In episode five of more than marketing, Jen talks to Alex Barr about sales, which has long been a taboo in the professional services sector. There is a well-established notion that sales is the opposite of good, ethical service – but in this episode, we’re here to show you why that’s not the case.

Alex is a commercial consultant and business development coach that specialises in helping firms in generating more profit and faster growth. You can find him on LinkedIn, or at Third Bounce.

Sales is not antithetical to good service. It is good service.

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In a professional service firm, sales tactics shouldn’t be aggressive. Your role is to provide your client with the best support you can with your expertise, and you can only do that if you get to know them. As Alex Barr points out in this episode – how many clients who work with your Residential Property team either need a Will or need their current one updated? You should be able to be in the position to assist clients with that as part of your duty of care, and sales is the process of discovering that need.

Of course, this goes beyond a duty of care – cross-selling to existing clients is more efficient than winning new ones. Plus, even now in the internet age, nothing beats word of mouth. Happy clients who like you and your team are more likely to refer you work.

The social bit is important – people are unlikely to refer work to you or give you work – if they are the client – if they don’t like you much. No matter what it says in chambers about you or anything, or how good your marketing is.

Further Reading

Trust is Vital
Alex discusses asking good questions as a fundamental part of getting to know your clients and referrers. As well as helping you generate more revenue for your firm, this practice also develops trust, which we think is vital to not only providing good service but to putting your brand into action.

Happy clients = more income
People who love your work will come back for more, and know who you’re talking to will enable you to sell them other services they need.

Internal Referalls
Ideally the different departments in your business will know what each other’s ideal clients look like. This way they can refer work internally. For example, does your Tax team know what your Compliance team is looking for? Getting this information shared and building a culture that allows for regular communication can be tough. A stong Internal Communications Strategy can help you build momentum.

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