
1.	 PS exec...
How To Use This Workbook
The remainder of this workbook ad-
dresses these observations by offering
an alternative approach...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
6
Every professional services (PS) firm has ideal clients ...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
7
work fulfilling and enjoyable.  Cli-
ents realize result...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
8
Strategy 1 Exercise:
Build Or Update Your Ideal Client P...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
9
Tenure with company
Psychographic data:
   Age range
   ...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
10
Goals They Want To Achieve
   	 Goal 1
   	 Goal 2
   	...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
11
Many PS people believe that what they do is about exper...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
12
•	 Results – do you promise to deliver
specific results...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
13
Strategy 2 Exercise:
Analyze Your Existing Promises  
P...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
14
   	 Result 3
   
	 Result 4
   	 Result 5
Benefits:
  ...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
15
   	 Benefit 3
   	
   	 Benefit 4
   	 Benefit 5
Deliv...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
16
   	 Deliverable 2
   	 Deliverable 3
   	 Deliverable ...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
17
When PS firm struggle to close deals, there is often a ...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
18
to make.  Will you put the work into
re-positioning you...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
19
Strategy 3 Exercise:
Identify Gaps Where You Should Mak...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
20
   	 Goal 2
   	 Goal 3
   	 Goal 4
   	 Goal 5
Your Se...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
21
Benefits
   	 Benefit 1
   	 Benefit 2
   	 Benefit 3
 ...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
22
Gaps Between Ideal Clients’ Key Concerns And Desired
Re...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
23
Strategies To Close The Gaps Between Ideal Clients’ Key...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
24
Earlier we noted the inherent danger of putting tactics...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
25
paigns.  Think of this as your editorial
calendar, the ...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
26
Strategy 4 Exercise:
Build A Client Acquisition Plan Ba...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
27
	 Theme 4
	 Theme 5
Messages: (your treatment of the th...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
28
   Message 9
   Message 10
   Message 11
   Message 12
...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
29
PS executives with outdated or incorrect data, or worse...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
30
per user, and specific actions such as
registering for ...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
31
In today’s tough economic climate, PS firms need to max...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
32
The Shattuck Group is a full-service marketing firm tha...
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
33
Our Services
 
We achieve these objectives with a
uniqu...
Randy Shattuck is a senior marketing executive and founder of
The Shattuck Group, a marketing firm that empowers PS com-
p...
Notes
Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy
35
PLAN. BRAND. EXPAND.
www.theshattuckgroup.com
info@theshattuckgroup.com
877-296-5301
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It is our sense that there has never been a better time to be in professional services. While budgets are tight and clients and prospects scrutinize every project for value, there have never been more buyers of professional services who are this open to new providers.

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Five strategies to acquire new ideal clients in a tough economy

  1. 1. FIVE STRATEGIES TO ACQUIRE NEW IDEAL CLIENTS IN A TOUGH ECONOMY PLAN. BRAND. EXPAND.
  2. 2. Introduction 3 Strategy 1: Build Or Update Your Ideal Client Profile 6 Strategy 2: Analyze Your Existing Messages And Promises 11 Strategy 3: Identify Gaps Where Changes Should Be Made 17 Strategy 4: Build A Client Acquisition Plan 24 Strategy 5: Execute The Strategy And Track Results 29 Conclusion 31 About The Shattuck Group 32 About The Author 34 Table of Contents Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 2 Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy By Randy Shattuck, CEO, The Shattuck Group © Copyright 2009, The Shattuck Group. All rights reserved. TERMS & CONDITIONS All content contained in this document is the intellectual property of The Shattuck Group. By using this document, you agree to the following terms and conditions. 1. You may download, print, and copy this workbook one time for your personal use provided that you retain all copyright notices and do not modify the workbook in any way. 2. This workbook is provided “as is” without any warranties of any kind whatsoever, including warranties of title or fitness for a particular purpose. The Shattuck Group makes no warranties of any results that may be obtained from the use of this workbook. 3. In no event will The Shattuck Group, Randy Shattuck, or any officers, employees, or agents of The Shattuck Group be liable for any indirect, consequential, special, incidental, or punitive damages from the use of this workbook. If you cannot abide by these terms and conditions than you agree to, and are hereby charged with, destroying all copies, both electronic and physical, of this workbook.
