A New Formula - How Consulting Firms Can Succeed in These Unprecedented Times
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Great news! According to new research from The Hinge Research Institute, clients value consulting firms 33% more than in past years and the perceived relevancy of services has risen 56%!
However, in these unprecedented times, fear is up, and trust is down. Trade shows, speaking opportunities, and face-to-face networking have all been put on hold. It is now a virtual world and the business development game has changed.
Don’t fret. Adapt!
In fact, now is the time to accelerate adapting. Here are a few tips to help:
- Assess information that is currently available
- Stay on top of new trends as they are revealed
- Make strategic and tactical (directional) decisions
- Communicate and take action
- Revisit directional decisions
Now that you have started to accelerate adapting, here are three tips that you should implement immediately to help you generate new and more business in 2020 and beyond:
Tip #1: Change your tone.
Everyone is handling these times differently as they work from home. Some are multi-tasking --giving their attention to ever-changing work priorities; clingy, young children; and needy pets. Others are battling cabin fever. Still others are feeling the stress of shrinking budgets, disappearing pipeline opportunities, or tighter cashflow as clients are stopping or delaying payments.
Be sensitive to their situations. Be caring. Be patient. Be helpful. Show compassion in your phone calls, emails, videos, and website messaging. Invest more in kindness now and it will pay off for you later.
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Tip #2: Step back and do an honest assessment of your website.
What is the tone of the messaging on your website? Could it be more helpful? Is your website compelling? Is it memorable? Is it easy to navigate? Be honest with yourself. Could it be optimized to drive visitors to better engagement with your firm?
Under the new normal, your website is the gateway to your firm. It is the place of first impressions. Keep in mind that folks will be accessing your website at their convenience - even when you may not be available. The decision to work—or not work—with you may be influenced heavily by your website.
Tip #3: Use research as content.
Your prospects want to work with and learn from trusted “Visible Experts” (subject matter experts and thought leaders). Visible expertise is a key differentiator as prospects evaluate firms. One of the best ways to showcase this visible expertise is through content. Unfortunately, original content can be hard to create on a consistent basis and even when it is created, it often gets lost in the noise of other content.
Research, when used to generate original content, makes it easier to create content and is valued more. It helps your content rise above the noise. Research builds trust, and you’ll get recognized for your visible expertise by associating yourselves to that research. It is a great bridge to better engagement and more revenue opportunities. In fact, according to research from the Hinge Research Institute, high-growth consulting firms were 2.5x more likely to use frequent research (at least quarterly) than slow- or no-growth consulting firms.
About the Author
As Managing Director, Kelly leads the engagement efforts for the Hinge Research Institute—helping B2B companies and professional services firms use research to penetrate the professional services industry and drive content marketing strategies. Kelly ensures that clients get the data and insights to raise their visibility, grow, and be more profitable. He brings a 360-degree view of business, marketing, and research having worked in leadership roles at consulting firms, marketing agencies, vendors, and corporate marketing organizations.
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