#1 Law Firm Reverses Downward Course
A well-respected law firm came to us after losing five major competitive opportunities with Fortune 500 prospect companies. The partners thought the firm was off track and needed a strategic plan. Our analysis showed that a strategic plan probably wasn't the answer. The firm practices in a narrow niche, and the Fortune 500 companies sought out the firm because of its reputation in the niche. The strategy was fine.
After reviewing how the firm presented itself to prospects, we determined that the partners needed a much better sales presentation capability, founded on a more effective consultative selling approach. Their initial reaction was that, as professionals, they should rely on their reputation and expertise, not on "marketing." But they reluctantly agreed to let us help them improve their business development process and to link that process to their presentations.
They won the next opportunity, and our new approach proved so effective that the firm asked us to help create presentations for the next four major opportunities. To date, the firm has made five successful presentations in a row. The resulting business, mostly with Fortune 100 clients, was worth $2 million over the next 12 months. The firm recognizes the importance of the work Productive Strategies has performed and asked us to create a plan for facilitating the movement of work among in different cities.
Result: The partners believe they have obtained a significant competitive advantage through our work with them and asked us not to disclose their firm's name or its niche market.
#2 Revenue Growth Beyond Referral Levels
One of our clients offers a professional service to Fortune 1000 size firms and had been growing almost solely from referrals generated by its own, obviously satisfied, customers. The partners at the firm knew that to meet aggressive growth objectives they needed to generate a new stream of leads. Before meeting with Productive Strategies they had experimented with direct mail but the campaign they had run was not successful.
Adding to the challenge was that most established companies already use a source for the service our client performs. (This situation is typical: Many established businesses work with a law or accounting firm in some way.) We needed to make our client's prospects aware of the unique form of service our client could deliver.
After specifically defining the target market from an industry, size, and geographic perspective, we built a database of "suspects." Then we called each suspect directly from the Productive Strategies Call Center. Since our client sells its service nationally from offices in Chicago and New York, it was an additional challenge to qualify the suspects before setting up in-person appointments that would involve significant travel expenditures.
Our calling for this client was and continues to be successful. The client now:
- Controls its growth rate because adding hours to our lead generation operation can continuously add qualified prospects.
- Reduces the cost of generating new business in two ways:
- We also book prospective client meetings when the company's sales reps travel in support of existing clients. We book appointments with prospective clients in the same cities.
- We make it possible for the company to cover remote sales territories from its office in Chicago. We book the reps on a campaign basis, starting at one end of the territory and moving them across it with meetings with qualified prospects. Should the company open a sales office in any of those territories, they will already have developed the revenue to support it.
- Pleases its sales professionals. They much prefer meeting with prospects rather than cold calling the market place.
#3 A Manufacturer Outsources Sales and Marketing
One of our smallest clients developed advanced technology for the metal casting industry. The firm had four employees, including two who actually built and assembled the hardware. After years of making occasional sales around the world, they wanted the firm to grow. The father-son engineering team who owned the firm knew that they did not have the necessary selling and marketing skills or the time for selling and marketing.
Our first consulting project lasted four days. We defined the benefits of the product, documented the savings that users could realize, and began to develop a marketing database. Next we conducted a direct-mail campaign, handling everything from writing the copy to getting the materials into the mail. The mailing produced three times the projected responses, and the company was soon calling on the largest group of prospective customers in its history. We continued to assist by handling lead follow-up to set appointments and helping to close sales. With a taste of successful marketing, this firm then asked us to help create a trade-show booth and staff it.
#4 Generating Leads, Closing Sales for a Misunderstood Service
How do you sell a product or service that virtually no one understands or thinks they need?
Some of our clients are in just that kind of fix. What they're selling is usually technical and almost always hard to explain. That means long sales cycles, difficulty in generating sales opportunities, and low, low closing rates when opportunities do appear.
After a request from a customer, our client developed a process that performed a time-consuming real-estate management function with extreme efficiency. It could almost be called a breakthrough. But because our client's solution was so novel, few people could understand how it worked or the value it held for their businesses.
That's when we were invited to assess the sales problem and come up with a solution.
At the time, it took our client one week to develop a qualified sales lead for this service, and actual sales were rare.
First, we upgraded our client's lead generation program by conducting a professional calling campaign, performing critical research on specific buying motives for the service, and wrote guided scripts that motivated prospects to meet with our client.
Second, once the lead-generation program was producing results, we developed a professional presentation. Nearly every prospect who saw the presentation purchased our client's service.
The result? $1 million in new revenue in seven months. The cost to the client was just 5 percent of sales generated from the program. But, unlike a sales representative paid a commission year after year, our fee was fixed. The client continued to generate revenue over and over from its new clients. Plus our client continued to use the systems we developed to acquire millions of dollars in added revenues. Finally, we accompany the client on major sales opportunities and participate in regular sales meetings.