  3. 3. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 3 Never before have we, at The Shattuck Group, witnessed so much interest among professional services (PS) firms in acquir- ing new clients. As we all grapple with the worst recession that today’s working adults have ever seen, a hunger for client acqui- sition grows to almost desperate proportions. This hunger puts many firms at risk of making poor decisions. Introduction In fact, The Shattuck Group conducted market research with more than 200 PS executives in early 2009. We asked those executives to identify priorities among a wide range of topics that were of importance to them. The results? “Acquiring new clients” was the num- ber one concern of these executives, with 77.3% reporting that this was “very important” to them and 17.7% stating that it was “important.” “Retaining existing clients” was the number two concern of these execu- tives, with 70.6% reporting that this was “very important” to them and 22.3% stating that it was “important.” Their number three concern, not sur- prisingly, was “generating leads,” with 66.5% reporting that this was “very important” to them and 23.9% stating that it was “important.” Now you might be wondering why these statistics are significant enough to warrant being on page three of this document. There are two reasons. First, if you examine how these con- cerns rank next to other legitimate concerns, there is a sizable gap be- tween them. Topics such as “develop- ing effective marketing plans, upgrad- ing brand identity, differentiating from competitors, increasing brand aware- ness, conducting research, productizing services, and pricing services appro- priately” were ranked as much as 50% lower in importance compared to the client-revenue-oriented concerns. Second, if you compare this survey to previous surveys about these same top- ics, there is far less distance between the client-revenue-oriented concerns and the other concerns. This suggests a dramatic shift in mentality and priori- ties, a shift which may have unhealthy consequences.
  4. 4. Analysis What do these statistics tell us? We think there are three observations of critical importance here. 1. PS executives are under tremen- dous pressure to generate new rev- enue. Unfortunately, human beings are prone to make hasty decisions that may not be in their long-term best interest when facing these conditions. 2. We are concerned that executives are obfuscating “revenue genera- tion” and “client acquisition.” To us, the two are not one and the same. New clients often come with high risk and may not remain good clients over time. New clients are far more likely, in our experience, to negatively impact profitability and create management headaches. More often than not, existing clients are the best source of quick new revenue. While client retention was a top concern of PS executives, the techniques that empower firms to grow revenues from existing clients (research and productizing services) were at the bottom of the list of priorities. 3. While acquiring new clients and retaining existing clients were of top importance, the techniques that make these goals possible were of lowest importance. This again suggests that PS executives are not thinking entirely clearly in these stressful times. In our experience, conducting market research to bet- ter understand ideal clients (only 22.3% ranked this as very impor- tant) and productizing services (only 17% ranked this as very important) are two of the very best ways to impact revenue quickly. A great new idea, packaged up and ready to sell to a friendly existing client, can have a huge impact on quarterly earnings reports. A Big Mistake But our biggest concern today is that PS executives are moving straight to tactics without understanding how and why those tactics will deliver the rev- enue results they seek. It seems almost as if they read about a new tactic that a marketing guru recommends and they are only too eager to try it. We believe this distracts from sound strategy and a methodical approach to touching the market and gaining great- er market share. Executives who fail to put strategy in front of tactics will soon find them- selves with a lot of activity but not the results they were hoping for. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 4
