Tips for Effective Marketing Collateral

Since we’ve already reaffirmed that marketing collateral still matters, let’s talk about how to make it effective. Here are a few tips to ensure your marketing materials resonate with your prospects:

1. Focus on the problem solved…

People only buy two things: solutions to problems and good feelings.

To draw from the wisdom of WinWholesale COO Monte Salsman, “people only buy two things: solutions to problems and good feelings.” If you think about your own recent purchases, you’ll likely discover that they fall into these buckets.

The professional services your firm provides are meant to solve problems, and marketing collateral is the perfect avenue for explaining how your services benefit a potential client.

Just as you did with your professional resume, use the “so what” test when reviewing your marketing materials. Does the piece focus on information that means something to the prospect, information that they care about?

2. …but don’t overlook the importance of good feelings.

Obviously, the services you offer are meant to solve problems, whether they are compliance-focused, financial or operational in nature. But a prospect has to feel good about purchasing the solution from you.

Your firm likely has several competitors that could also solve the same problems, so why should the prospect pick you?

Your marketing materials are just the place to clearly state your value proposition. Yes, you can solve the problem at hand but you do this in a way that is more efficient, more effective, more communicative, etc., than your competitors.

3. Create pieces that work online and offline.

There is no doubt that today’s business exchanges are conducted online more frequently than in the past. But the reality is that (especially in professional services) a significant portion of business interactions are still conducted offline.

In-person meetings are instrumental in building connections and relationships that last, and especially critical in generating those good feelings mentioned above. Online channels are great for sharing information, but human interaction still packs a greater punch in developing like and trust, which, as we know, is essential to winning business.

And, generally speaking, our professionals are more confident in prospect meetings when they have something tangible to leave with the potential client.

Create some efficiencies by designing dual-purpose marketing pieces that will work online as a downloadable document or attachment, as well as offline as a printed piece.

4. Less is more.

As we mentioned in our post on professional resumes, attention spans are short in this digital age. Be sure to use concise language that gets to the point quickly and clearly demonstrates the meaning and benefits of your services to the audience.

5. Put quality first.

Your marketing collateral is more than a description of what your firm does. It can make an impression on your prospects that represent you and your firm long after an initial meeting.

To be remembered as a professional, respectable company, your copy should be free from typos and your branding should be consistent. Provide high-quality paper for printing these materials.

Make quality a priority.

Conclusion

Static marketing materials are far from dead, and can actually enhance your firm’s overall marketing and business development strategy and efforts.

 

Do you have other tips for creating effective marketing materials?

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Why Marketing Collateral [Still] Matters

In a modern business world where social media, mobile websites and video content are the new normal, does the traditional marketing brochure still matter?

The answer? A resounding YES! Marketing collateral still serves an essential purpose and is a key component of a well-rounded marketing strategy, especially in professional services. Sure, the modern channels for online marketing are important. But to disregard the value that traditional marketing collateral brings to your business development process is a huge mistake.

Here’s why marketing collateral still matters:

1. It establishes credibility.

Marketing collateral offers a tangible representation of your firm and often establishes the first impression a prospect has of you. A prospect may glance over your collateral and, within moments, decide whether you are a credible and qualified service provider.

You may have made significant investments in your website and online presence, but if you have sub-par marketing collateral—or have no marketing collateral—it could impair your chances of winning over the prospect.

2. It boosts your brand.

Marketing collateral is often the first opportunity you have to help shape a prospect’s perception of your firm. Your collateral should help to build and maintain your brand. Is a prospect going to read every word? Probably not. But good marketing collateral will make an impression and carve out real estate for your brand in the prospect’s mind, even if the prospect only looks at it for a few moments.

3. It explains your services.

In professional services, we sell something much more complex than, say, office supplies. Our “goods” require a high degree of education, training, knowledge and experience.

