It is not enough for just one or two partners to have a marketing mentality while the remainder of a firm remains lukewarm about marketing. The commitment to marketing must be firm-wide. This means creating a marketing culture throughout the organisation. Below are seven elements to creating a dynamic marketing culture:
Willingness to change: Resistance to change is the greatest obstacle to any major new development in a firm. Ingrained prejudices and misconceptions about marketing for professional firms deprive many a firm of the necessary zeal to commit realistically to marketing. A way of overcoming this is a sustained education program explaining the benefits of marketing and the disadvantages of neglecting it.
Desire: A positive desire to engage in marketing is required to drive a dynamic marketing program. This must be firm-wide, and constantly renewed and refreshed. Try introducing rewards for marketing efforts or offer marketing incentives for your desired result.
Commitment: Sometimes accountants lack commitment because they feel they have the wrong personality for marketing. But the truth is to be good at marketing professional services all that is needed is a good understanding of the services being offered, a commitment to delivering quality services, and a desire to use those excellent services to bring in as much business as possible.
A good marketing plan: Take stock of the developments in the marketplace and develop a marketing plan that will enable you to respond appropriately. Developing an aggressive marketing plan involves more than just spending money; it also means changing the way you do things throughout the firm to allow time for developing and communicating goals, strategies, and responsibilities.
Unity of purpose: Partners will be effective at marketing only if there is unity of purpose. This means establishing clear general goals in the firm’s strategic marketing plan and then translating them into specific goals for individual partners in their personal marketing plans.
Prospect-partner pairing: It is important from the start to be clear about which partner is responsible for which prospect and to ensure that all communication with that prospect is initiated by that partner. The only exception to this should be if there are obvious benefits from bringing a second partner into play at some stage.
Follow-up: One of the dangers of launching a successful marketing plan is that it generates so much interest that partners do not have enough time to follow through correctly. It is important to think through the logistics of the follow-up before you launch your program. Nothing can be worse for the morale of your partners and staff or for the reputation of your firm than to generate interest in a prospect and then fail to follow through satisfactorily.