  5. 5. How To Use This Workbook The remainder of this workbook ad- dresses these observations by offering an alternative approach to client ac- quisition and revenue generation that is thoughtful, based on best-practices, and that has proven to be highly suc- cessful for The Shattuck Group and our clients over time. It is our sense that there has never been a better time to be in professional services. While budgets are tight and clients and prospects scrutinize every project for value, there have never been more buyers of professional ser- vices who are this open to new pro- viders. Traditional loyalties between buyers and sellers have been shat- tered, opening the door to new firms and new ideas. The remainder of this workbook shows you step-by-step how to exploit these new opportunities and effectively grab market share. Each chapter in this workbook is comprised of a concept and an exercise. The concept will ex- plain what you can do to acquire new ideal clients and the exercise will ask you to put the idea into action for your firm. Ready to get started? Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 5 N = 199 Professional Services Executives. Acquiring New Clients Retaining Existing Clients Generating Leads 1.0% 4.0% 17.7% 77.3% 2.5% 4.6% 22.3% 70.6% 1.5% 8.1% 23.9% 66.5% Source: Professional Services Journal and The Shattuck Group study of 207 professional services leaders. 2009. PS Executives’ Top Three Concerns Not Important Somewhat Important Very ImportantImportant
  6. 6. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 6 Every professional services (PS) firm has ideal clients - the type of client that you are best suited to serve. When PS firms serve ideal clients effectively, everything else falls into place. But until PS firms discover who their ideal client is and the best way to serve them, they often struggle. The goal of this strategy is to help you discover or update your ideal client profile. Strategy 1: Build Or Update Your Ideal Client Profile Ideal Clients Defined An ideal client is a business that your firm is best suited to serve. There are seven major qualities that most PS firms look for in an ideal client: 1. Impact – you deliver services that have a significant impact on their business, usually their top or bot- tom line or both. 2. Budget – ideal clients easily afford your services and usually have already reserved a line item in their annual budget for those services. 3. Profits – you earn a substantial profit by delivering these services. 4. Insights – you understand what your ideal client needs often better than they do. 5. Expertise – your ideal clients want and need your specific capabilities and have limited options for acquir- ing that expertise. 6. Culture – there is a good fit between the way you do business and the way your ideal clients prefer to be served. 7. Chemistry – your staff and your ideal clients’ staff work well togeth- er with few conflicts. When PS firms have an abundance of these types of clients, they find them- selves in the enviable position of real- izing seven major benefits: 1. Revenue – they have all of the rev- enue they need to reward employ- ees and stakeholders. 2. Profitability – their deals are con- sistently profitable at levels that exceed industry averages and fuel their economic engine. 3. Growth – they consistently grow at a rate that meets the expectations of stakeholders. 4. Loyalty – both employees and clients feel a strong sense of affin- ity for the firm and want to see it do well over time. 5. Satisfaction – employees find their
  7. 7. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 7 work fulfilling and enjoyable. Cli- ents realize results that meet or exceed their expectations. 6. Commitment – employees devote themselves to supporting clients and giving their best efforts. 7. Vision – executives and stakehold- ers take a long-term view and invest in initiatives that enable the firm to achieve its full potential. How can your firm acquire ideal clients and realize these benefits? You build an ideal client profile for every service you offer. An ideal client profile is a list of attributes across the following pa- rameters: • Demographic factors • Decision-makers & influencers • Key concerns of those decision- makers and influencers • Goals they want to achieve The value of building an ideal client profile is that it helps you see clearly whom you are seeking to serve, chal- lenges you will help them overcome and opportunities you will help them exploit, and results they want to realize from associating with your firm. This profile can and should be shared with everyone inside your organization to ensure you are all united in your vision and goals. Please note that your firm may have several ideal clients, one for each ser- vice you offer. You will realize tremen- dous benefits and focus by building an ideal client profile for each of your services. To do this, pick an important service and complete the exercise form below. You can repeat this exercise for every service you offer. If you cannot complete the following exercise with a high degree of confi- dence that your answers are accurate and representative of the ideal buyer of that service, you should seriously con- sider conducting market research. To learn more about how to do this, please visit www.theshattuckgroup.com and click on Our Services.
