We can do WHAT?!? Educating Employees on Service Offerings

In our firm, one of the challenges we hear most often is that our professionals can’t keep track of everything we can do. They are continually being reminded to look for opportunities to cross-sell, but how do you sell services when you don’t know what those services are? Or, even if you know we can provide a specific service, how do you know the right colleague to talk to?

This challenge can be further complicated by factors such as:

  • A wide variety of non-traditional service offerings
  • Multiple office locations
  • Merging with another firm

At P&N, one of the things we are most proud of is our ability to offer such a wide range of services that solve problems and add value for our clients. As the firm has continued to grow and evolve, our service offerings have also expanded, BUT our team members’ awareness of new services did not automatically expand.

Over the last few years, our firm has made a significant investment in non-technical training for our team members through the introduction and continued development of our internal Lifelong Learning Program. This is a soft skills training program with an emphasis on business development, communication, human resource management and technology.

As part of last year’s curriculum, we launched in interactive course titled “A to Z of P&N” (course description below):

Most people are surprised to learn the wide range of diverse services that P&N offers clients. From Affordable Care Act to Year End Tax Planning and the 1040 EZ, we can help clients with a range of issues from A to Z. This session provides a dictionary’s worth of P&N services along with the resources you need to further your knowledge on everything P&N does to help clients.

The course was structured as an interactive Jeopardy game, and participants walked away with a better understanding of P&N’s services and the tools that can help them cross-sell.

The purpose of this course was not for our team members to memorize the long list of services we offer, but to emphasize that we can help organizations solve most types of challenges and encourage team members to listen and look for ways we can help our clients. We also provided a dictionary of services (with everything we do from A to Z) that our team members could reference going forward.

A-to-Z-Guide - Sample_Page_1

This is just one way our firm has worked to address our team’s knowledge gap. A few other ideas include:

  • Service fairs (similar to a career fair, with representatives from each service area setting up their own “booth”)
  • Incorporating brief overviews and client case studies from various service lines into regular departmental meetings (for example, inviting your forensic accounting team to a regularly scheduled tax department meeting to share an overview of what they do)
  • Internal networking events and “speed-dating” among different departments

Conclusion

Employees can’t be expected to have intelligent, meaningful discussions with clients and identify cross-selling opportunities without the right tools and knowledge of the firm’s services.

If you have taken other approaches to educate your team members on your firm’s service offerings and resources, we would love to hear them!

 

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Dear Santa…

Dear Santa,

We’ve worked really hard this year. We launched an updated brand, developed a new website, and helped grow our sales pipeline. So if you deem us worthy of a spot on your nice list, here is what we would like:

  • A marketing team member who is highly creative, super organized, a great writer, presenter, and graphic designer, and knows all the latest technology
  • Or maybe a unicorn
  • A dress code policy change to allow sweats if the temperature drops below 60° (that’s cold to us in south Louisiana!)
  • Even more qualified opportunities in our pipeline
  • Wine (of course)
  • An office puppy named “The Boss” (“Sorry I’m late for the meeting, I needed to take The Boss for a quick walk.”)

Also, we know you have a lot on your plate right at year-end so if you need any help understanding the latest pending and enacted tax law changes and how they might affect you and Mrs. Claus, we’d be happy to help you out.

Merry Christmas,

P&N’s Marketing Team

Announcing Our New POUNCE Blog

Today is an exciting day. We are taking a new step in our crusade to help empower marketing and technical professionals alike in the accounting, legal and A/E/C industries in business development and firm growth.

As a lean marketing department supporting a professional services firm of 450+ team members, we understand firsthand many of the obstacles to growth encountered by firms today. Technology changes faster than marketers can keep up, the needs of our doer-sellers continue to increase, and our own roles continue to evolve.

Regardless of how fast things change, we love the people we work with, the work we do, and the challenge of it all, and we are passionate about sharing our lessons learned with others in similar positions.

Here’s what you can look forward to in the POUNCE blog:

  • Firsthand insights from our own successes (and not so-successes) in helping create and support a growth culture
  • Ideas and best practices on how to maximize your impact as marketing and business development professionals
  • Resources you can pass along to your doer-sellers to encourage participation in the sales process
  • Ways we’ve been able to leverage technology to support and streamline business development efforts

If you are responsible for marketing or business development efforts in a professional services firm, this blog is meant for you. We invite you to join the conversation. We welcome your thoughts, comments, suggestions and questions.

Thank you for reading!

Sincerely,

The POUNCE Team

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