Building a Steady Stream of Clients in Professional Services: 6 Success Secrets

by Liz Lynch

It may seem like a difficult puzzle to put together to get all of your networking and promotional activities working to attract maximum clients with minimum effort, but successes are all around you. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

However, there are no silver bullets either. A lot of what growing your business is is simply knowledge plus action. Knowing what to do and then actually doing it. What a concept!

Just like losing weight or getting in better shape. There is no magic potion, just discipline and following a formula of eating less and exercising more, and doing that day after day after day. Even though the concepts may seem like common sense, they’re not common practice.

Successful firms DON’T do extraordinary things, they do what is necessary and they do it consistently. Are you following in their footsteps and modeling their success?  Here are 6 things successful professional service providers do to build a steady flow of clients year after year:

1) They prioritize getting clients. You may think you’re already making this a priority, but truth be told, are you really doing everything you can, using all the channels you can and building all the relationships you can to stand out to your target audience? Successful firms invest time into figuring out what works and they invest time into putting their ideas into practice.

2) They have more irons in the fire. Successful professionals aren’t just doing one or two things to attract clients. They have a website, a Linkedin profile, a Twitter page, a blog. They speak at industry conferences, and hold one-on-one meetings with their best clients. They also train their whole staff to be more comfortable with networking to increase involvement and cover more of the market. It’s not just the responsibility of a few people in the company to build all the relationships.

3) They build greater name recognition. As a result of being more active in their industry, and not holing themselves in their office doing client work all the time, successful professionals are more well-known. This gives them a huge leg up in getting referrals because they’re top of mind for many people. It also helps them with outreach. When they’re trying to build partnerships with other leaders in their industry, because they have a name, they’re more likely to get a positive response.

4) They stoke desire for their service. Selling professional services can be challenging because it’s intangible. Prospects can’t touch it or see it, so how can do these firms bring it to life and make it more real? By illustrating their expertise through articles and case studies. This helps educate their potential clients on problems they may not even know they have, and it showcases them as the expert who can help solve those problems.

5) They focus on relationships. Any partner in a professional service firm will tell you that getting business is all about relationships. Having great relationships with their clients at all levels of the company so they can build support for their ideas, and also spot potential areas for additional engagements is key. They also have diverse relationships within their industry and community that helps them attract more opportunities as well.

6) They treat business development as ongoing process. Building relationships and promoting their firm is not a one-time event, but something they’re continually doing. They fit their key activities into their weekly schedule, usually working through a long-term plan that lays out their priorities so they know exactly what to do. They don’t arrive at the office on Monday saying, “What should we work on this week?”

Now, if you already know all of this but aren’t doing it, we need to fix that right away. There’s a lot I’ve learned running my own consulting business for the last 12 years that I would love to share with you.  Join me on December 1st for an ENCORE of my SPECIAL TRAINING “From Trusted Advisor to Thriving Rainmaker: 21st Century Strategies for Consultants, CPAs, and Financial Planners.”

© 2009-2012, Liz Lynch International LLC

 ”Liz Lynch, author of Smart Networking: Attract a Following In Person and Online, works with 6-figure professionals who have great expertise but suffer from “promo-phobia.” To learn how to get better known and attract the opportunities you deserve, visit”


Procurement Books said...

I think these are secrets to have in getting a consistent client inflow. The favorable relationships with clients are definitely very helpful in making sure that they stay no matter how you change various aspects of your business especially the prices. It's rare to have these clients but of you do it right, they will be yours.

Deb Bailey said...

It can be tricky to know what to do to get and maintain those relationships. But when we create strong relationships, those clients will also refer us to others. They will see the value in the work we do. Thanks for your comments!

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