  8. 8. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 8 Strategy 1 Exercise: Build Or Update Your Ideal Client Profile Pick one important service you offer and complete the exercise below about the ideal client for that service. Repeat this exercise for each service you offer. Demographic Factors Industry: Broad industry Sub-industry Geography Company size: Employee count Annual revenue Decision Makers & Influencers: Major responsibilities Departments Titles
  9. 9. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 9 Tenure with company Psychographic data: Age range Education Gender Key Concerns Challenges: (what keeps them up at night worrying?) Challenge 1 Challenge 2 Challenge 3 Opportunities: (what they dream of accomplishing?) Opportunity 1 Opportunity 2 Opportunity 3
  10. 10. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 10 Goals They Want To Achieve Goal 1 Goal 2 Goal 3 Goal 4 Goal 5
  11. 11. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 11 Many PS people believe that what they do is about expertise, credibility, and capability. While this may be true, it is not the reason that clients buy. Clients buy because they believe in a promise. In fact, the fundamental nature of selling professional services is – in a word – promise. As PS people, we promise to help our clients go from where they are now to where they want to be in the future. The goal of this strategy is to help you analyze the efficacy of the promises you make to your market. Strategy 2: Analyze Your Existing Promises Your Promises   What promises are you making to your clients, prospects, and the market at large?  To answer this question, you need to look at your messages.  Let’s pick one service that you offer, say the most popular or maybe the most profit- able service you offer, and let’s exam- ine it in greater detail.   Most of the time, promises are made through brochures, web pages, presen- tations, webinars, and other types of marketing materials.  Gather those ma- terials together in one location and lay them out on a table.  Have a highlighter handy.  What do you see?    An Objective Look   If your firm is like most, you’ll see in- consistencies of several kinds: • Identity – this is probably the most obvious one.  Many firms struggle to keep their identity consistent across all points of exposure to the market.  But this is the least likely area to negatively impact client acquisition. • Value Proposition – is your value proposition consistent from one document to the next?  Is it clearly, simply, and elegantly articulated so that it stands out?  Can a client look at a document and know within seconds why they should buy this service?
  12. 12. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 12 • Results – do you promise to deliver specific results or outcomes from your service and if so what are they?  Are these results consistently stated from one document to the next?  More than just deliverables, results are the impact of the deliv- erables on your client’s business.  Results are typically tied to specific, quantifiable outcomes from your service. • Benefits – what benefits will clients realize from the service?  While re- sults are specific to business drivers of a quantifiable nature, benefits are more subjective but equally impor- tant.  Benefits are the psychological rewards of having achieved certain results.  • Deliverables – do you consistently outline the deliverables from your service?  Do clients and prospects understand the tangible items that they will take possession of as you deliver services?   It is important to examine your sales and marketing materials from a disin- terested perspective.  If you do not feel confident that you can do this on your own, we recommend that you hire an outside firm or find a friend or col- league to do this on your behalf.
