Capitalizing On Consistency

Sep 27th, 2008 | By | Category: Building Your Reputation, Marketing Professional Services

What does it take to be a successful practice builder?

After you have established your goals and laid out your plan of action for reaching your goals, one of your next steps is to take control of yourself.

Remember all those guys in school who were so proud of their imagination, and were so quick to deprecate the plodders and the planners? Well, let me bring you back to reality with a corollary to the story of the tortoise and the hare. Consistency trumps all.

Think about the firms who have made it big, even if they’re no longer around. Consistency got them where they were. It wasn’t until they let their imagination take hold and began to jump at the latest and greatest new thing that they began to fall by the wayside.

When I finished school, all the talk was about getting on with one of the “Big Eight.” Now it’s just barely the “Big Four.” And I sometimes think they sort of wish they weren’t the “Big” whatever but were down around the second tier as regional firms, where they could be a little bit more competitive.

Anyhoo, back to our consistency theme.

Consistency is the mark of a truly integrated practice building program. It should be the basis on which you plan every component of your practice building activity. Every tool in your practice building and marketing must relate to the overall purpose of your practice.

Every speech you make should carry the message that “I am an expert in (fill in your own blank here).” Every step in the process of filling your funnel should intuitively lead to the next step. Your speech should lead to your training class or workshop. Your training class or workshop should lead to the need for a personal consultation. A personal consultation should lead to a client engagement. And a client engagement should lead to a new client referral.

It sounds simple, and it sounds intuitive, but it is not. It iis hard, and requires the right tools and mindset.

You need to develop speaking engagements. This requires a mailing list of prospects who might be interested in hearing you speak, a letter requesting the opportunity to speak, and of course, a speech.

You need products that will lead your audience into your funnel. You need workshops and training courses to invite them to after they have heard you speak, or you need back of the room products such as printed and bound publications of yours, or even a newsletter that they can subscribe to.

You need a planned interview system where you can go over their needs once they have been through your workshop, read your workbook, or seen several of your newsletters. A system that will help you identify their needs and prepare you to offer solutions to their problems.

And you need a method of processing all of this on a regular and consistent basis.

Most practitioners who fail to maintain consistency usually do one of three things.

They misinterpret Marshall McLuhan’s famous quote of “the medium is the message.” You need to maintain a consistent tone throughout your message, across all different medium. Speaking, press releases, classes, articles, books, advertising, brochures.

They are driven by impatience with externals. Even the best practice builders need a bit of time to allow their efforts to sink into the minds of their prospects. If they don’t see immediate results, they change directions and reach for the next brass ring. They keep doing that until the carousel stops or they fall off.

Or, they are driven by a personal and inwardly focused impatience. Because they live and breathe their practice, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, they soon get tired of whatever direction their efforts have recently taken them, so they make changes, until their efforts no longer resemble what they originally were and their clients and prospects think they have gone away.

Consistency is not easy. It requires dedication. But the rewards are huge.

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