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In last week’s post, we talked a little about the “means and the message.” It’s worth going into some more detail, because if you’ve hit a barrier with respect to practice growth, the odds are it has something to do with one of these two things.
Essentially, in order to take on new clients, you need to have the means to get in front of the people you want to reach, and you need to have something to say to them once you do.
When you’re looking for the best way to reach new opportunities, consider the channels that offer the most direct route to your target audience, even if it takes some heavy lifting to implement a process.
For you, this channel could be through your current top clients, subscribers to your blog, or a company that employs several individuals you already work with. If you have one foot in the door anywhere, that’s often the place to start.
Your means is also the vessel for your message, not just the path it travels to reach a new prospective client. A team with the means to market themselves will have something tangible that bridges the introduction—something a COI can pass along, a place where a referral can go to learn more or a reliable method of requesting contact.
More than just the words you use, your message is your story, your value proposition and the perception you’re able to create.
What impression do new introductions get from the look and feel of your brand? What does your first-touch collateral say about the kinds of people you work with, the clout and reputation of your firm, and the tangible reasons this type of individual would benefit from your service? When you’re in front of a new opportunity, what can you say about their needs and your capabilities as a specialist?
Of course these two components are interrelated—the message depends on the means and vice versa. Your story for corporate executives at COI events, for example, will be slightly different from the one you would share during a review with a wealthy client family. Likewise, the opportunities you have to connect with potential clients will depend on the type of practice you’ve built and whom you’ve built it for.
But if you have a message that resonates and a means to share it, you’re well on your way to a self-sustaining prospecting cycle.