  13. 13. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 13 Strategy 2 Exercise: Analyze Your Existing Promises   Pick one major service you offer, preferably a popular or highly profitable service, and complete the exercise below for that service. Promises Made To Clients Value proposition: Results Result 1 Result 2
  14. 14. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 14 Result 3 Result 4 Result 5 Benefits: Benefit 1 Benefit 2
  15. 15. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 15 Benefit 3 Benefit 4 Benefit 5 Deliverables: Deliverable 1
  16. 16. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 16 Deliverable 2 Deliverable 3 Deliverable 4 Deliverable 5
  17. 17. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 17 When PS firm struggle to close deals, there is often a problem with their promises.  If ideal clients deeply desire the results you can deliver, have adequate budget, and have a business reason to take action, more often than not you’ll win their business.  But when gaps exist between ideal client’s goals and your promises, close rates suffer.   The goal of this strategy is to identify gaps between ideal clients’ desires and your promises and create strategies to close those gaps. Strategy 3: Identify Gaps Where You Should Make Changes Discover The Disconnect   Once you’ve built your ideal client pro- file and analyzed an important service, you are in a good position to compare the two.  This is a powerful exercise that will clearly demonstrate where you need to make changes to your mes- sages so they become more persuasive and you win more deals and increase profits.      It is often at this point in this process that PS executives begin to make the following observations: • Truth In Advertising – some PS executives become concerned that this exercise is leading them to a point where they simply tell clients and prospect what they want to hear rather than making substantive changes to what a PS firm actually does.  Rest assured, this exercise is not heading in that direction.  You have to understand where the gaps lie before you create a plan to ad- dress them. • This Is A Lot Of Work – yes it is.  This strategy will call for not only changes to the way you package and present your services, but also changes to the actual services and deliverables themselves.  Make no mistake about it. • A Crossroads – this is the moment where you get to see what the market wants, what they care about, and how you stack up against those desires.  Now you have a decision
  18. 18. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 18 to make.  Will you put the work into re-positioning your services and sales and marketing messages?  Is it really worth the effort?  Only you can answer this question. Steps To Success   Begin this exercise by listing the key concerns and results that ideal clients care about deeply.  Then list the prom- ises from your service.  Analyze the two and then record the major gaps that you see.  Rank each gap in order of importance.   Some criteria for deciding the significance of the gap can include: • Expectations – do ideal clients ex- pectations so significantly outweigh your ability to deliver that it is not worth it to try to address those ex- pectations? • Profitability – do ideal client ex- pectations dramatically exceed the price they are willing to pay, nega- tively impacting profitability and making changes to your service unattractive to you? • Messaging – can you substantially improve the positioning of your service simply by changing your messaging and promises?  This is an ideal situation because it will increase the attractiveness of the service and allow you to charge more for it – all without impacting your cost of operations and profit- ability.  • Adjustments – can you make a few minor upgrades to deliverables, your methodology, or other opera- tional components and then re- package the service to make it more attractive to ideal clients?  This is also a very desirable situation because it empowers you to charge more with only minor decreases to profitability. Finally, list some strategies for how you will close the gap between ideal clients’ key concerns and desired results and your service’s promises. Some criteria for defining strategies to close the gaps can include: • Impact – how much more attractive can you make the service by closing the gaps? • Revenue – how much more revenue can you generate by closing the gaps? • Client Acquisition – how many more new clients can you acquire by clos- ing the gap? • Hard Costs – how much will it cost you, in terms of collateral re-prints and other hard costs, to complete this work? • Opportunity Costs – if you choose not to close the gaps, what opportu- nities might you miss?
  19. 19. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 19 Strategy 3 Exercise: Identify Gaps Where You Should Make Changes   Compare the ideal client profile and the promises of your service by completing the exercise below. Use abbreviated statements for the work you’ve completed thus far. Ideal Client Profile Key Concerns Challenges: (what keeps them up at night worrying?) Challenge 1 Challenge 2 Challenge 3 Opportunities: (what do they dream of accomplishing?) Opportunity 1 Opportunity 2 Opportunity 3 Goals They Want To Achieve: Goal 1