Marketing collateral helps to clearly communicate to prospects the key features and benefits of your services (i.e., the value of what you do) to an audience that may not know the ins and outs of what you offer. It helps to demonstrate how your services will solve a problem and/or make the prospect’s life easier.

4. It gives your sales team confidence.

Your doer-sellers need tools if they’re going to be effective. Marketing collateral gives your doer-sellers the resources—and comfort—they need to be effective in sales meetings or with follow-up activities. Printed or printable marketing materials are ideal for face-to-face networking or meetings.

5. It serves as another touch point.

We all know that the sales cycle in professional services can be lengthy, and it takes time to earn like and trust before winning business. This means your pursuit strategy should consider many different points of contact, of which your marketing collateral should be one.

Conclusion

While the sales process has changed drastically over the last decade, marketing collateral remains one of the best channels to communicate information about your firm and your services. Don’t overlook the value that marketing collateral brings to your marketing and business development efforts.

Need a tool to manage your marketing materials and make them accessible to your doer-sellers? Schedule a demo with us to see how POUNCE can help you keep your marketing materials organized and accessible in one central location.

 

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The Power of Professional Resumes in Professional Services

A professional resume is something that every professional needs, but not everyone bothers to write. Or they write one once, and then never update it. Or they wait until it’s needed for a proposal and just jot down the first few things that come to mind without putting much thought into it.

That’s a huge missed opportunity. Your professional resume is a strategic marketing tool, and should be given the effort and attention it deserves. A professional resume should be a concise overview of your skills, experience and achievements as they relate to specific services being offered or market segments being targeted.

Consider the following when developing your professional resume:

Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes.

Focus your professional resume on how you help your clients.

Keep in mind that even though your resume is ABOUT you, it is not FOR you.

Of course, there should be a focus on your achievements and experience, but it is important to show prospects how you use that experience to help them. Explain the significance of your achievements.

Once you have drafted your resume, try the “so what?” test. Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes, and for each item on your resume, ask yourself “why do I care?” Does this help instill confidence in the person reading your resume that you are competent and trustworthy? If not, edit.

Use language prospects understand.

You may be an expert in state sales tax legislation, but that doesn’t mean your prospects are. Be mindful of using industry jargon and providing too much detail. It’s important to strike a balance between detailed descriptions that demonstrate your knowledge, and big picture thinking that shows you understand your clients’ overall goals and challenges.

Try to adapt to your prospects’ vocabulary. Use key words and phrases that will resonate with them. Remember, it’s about them, not you.

And while we’re at it, not everything in your resume needs an acronym. Sometimes, “project management” experience > “PM” experience.

Ensure consistency with your firm’s style and brand.

One of the most common problems with professional resumes is a lack of consistency. You want to present your professionals as a cohesive team. The style in which your resume is written should reflect your firm’s brand.

Keep it concise.

People have very short attention spans. Your professional resume is intended to be a snapshot of your knowledge, skills and experience—just enough to demonstrate how you help your clients and why you are qualified.

Your professional resume is not intended to be a complete autobiographic chronicle of your life, to be bound in leather and passed down to your great-grandchildren. That’s a different story for another time.

UPDATE IT!

Your professional resume is not—I repeat, is NOT—a “one-and-done” exercise.

You don’t want your resume to seem frozen in time. It is important to update your resume with recent experience and achievements on a regular basis, at least annually.

Spend the most resume real estate on what your focus is now, with exceptions for outstanding honors or experiences that have had a significant impact on how you got to your current position.

Conclusion

As a professional, your clients are seeking your knowledge and experience, and the best way to capture this information is in the form of a resume.

A good professional resume can help clients feel confident in hiring your firm, and can put them at ease knowing that your team is ready and capable of helping them to achieve their goals. As a marketing tool, your resume should make it clear why someone should trust and work with you.

Now that you’ve crafted an effective professional resume, contact us to learn how POUNCE can help your firm manage resumes and marketing materials for business development.

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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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