  20. 20. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 20 Goal 2 Goal 3 Goal 4 Goal 5 Your Service Profile Promises Made To Clients Value Proposition Results Result 1 Result 2 Result 3 Result 4 Result 5
  21. 21. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 21 Benefits Benefit 1 Benefit 2 Benefit 3 Benefit 4 Benefit 5 Deliverables Deliverable 1 Deliverable 2 Deliverable 3 Deliverable 4 Deliverable 5
  22. 22. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 22 Gaps Between Ideal Clients’ Key Concerns And Desired Results And Your Service’s Promises Gap 1 Gap 2 Gap 3 Gap 4 Gap 5
  23. 23. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 23 Strategies To Close The Gaps Between Ideal Clients’ Key Concerns And Desired Results And Your Service’s Promises Strategy 1 Strategy 2 Strategy 3 Strategy 4 Strategy 5
  24. 24. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 24 Earlier we noted the inherent danger of putting tactics in front of strategy.  Too often we see PS executives mapping out a twelve- month plan on a spreadsheet and inserting activities, like webi- nars, emails, and other tactics.  Sometimes it seems the actual content of these activities is almost an after-thought.  In the end, you do want to have a good plan laid out logically in a spread- sheet, but this is not the place to start.  Pull marketing, by com- parison, begins with the message and emphasizes the reasons the market should pay attention to your firm.    The goal of this strategy is to help you develop a highly effective client acquisition plan based on pull-marketing concepts. Strategy 4: Build A Client Acquisition Plan Based On A Pull Strategy Pull Marketing Defined   Pull marketing draws ideal clients into your brand by giving them content and ideas that are meaningful to them, causing them to want to reach out to you.  It is predicated on the notion that ideal clients are already incredibly busy and only if you provide them some- thing of value, usually for free, will they pay attention to you.   Push marketing, on the other hand, is predicated on the notion that if you tell your target audience who you are, what you do, and why they should do busi- ness with you - and tell them repeat- edly - they will listen and eventually do business with you.    One of the best examples of pull mar- keting is thought leadership. We often say that if you tell clients how to solve their most pressing problems, they will pay attention and begin to conceive of you as a source of solutions.  This is an excellent starting point for building a client relationship.  So how can you do this? Begin With The End In Mind   An effective pull marketing strategy focuses around just a few key themes divided up into specific messages delivered across a handful of cam-
  25. 25. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 25 paigns.  Think of this as your editorial calendar, the kind that trade publica- tions use.    To build a highly effective pull market- ing strategy, you need two things: great content and a campaign plan.  Here are a few suggestions for building solid content and an editorial calendar: • Utilize The Concerns Noted From Your Ideal Client Profile – if it mat- ters to ideal clients it should matter to you.  Select the top three ideal client concerns and create an edito- rial calendar where you plan out 10-12 messages that address these concerns.    • Tell Your Market How To Solve Their Most Pressing Problems – ev- ery ideal client has goals they want to accomplish.  You draw them into your brand when you tell them how to accomplish those goals.  And re- member, just because you tell them how to solve their greatest challeng- es, that doesn’t mean they can or will do it independently of you.  But if you show them you know how to accomplish goals that they care about deeply, they will be far more likely to contact you than a competi- tor when the time is right.  • Provide Insights That Come Directly From Your Experiences – part of the goal of this exercise is to position you and your brand as a thought leader.  The more you can relate insights that arise directly from your experiences, the more you will be perceived as a leader. • Use Case Studies And Market Research – whenever possible, develop and use case studies and market research.  This adds a sense of objectivity and credibility to your marketing strategies. • Emphasize Good Clear Communica- tion – make your writing as clean and as simple as possible.  Avoid technical terms and maintain a con- versational, yet professional, tone.  Hire a proofreader and publish qual- ity final pieces. The primary goal of your campaign plan is to insert your brand into the buying cycle of as many ideal clients as possible.  Your campaigns should be tactical, short-term, and designed to elicit buying behavior quickly from ideal clients.  Some of these types of tactics include:   • Direct-response campaigns targeted at specific buyers inside specific businesses • Email marketing campaigns with white papers and other value-based offers • Webinars • Telemarketing campaigns • Social networking campaigns • Website upgrades • Online video and audio tools • Search engine marketing • Referral incentive plans for existing clients • Strategic alliances with key partners who have clients who fit your ideal client profile   Map these across a twelve-month plan and assign specific messages to spe- cific tactics.
  26. 26. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 26 Strategy 4 Exercise: Build A Client Acquisition Plan Based On A Pull Strategy Develop your editorial calendar below and then apply messages to specific tactics. Editorial Calendar (Content): Key Themes: (major topics of importance to ideal clients) Theme 1 Theme 2 Theme 3
  27. 27. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 27 Theme 4 Theme 5 Messages: (your treatment of the themes divided into specific topics where you provide insights and expertise) Message 1 Message 2 Message 3 Message 4 Message 5 Message 6 Message 7 Message 8
  28. 28. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 28 Message 9 Message 10 Message 11 Message 12 Campaign Plan (Tactics): Direct-response Email marketing Webinars Telemarketing Social networking Website upgrades Online video and audio tools Search engine marketing Referral incentive plans Strategic alliances
  29. 29. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 29 PS executives with outdated or incorrect data, or worse yet – no data at all – are not in a good position to make course correc- tions where necessary.  In our experience, certain tactics and messages pull much more effectively than others.  What’s more, it is nearly impossible at the outset of a campaign to know which are the winners and which are just okay.  Tracking systems great- ly improve your ability to target the right messages at the right audience and increase deal-flow.    The goal of this strategy is to help you implement tracking sys- tems that provide actionable intelligence so you can continually refine your campaigns.  Strategy 5: Execute Your Pull Strategy And Track Results Implement Tracking Systems   Now that your client acquisition plan is ready to execute, there are few more final steps you should take to ensure the greatest success possible.  Some of those steps include: • Integration – integrate tracking into key business processes, especially the addition of contacts to your CRM.  We recommend that you create technology policies that will not allow a new contact to be added to the CRM unless their source of origin is identified.  • Training – train your staff to use the tracking systems effectively and always tout the benefits to them of knowing which tactics are produc- ing the best results.  • Monitoring – we recommend that you monitor your CRM at least weekly and look for the source of new contacts in the database.  • Assessment – define a “check-in” point when you will analyze data from a set period of time and assess what changes, if any, you want to make to your client acquisition plan.  We typically recommend a quarterly assessment. Some key data points that are impor- tant to track over time include:   • Web Statistics – there are a few different types of statistics to track here: total unique visitors monthly, length of visits, total pages clicked
  30. 30. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 30 per user, and specific actions such as registering for white papers, webi- nars, and other activities. • Email Statistics – whether you man- age email in-house or use a service bureau, it is advisable to track total messages sent, total opens, and click-throughs to landing pages.  • Source Of New Leads – if your CRM system will allow it, set up a filter that you can run weekly for new contacts who have entered your database.  Then filter a report on the source of these new contacts.  Be sure to have a unique “source” for every campaign you run. • Messages – between web landing pages, specific emails, and coor- dinated campaigns, you should be able to see relatively quickly which messages seem to elicit the right behavior from your target audience.  This data is invaluable for refining campaigns and making them as suc- cessful as possible. • Close Rates – if your CRM will allow it, track leads all the way through the sales funnel, from first contact to proposal to close.  Then look for trends at both the content and campaign level.  If you can identify specific campaigns and messages that produce a greater number of new clients, you can repeat them knowing they will impact revenue.
  31. 31. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 31 In today’s tough economic climate, PS firms need to maximize their resources to achieve the greatest success possible.  These five strategies, when implemented effectively, have produced outstanding results for The Shattuck Group and our clients.  While they require concerted effort to realize their full potential, they will impact acquisition of the right clients, revenue, and growth.   Is your firm ready to grow? Conclusion Final Thoughts   An ideal client is a business that your firm is best suited to serve.  Relation- ships with ideal clients produce out- standing results for both the client and your firm.  PS firms who have an abun- dance of ideal clients experience ben- efits like growth, stability, work satisfac- tion, and the breathing room they need to plan for the future.    To capture an ever-increasing share of ideal clients, you need to understand them deeply.  If you do not, you should conduct qualitative and quantitative market research.  Your deep under- standing of ideal clients positions you to tailor your services and promises to them.  As you implement a pull-mar- keting strategy to attract them, you’ll notice that they perceive you as both an expert and a source of great ideas and solutions.  To maximize the impact of your cam- paigns and messages, implement track- ing systems across key metrics such as web, email, messages that pull more effectively than others, and ultimately close rates. How We Can Help At The Shattuck Group we understand how much work these strategies re- quire.  But the good news is that you do not have to go it alone.  We would be happy to have a conversation about how we can support you through this process.  To begin this conversation, call us today at 877-296-5301 or send an email to info@theshattuck- group.com.
  32. 32. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 32 The Shattuck Group is a full-service marketing firm that special- izes in professional services.  We are a highly focused team of branding, marketing, and business development experts.  Based out of the Silicon Valley in San Jose, California, we serve select clients nationwide. About The Shattuck Group Our Mission And Vision   Our mission is simple – we help our cli- ents grow.  This is our only purpose for existing as a business.  Every member of The Shattuck Group team knows this mantra and works every day to make it real for our clients.    Our vision is equally simple – we only grow when our clients grow.  We know that our success is unequivocally tied to our clients’ success.  This provides tremendous motivation in everything we do.  Every strategy we recommend, every tactic we implement, and every project we manage – they’re all de- signed to help our clients achieve the goals that matter most to them. Our Value Proposition   We empower our clients to achieve the goals that are most important to them.  Increased revenue.  Increased profits.  Increased demand.  All of our services, our ideas, and our energy are focused on these goals.
  33. 33. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 33 Our Services   We achieve these objectives with a unique combination of 10 services that are customized for each client.  We’ve learned through market research, our experiences, and empirical observation that these 10 services have the greatest impact on our client’s top and bottom lines:   • Market Research • Positioning Strategies • Marketing Plans • Messaging Development • Brand Identity • Brand Awareness • Client Acquisition • Lead Generation • Thought Leadership • Video Development Our Background  The Shattuck Group was founded in 1998.  For more than a decade, we’ve been helping professional services firms grow, sometimes exponentially.  We have the success stories to prove it.  For instance, we helped Avcom grow from 40 million to over 300 million in top line revenue.  If you’d like to hear more about these stories, please send an email to info@theshattuckgroup. com with the title “success stories.”  If you would like to learn more about how we can help your firm, please call us today at 877-296-5301. Or you can send an email to info@theshattuck- group.com.
  34. 34. Randy Shattuck is a senior marketing executive and founder of The Shattuck Group, a marketing firm that empowers PS com- panies to reach their growth objectives.  For 20 years Randy has helped PS firms grow by building strong brands, generating leads, acquiring the right clients, and positioning effectively. About The Author Randy Shattuck’s Background   Before The Shattuck Group, Randy helped Acclaim Technology, a Silicon Valley systems integrator, grow from 10 to 120 million in sales in 3 years.  As marketing strategist for that firm, Randy lead the charge to the market by building a brand that grew from a bou- tique technology sales organization to a true enterprise.  Under Randy’s market- ing leadership, the company grew from a few employees in one office to more than 130 employees in offices through- out the greater Western United States.   Prior to Acclaim Technology, Randy headed the marketing function of Con- tec Microelectronics, helping that firm double its revenues.   Under his mar- keting leadership, Contec’s brand grew from a relatively unknown company to a recognized industry player.  Randy negotiated the largest contract ever in that firm’s history, resulting in tremen- dous new sales and profits.   For the past 11 years Randy has lead The Shattuck Group, helping dozens of PS firms in a variety of industries real- ize their goals.   Randy’s background is in marketing, behavioral science, strategy, and rheto- ric.  He is a featured columnist in Pro- fessional Services Journal and Rain- Today.  He is a sought-after speaker, writer, and thinker.     You can email him at randy@theshat- tuckgroup.com and visit his firm online at www.theshattuckgroup.com. Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 34
  35. 35. Notes Five Strategies To Acquire New Ideal Clients In A Tough Economy 35
  36. 36. PLAN. BRAND. EXPAND. www.theshattuckgroup.com info@theshattuckgroup.com 877-296-5301

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